Copyright — Marie Gail Stratford

Here we are again to show our creativity by writing a new story for the Friday Fictioneers’ weekly challenge. This challenge is to write a story with no more than 100 words. It’s to have a beginning, middle, end, and follow the picture prompt supplied for that week. The gracious hostess for this challenge is the multi-talented author and artist Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. The prompt this week is a photo supplied by Marie Gail Stratford. Thanks Marie Gail.

Genre: Β Nonfiction

Word Count: 100 Words


Dad was an armchair cowboy: western books, movies, TV shows. We never missed a big western movie.

Dad hadn’t been to a stage show for years. I went to an occasional country and western stage show at the civic theatre in the city. I found out the stars ate at a nearby Chinese restaurant. One evening I took my parents to a show.

One of the performers that evening was big American movie, TV, stage, and singing star Tex Ritter. By chance, he sat near us in the restaurant. Dad was thrilled and kept turning around to look at Tex.


54 thoughts on “DAD AND TEX

    • Thanks Indrajit. Yes, Tex Ritter lived from 1905 to 1974 and was a big star. His son, John Ritter was a movie and TV star also. The show I wrote about was in the early 1970’s. My dad really enjoyed seeing Tex in person. πŸ™‚ —Susan


  1. I’m afraid I do know Tex Ritter and all these younger people scratching their heads about him make me want to rope and tie ’em up! I even had a Tex Ritter album which included the song “I went to the animal fair, the birds and the bees were there…” I’m sure your dad knew it and you probably did too.
    No, I don’t go back in time to the Old West!!!


    • Thanks Perry. I was sure someone would remember Tex. I do remember that song by him. I know you don’t remember the “Old West.” I’m older than you and I sure don’t. I did see the newer west. My dad loved everything western. My dad’s mother loved Texas and drove down to San Antonio a couple winters to spend time there away from the cold in Ohio. I’ve always loved western music and was one of those little girls who had a cowgirl outfit. I especially loved songs by the Sons of the Pioneers. I’m glad you liked the story. πŸ™‚ —Susan


    • Thanks Ellespeth. Yes, there were a lot of cowboy movies on TV in these days. Chinese food wasn’t my dad’s favorite, but it was a Chinese restaurant. I don’t remember what he ordered, but he found something he liked enough to eat. That just happened to be where the entertainers from those shows went to eat. I found out by accident because I liked the food and went there after those shows. I’m glad you liked the story. πŸ™‚ —Susan


  2. Thanks Alice. Dad didn’t really gawk. He just stole a look now and again. I doubt if Tex cared if someone was looking. I think most stars, if you don’t interfere in their lives, love the attention. They wouldn’t be in that business if they didn’t. My daughter’s an actor, mostly on the stage and in clubs, and she loves the attention. That’s her audience out there. πŸ™‚ —Susan


    • Thanks Nan. We didn’t want to bother him while he was eating so my dad just looked that way a few times. He seemed like a very likable person and rather jolly. There was another man, perhaps one of the people involved with the show, sitting at the table with him. I remember him as a tall and big man, and he had put on a great performance. It is a nice memory. πŸ™‚ —Susan


    • Thanks Subroto. I know a lot of younger people don’t remember Tex Ritter or, like you, only know him as John Ritter’s father. He was quite famous in his day and is in the Country Music Hall of Fame. Both Tex and John have stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. I’m glad you liked the story. πŸ™‚ —Susan


  3. I liked this story Patricia and that it’s a true story only adds to its warmth and tenderness. I still listen to Tex Ritter from time to time whenever I’m in a Country mood and looking for playlists on youtube.


    • Thanks Michael. I’m glad you liked the story. I love country music, especially western country. Tex put on a good performance that night. He seemed like a nice man, and rather good natured. He was laughing and talking at his table with another man. :)—Susan


  4. I remember Tex. I wonder why more stars don’t have nicknames after states? We could even take it all the way down to city names. How about Topeka Anderson, or Salt Lake City Smith? Now, we just have to find something that goes well with Patricia Ruth Susan . . .


    • Thanks Russell. I suppose there are a few people with city nicknames. I remember that old song about “Sioux City Sue.” I’m from Akron, Ohio, and that doesn’t sound very poetic or musical. πŸ™‚ —Susan


  5. Susan,
    My father-in-law’s nickname was “Tex” even though he hailed from North Carolina. Today, my wife has lived up to the nickname “TJ” for “Tex Junior” because she is like him in so many ways. I can’t imagine anyone by that name being anything less than amazing.

    All my best,
    Marie Gail


    • Thanks, Marie Gail. I remember Tex as a tall, large, and jolly man. He seemed to be laughing and talking with another man at his table. Perhaps it was someone involved with the show. He had put on a good performance. We lived for some years in Greensboro, North Carolina. Our kids regard that as their home town, and my son still lives near there. There are a lot of nice people in North, Carolina. πŸ™‚ —Susan


    • Thanks Lily. Our table was fairly close to Tex’s, but not quite that close. His table was probably about seven feet from ours. We had a very good view. He was sitting near a side wall. πŸ™‚ —Susan


  6. You don’t mention if Tex was all cowboyed up as he sat in the restaurant? I hope so. I wish I had a cowboy outfit. I had one when I was little πŸ™‚


    • Thanks Blake. As I remember, he was wearing the same outfit he performed in. It was a fancy western outfit. The performers must have come straight from the theatre to the restaurant. I had a cowgirl outfit when I was about nine years old . It came with a cap pistol. Those outfits were popular then. πŸ™‚ —Susan


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