The card was marked "copyright 1941." Here's the back:
None of the early radio actors who played the Ranger, including Brace Beemer, above, presented as romantic a figure in person as he sounded on the air.
The Lone Ranger was always a hit in the Scancarelli household. Jim's 14-year old uncle, Bob Parati, wrote to WBT for a free picture of the Lone Ranger and the current "secret message." As some of you may remember, the masked man had a Safety Club, whose rules and regulations, closely akin to the Code of the West, dealt with issues like holding your mother's hand on busy streets; refraining from playing with matches; and being careful when handling BB guns (you'll shoot your eye out).
Here's a blowup of the secret code shown just below the great horse Silver's left front hoof:
Go ahead, give it a try. Jim's mother Frances was adept at cryptography and quickly broke the code. She whipped out the startling message in no time. This is what it said:
We wonder if, like Ralphie in the movie A Christmas Story, she screamed, "A lousy commercial!"
If you're totally in the dark about the Lone Ranger's huuuuuge impact on early radio and on our popular culture, go here for a brief history.
Legend has it that Charlie Crutchfield once asked a kid in an interview why he liked The Briarhoppers show. The kid replied, "Because, when it's over The Lone Ranger comes on."
|Artifacts from Jim Scancarelli's vast collection|