Looking for Roy Rogers…
Gravestones for Roy and Dale
It’s Trigger! Roy Roger’s faithful sidekick – this is the statue from the now defunct Roy Rogers & Dale Evans museum, now gracing the hillside on the edge of the cemetery where they are buried. I was sorta surprised because Trigger is not a gelding! Holy cojones!
It’s not a far drive from Victorville to the cemetery and through subdivisions of typical desert homes – with zero greenery – their landscaping consisting of raked sand, maybe a cactus or two, a wagon or other western themed object. One home had a whimsical feel that only PeeWee Herman might enjoy: the front sand canvas of a lawn had two large rock tortoises, a tacky birdbath, a large bathtub painted like a spotted black & white cow, various wind chimes, a giant hummingbird and an 8′ tall verdigris replica of the Statue of Liberty, complete with a lit torch. Yikes!
On to the matter at hand, finding the graves of our famed Victorville residents, Roy Rogers and Dale Evans – (AKA Leonard and Frances) I’m led there by the young caretaker at the cemetery – she might be all of 21 years old – lovely but a bit sad. She seems fascinated that I am traveling solo on a roadtrip. She tells me she started working here after her beloved grandma died, just to be near her. Oh my. So, I asked her “Why would you want to work out here with all these dead and grieving people? It’s a lovely cemetery, but make sure you don’t let it get you down – go out and be grateful for your life!” She shows me their graves and I note on Dale’s there is a book with an inscription – “Angels unawares”. I smile and ask her if she knows what that means…blank stare. “It’s from the bible, I explain – meaning there may be angels living among us – in body but not really. Sometimes you will meet them in life for just a moment, for a message, for a bit of help or for a brief encounter, unaware that they are angels.” I’ve met a few in my life. She’s intrigued and will no doubt Google it when she’s back at her desk. While leaving, I remind her that her grandma would say the same thing I am saying – “Get out and enjoy your life!” Who knows, I tell her – maybe I am an angel unaware in your life, here just now to bring you this message!
There is a really cool vintage hearse onsite, that’s been totally restored and is still used at the cemetery but only for war veterans, as a special offer of respect for their passing. The memorial plaques near the chapel are wonderful, too. Many are for Roy and Dale, but for others buried here too. It’s a fun visit – I’m glad I took the time. Happy Trails to you, till we meet again!