The original Lone Ranger and Tonto — Jay Silverheels and Clayton Moore

I grew up with the Lone Ranger and Tonto racing around my bedroom. Until I got the wallpaper, I was sure he was the Long Ranger … as in “he rode a lot and covered great distances.”

Other girls had Disney Princesses, but I had “Hi Yo Silver, the Lone Ranger Rides Again!” Although my walls did not play music, I could hum well enough and I had many a long chat with Lone and Tonto, Silver and Scout as I lay abed in the evening pondering the meaning of life and how I could convince my mother to let me have a horse.

Eventually, as I rounded the corner into adolescence, the Lone Ranger and his trusty Indian Companion (who had led the fight for law and order in the early west) returned to those thrilling days of yesteryear whence they had come. They were replaced by plain, off-white paint. I would have preferred Lone and Tonto, but felt it was time for a change. The paper was old and getting a bit tattered so it was hard to argue the point.

This did not end my allegiance to the first love of my life. I don’t honestly know what it is about masked men on horses that turns on all my lights, but both Zorro and Lone made me woozy with unrequited love. As the years rolled on, I became very attached to Tonto, not as Tonto, but as Jay Silverheels, the actor, whose career I continued to follow long after the Lone Ranger had disappeared from the airwaves.

I still love the Lone Ranger and I didn’t let Johnny Depp spoil it for me by the simple expedient of not watching the movie when it came out or since then.

The Lone Ranger fought the good fight. He never asked for thanks and would run away rather than have to accept them. He was the goodest of the good guys and whenever I’m not sure what to do in a morally ambiguous situation, I can always ask myself “What would the Lone Ranger do?”

Then, I send Garry to town because when in doubt, the Lone Ranger always sent Tonto, right?

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Categories: Media, Television

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31 replies

  1. Apparently there were not too many that let the Johnny Depp version spoil their memories. The movie was a bomb. I am glad I missed it.


  2. A guy named Fran Striker wrote down what he felt would be the Lone Ranger Creed:

    “I believe…
    That to have a friend, a man must be one.
    That all men are created equal and that everyone has within himself the power to make this a better world.
    That God put the firewood there but that every man must gather and light it himself.
    In being prepared physically, mentally, and morally to fight when necessary for that which is right.
    That a man should make the most of what equipment he has.
    That ‘This government, of the people, by the people and for the people’ shall live always.
    That men should live by the rule of what is best for the greatest number.
    That sooner or later … somewhere … somehow … we must settle with the world and make payment for what we have taken.
    That all things change but truth, and that truth alone, lives on forever.
    In my Creator, my country, my fellow man.”

    Speaks for itself.


    • He was a sincerely good guy … off screen as well as on. Not a bad hero for a kid. Not bad at all.


      • Clayton Moore. Yes I believe he was a good man and he took his role as the Lone Ranger to heart.
        Wikipedia: ” … the only person on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, as of 2006, to have his character’s name along with his on the star, which reads, “Clayton Moore — The Lone Ranger”. He was inducted into the Stuntman’s Hall of Fame in 1982 and in 1990 was inducted into the Western Performers Hall of Fame at the National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Moore also was awarded a place on the Western Walk of Fame in Old Town Newhall, California.”
        There you go.


  3. I enjoyed the masked guys too, but could not not include Hopalong Cassidy even though there was no mask to be found.


  4. … yes, Tonto went into town, and usually to the local barber shop, “you’re next injun”, “me wait”. Wait for what he always wore his hair the same way and I imagine allowed no one to touch it.? All he was, was a glorified gossip gatherer for his buddy.., but we all wanted that job just to be side kick to Loney. That’s how they kept busy, and, of course, Loney couldn’t show up wearing his mask and all.., or in one of his disguises with fake hair, beard and makeup.., people would talk. So, I guess whether it is Jay Silverheels, or Johnny Depp it was always about Tonto, as Loney couldn’t do what he did without him.


    • And they were friends. The show was really clear that it wasn’t just a business relationship. For example, Lone did the cooking. I remember one episode Lone calling “Tonto … dinner’s ready” and Tonto answering “Coming Kemo Sabe!” I just laughed. It was so domestic. Yes, you are right. Lone wouldn’t have lasted long without Tonto … and Tonto knew it.


  5. So if you were into men with masks, what were your feelings about Batman and Robin? 😉 (just teasing!)


    • I was always a Superman kind of gal. I loved that no one recognized him with his glasses on and tried it myself. I whip my glasses off, stare meaningfully at my husband and ask “Who am I?”

      He just laughs. So I do it again and he laughs harder. I have tried this on friends, relatives and near total stranges, but alas, no one mistook me for Wonderwoman or Supergirl. Maybe I need a costume? Or is it the gray hair?


      • Maybe a costume wouldn’t hurt? Or at the very least, a red cape that you can swirl around. It worked for Superman, anyway. Plus, it’ll keep you warm during these frigid temperatures!


        • I love capes. I’ve got a winter-weight black one that’s many years old but I keep anyhow because it’s great over dress clothing. Sadly, no one thinks I’m someone else when I wear it … but I live in hope. Maybe makeup?


  6. You just had to love them, although I wasn’t sure whether I liked The Cisco Kid or Hoppalong Cassidy more.


  7. Me not go to town anymore.



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