Happy Trails Forever™ - Preserving the Legacy of Roy Rogers & Dale Evans
   
 
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Roy and Dale had 51½ wonderful and blessed years together!! Durin' those many years, Roy & Dale rode many a trail, right along side each other.


During World War II, Dale Evans did so many camp shows for the Hollywood Victory Committee and USO. She went out to Edward Air Base with Art Rush to entertain and be part of the program. Art Rush, handled her for radio, and put her on "The Chase and Sanborn Hour" with Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy. Roy was there performin'with the Sons of the Pioneers for the soldiers. He had just finished "Under Western Stars", his first big Western, with Claire Trevor and with John Wayne. He played John Wayne's younger brother. Dale saw him on the dance floor. Roy was dancing with Claire Trevor and Art Rush marched Dale right out in the middle of the floor and said, "I want you to meet Roy Rogers. He's my rising star." Right then and there, they said "hello"!!



Dale was impressed by Roy because he was very clean-cut looking and no Hollywood act, a very real person. She was very impressed by that, but no bells rang, right off. Roy reminded her of her brother, Hillman. She didn't make any pictures with him at Republic for quite a while; she did several other things. They promised Dale a big musical, but they gave it to Connie Moore and they put her with Roy in a picture. The first picture; "Cowboy and the Señorita" in 1944.

In the followin' years; Roy and Dale would eventually make 28 pictures together!!




Roy and Arline (Wilkins) Rogers were married several years, and no children. While Roy was on tour in Dallas TX, he visited an ophanage, Hope Cottage. A little baby girl took to him right off. That baby girl just happened to be little Cheryl Darlene. Those big brown eyes of her's; he couldn't resist choosin' her for Arline and him. He called his wife in California, and he told her they had a little blonde haired, brown eyed cutie!! Shortly there after, they brought Cheryl Darlene home. Cheryl Darlene Rogers was born on June 6, 1940.



Here's Dad gettin' little Cheryl Darlene ready to to back to California to her brand new home.

A few years later, Arline found herself "with child", and Linda Lou was born to the happy couple.

Cheryl aquired a new little sister and Roy & Arline expanded their little family.

Later, in 1946, Roy "Dusty" Rogers Jr. was born to Roy & Arline on October 28, 1946.



Proud Daddy and brand new baby boy, Roy "Dusty" Rogers Jr.
After complications from the birth, Arline passed away a few days later, and Roy was left all alone with three young babies.



This picture was taken of Roy and his three chidren, a few months after Arline had went home to be with the Lord. From l to r, Linda Lou, Dusty (sittin' on Daddy's lap), Cheryl Darlene and Roy.




Dale, Roy, Arline and Dale had become close friends, as she and Roy were in movies together. Dale had spent time with them and the three children at their home many times.

As the months passed by, Roy and Dale's friendship became more than "just friends"! On December 31, 1947, the on screen team became husband and wife. They were married on the Flying L Ranch in Davis, Oklahoma, by the Rev Bill Alexander. Art Rush was Roy's best man, while Mary Jo (Art's wife) was Dale's Matron of Honor. Dale and Roy had just completed filming "Home in Oklahoma".





Here's Rev. Bill Alexander with the happy couple.



Mary Jo Rush (Matron of Honor), Dale Evans, Roy Rogers and Art Rush (Best Man).



Their Weddin' Day
December 31, 1947





Followin' the marriage of Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, they aquired an instant family. Tom Fox Jr. (Dale's adult son from a previous marriage), Cheryl Darlene, Linda Lou and Roy "Dusty" Rogers Jr.


        
Left photo: Tom and his mom. Right photo: in back,(l to r) Dale, Roy "Dusty" Rogers Jr., and Roy. In front, (l to r) Linda Lou, and Cheryl Darlene.



Here's little Linda Lou makin' a flower necklace.

__________________


A couple of years passed by and Dale found herself pregnant in 1949. Roy and Dale becames parents of a "little girl" (a wish that came true for Dale), Robin Elizabeth, on August 26, 1950.
Take a look at the great picture of Robin, and her mom & dad below.



Dale, Robin and Roy


Robin's health problems, Down's Syndrone and heart disease got the best of her . Roy and Dale's "angel" passed away and went to be with the Lord in 1952 (just a few days 'fore her 2nd birthday).


Right below is that famous picture of Robin Elizabeth.



"Robin Elizabeth Rogers"

This beautiful smile will forever be enbedded in my mind, for it's the picture on the cover of my "favorite book of all time", that Dale wrote. It's Dale's most famous book,

"ANGEL UNAWARE".


There is a complete list of "Dale Evans Rogers" books, listed Here.

__________________


Roy and Dale were still grievin' over Robin's death, but they had an engagement in New York. They left early and stopped by Dale's parent's in Texas for a few days. On their final day with Dale's family in Italy, TX, Roy was eager to make the drive to Dallas, where they would catch the train to New York. He asked Dale, "do you suppose they would still have that little indian baby girl, you saw awhile back on that visit to Hope Cottage"? She told him, "perhaps adoptin' a child would ease the pain of losin' Robin. She's not there"! She had been told at the previous visit, people were interested in her. "I'm sure she isn't available, but if you would like to stop by, that's fine with me".

As they walked down the hallway, they saw her and the little indian baby girl held out her little hands and smiled great big. When that happened, Dale wanted that baby so badly!

They were told that a woman in Dallas was interested in Mary, but they would be considered. Officials told them, they would call them in New York, if things looked favorable for their adoptin' the three quarters Choctaw Indian little girl.

Their first performance at "Madison Square Garden" (the one they almost didn't go on because of their religious number) was a success.

After gettin' a publisher to publish her book, "Angel Unaware", and long days and nights, the call finally came in from Hope Cottage. The little indian girl was theirs, and they had a little girl to pickup on their return home.



Here's little Mary "Little Doe (Dodie) with her mama, all dressed and ready for her trip home to California.

__________________


After their closin' performance at "Madison Square Gardens", their return home included several stops, to do "one night" performances. When they arrived in Cincinati, Roy picked up the many letters and messages that he received at every stop. They opened a telegram from a lady who ran a wefare home for handicapped children, in nearby Covington, KY. Her own little girl had suffered from cerebal palsy since birth. The woman asked if it would be possible for her to come to Cincinati so her daughter could see Roy and Trigger.

Roy called her back personally and told her that it surely WAS POSSIBLE, and durin' the conversation, he learned her husband was carin' for several children who were wards of the state, all unadoptable cases.

Dale saw Roy's eyes "adancin'". He asked, "You wouldn't have a little boy there 'bout six", would you? She did have, but he was slightly handicapped. Roy asked her to bring him with her when she came.

The show had already started when the lady and the children arrived backstage. Durin' intermission, Roy went over to Penny (the little girl with cerebral palsy) and said hello. He looked down at the young boy he had asked her to bring with her. He was a bit bashful, and Roy asked him to come over to him for a minute.

The little boy got his courage up and walked over to him. The boy stood there for a second, but then extended his hand and said, "Howdy, pad-nuh".
"Howdy yourself", Roy said. Roy was hooked!

Later that evenin', Roy and Dale talked 'bout this little boy named Harry. He had been abandoned twice, and suffered from rickets, they were told; and slight curvature of the spine and malnutrition. His nose had been broken and he had been mistreated badly as an infant.

Dusty needed a companion, Roy told Dale. After debatin' if this young boy would be more trouble than a blessin', 'round 3:00am, he placed the call to the foster home and asked how long it would take to get adoption proceedin's started for Harry. He explained that they would be leavin' town the next day.
"Mr. Rogers, "if you want to meet me at 8:00am at the courthouse, I think we can pull enough strings to get you and Harry out of town on schedule.

What probably was a fastest adoption on record, Harry (who they decided to call Sandy) became the newest member of the Rogers family by 9:00am.

They made a fast stop to buy Sandy a pair of new blue jeans and a cowboy shirt, to wear on the bus.

With the tour over, Dale, Roy and Sandy flew to Dallas to pick up Mary Little Doe, the other new member of the family.


They arrived in Los Angeles on Dusty's birthday as promised. Take a look at this picture of 'em.



Harry "Sandy", Roy, Dale and Mary Little Doe "Dodie".



Here's the new brothers meetin' for the very first time!! There's Sandy on the left, then Roy beside him and then there's Dusty.



Here's Mary Little Doe "Dodie" with her dad, Roy Rogers, "King of the Cowboys".


__________________




Roy and and Dale went to Britain to do some shows and to give their Christian witness at Billy Graham's "London Crusade". While they were there, they visited a Scottish orphanage. They heard this voice that sounded like an angel. The voice was that of an 11 year old little girl named Marion Fleming.

They were away from home a very long time and had missed Dodie's 1st birthday. They invited Marion to come see the show and sit on Trigger the next day. She went, and Roy and Dale invited her back to their hotel suite for lunch.

Marion had been an orphan of divorce, although her parents were still alive. She'd been in the orphanage since she was two years old.

They thought of bringin' her to America.....just for a visit. They knew they couldn't adopt her, 'cause she was of British subject. Besides, her dad had legal custody of her and wouldn't consent to it. Roy and Dale planned a summer goodwill tour, to let her see Hollywood; plus, experience the since of family in an American home.

Arrangments were made with the British authorities and she came. She blended right in with the Rogers' big family. Time came too soon for her to go back to Britain and she tearfully protested that she didn't want to leave. They arranged for her to stay 'til after Christmas. She then begged to stay throughout the school year.

Summer came, and Marion stayed on. Finally, Marion became Roy and Dale's ward, a permanent member the of the Rogers "international family"!!

__________________




Little Debbie came to the Rogers in 1955.

Months before, Dr. Bob Pierce of World Vison Inc. had shown them pictures of orphans ..... mostly Korean children (offsprings of Korean women and soldiers in the UN troops that occupied their country). They had given them a picture of Dodie, and asked him to look for a sister for her, 'bout her age.

They heard from Dr. Pierce and they all were so excited, when they learned he had found a child. The "big day" came. Cheryl, Linda, Marion, Dodie, Roy and Dale formed a welcome committee (the boys were away at school).

They renamed her Debbie. She spoke little English and tried very hard to get them to speak Korean. When they all didn't, she walked away. Since none of them would try to speak Korean, Debbie took to English very fast.



Here's the family, left to right: Cheryl, Linda Lou, Marion (Mimi), Roy "Dusty" Rogers, Sandy, Dodie, Debbie, Dale, and behind Dale is Roy.

Debbie grew to be an extrovert. She made friends everywhere she went.

The week of her twelfth birthday, the church scheduled a bus trip to Tia Juana, Mexico. Young people from the church were takin' food, clothin' and toys to children in an orphanage there. Both Dodie and Debbie were suppose to go, but Dodie was sick that mornin'. Dale wanted Debbie to stay home and wanted her to wait 'til the next week, when she and Dodie could go with her, but Debbie wanted to go on as it was part of her birthday celebration. Dale let her go, since there was lots of chaperones. Besides, they were goin' on an errand for God and the children.

Dale had gone to see Roy that afternoon, convalescenin' from a neck operation. When she returned home, her friend and helper was lookin' for her from the kitchen window.

She looked at Dale in a odd expression and took her by the arm. She told Dale quietly that there had been an accident....the church bus....comin' home from Tia Juana. "Young Debbie is gone.... she's gone to be with the Lord".

Dale started to fall apart when Dusty told her that Debbie was with the Lord. "You've always depended on Him and trusted Him, he said. "You'll have to trust Him now"!! Such words of wisdom, comin' from a young man!!



A photo of Debbie as a pre-teen.


__________________


Sandy wasn't doin' good in his studies in high school and he asked Roy and Dale if they would sign permission for him to join the Army in January, 1965. He'd be 18 in June of that year and could join then, but he wanted to join now he told them. He promised he would finish high school and get his diploma in the service if they would give their permission. He said "I'll make you proud". After thinkin' 'bout it for a long while, they finnaly gave him their permission. They really didn't think he would ever pass the physical from the Army.

Sany passed and completed his basic at Fort Polk, Louisiana.

They sent him to Fort Leonard Wood, MO.

Durin' a short leave at home, he spent most of his free time with a young lady named Sharyn, who he'd been datin' steadily since before inlistin'. Before leavin', he broke the news that he and Sharyn had become engaged.

They sent him Fort Knox Kentucky for additional trainin', and then he was sent to Germany.

Dale was returnin' from a trip expectin' Marion to meet her plane, but the whole family was there instead. Instantly she knew there was something wrong. Cheryl explained to her it was Sandy, he's gone!

It didn't make since, since he wasn't in Viet Nam. He was in Germany!

Dusty took his mom's arm and began to tell her the story. Sandy had attended a party and some of the guys talked him into drinkin' a large amount of hard liquor, and it killed him.

Dale buried her face in her hands and sobbed.

The guys tried to revive him, and took him to the despensary. The orderly, instead of pumpin' his stomach, put him into his bunk to sleep it off. The next mornin', they found him dead.

The body was flown home. His service was with military honors and brief. Sandy was laid to rest in a cryt at Forrest Lawn, next to Robin and Debbie.

Here's a picture of Sandy in his Army uniform. He was so proud to serve his country!



Pfc. Sandy Rogers

On what was to be Sandy's nineteenth birthday, "Salute to Sandy",(Dale's book of Sandy's story, and their travels to Viet Nam) was published.

__________________


The Rogers Family

Thanksgiving Day 1983.
Front row: Dusty, Roy, Dale and Tom. Second row: Marion (Mimi), Linda Lou, Cheryl, and Dodie.

__________________


Below are Tom and Barbara Fox, today.

Tom and Barbara Fox


This is Cheryl Rogers-Barnett and her husband Larry, today.

Cheryl Rogers - Barnett and Larry Barnett.


Today, this is Roy "Dusty" Rogers and his wife Linda.

Dusty & Linda Rogers


Marion (Mimi) Rogers and Dodie "Little Doe" Rogers now.

Marion Rogers - Swift and Dodie "Little Doe" Rogers - Patterson


To see more of Roy and Dale, please visit



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Happy Trails Forever,
~Buffalo Gal~

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