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ROLF D. RITSCHEL
Victorville, California
About Rolf D. Ritschel

 
                

The Last of the Western Heroes 

The feller on the radio said that Roy had gone away,
I thought that really can't be so, for I saw him just today.
High on a ridge, to the north of town, he was riding, tall and strong,
the way I'd always seen him ride, whenever I would tag along.

I saddled up my trusty paint, I'd not ridden for many a year
caught up to him up on the ridge, he motioned to come near.
We rode together, side by side, as we had in years gone by,
until we reached a fork on the trail, I knew he'd say "good bye."
He turned to me and gently said, "This is as far as you can go."
He thanked me for remembering, and for the trails that we once rode.
With a youthful grip he shook my hand, said "From here I ride alone."
He told me that my trail went straight, turned and then he was gone.

The feller on the radio said that Dale had gone away,
I thought that really can't be so, for I saw her just today.
High on a ridge, to the north of town, she was riding, tall and strong,
the way I'd always seen her ride, whenever I would tag along.

I saddled up my trusty paint, I'd not ridden for many a year
caught up to her up on the ridge, she motioned to come near.
We rode together, side by side, as we had in years gone by,
until we reached a fork on the trail, I knew she'd say "good bye."
She turned to me and gently said, "This is as far as you can go."
She thanked me for remembering, and for the trails that we once rode.
With a gentle touch she took my hand, said "From here I ride alone."
And in the flash of brilliant light, these sights before me shone.

I saw Roy and Dale, together again, around a campfire bright,
there was the Duke and Randolph Scott, oh what a wonderful sight.
I saw Hoppy and I saw Gene, the Lone Ranger and Tonto, too,
the heroes of my yesterdays, and sadly then I knew.
The last western hero was she, no other this way would ride,
the trail she took started to fade, and for a moment I just cried.
Til in my heart I heard her voice, sing that wonderful refrain,
Happy Trails to You, Happy Trails to You, til we meet again.

The feller on the radio said that Roy and Dale had gone away,
I thought that really can't be so, for I saw them just today.
High on a ridge, to the north of town, they were riding, tall and strong,
Where they taught me that my trail went straight, 
                                            where they turned and then were gone.

2001, Rolf D. Ritschel

 

(You can read other tributes to Dale Evans by other BAR-D poets here.)

About Rolf D. Ritschel

I was born in Germany in 1943 and came to the US when I was 11. I now live in Victorville, California with my wife of 31 years. I am an attorney and I write poetry for enjoyment. With the exception of a poem about the sinking of a tall ship posted on the ships memorial site, I have not submitted anything anywhere else. This poem is my first foray into the cowboy/western genre. As you know, the Roy Rogers/Dale Evans Museum is located in Victorville and the poem began to take shape when Roy Rogers passed away. But, I was not able to finish the poem until Dale Evans passed away. 

 

 

 

 

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