The Lone Ranger Never Rode Alone

Some of us, of a certain age, will remember The Lone Ranger, a made-for-TV western series that ran from 1949 to 1957. As the story goes, six Texas Rangers were ambushed by a gang of outlaws. The one survivor, the unnamed younger brother of ranger Captain Daniel Reid, was nursed back to health by a Native American frontier scout named Tonto. When the ranger told Tonto he was the only ranger left, Tonto called him the Lone Ranger. Because he was assumed dead, the ranger decided to hide his true identity from everyone except Tonto, so he could “stand for justice and fight for what is right.” They marked six graves. The Lone Ranger was wealthy, for he owned a silver mine which provided the ore for his silver bullets. When they found the ranger a new silver-white horse, Tonto called the horse Silver. Tonto’s own horse was called Scout. The Lone Ranger shot his guns sparingly, but when he used them, he always aimed to disarm the bad guys. He never identified himself publicly as the Lone Ranger. He always left a silver bullet as an answer to the question, “Who was that masked man?” 

I met Clayton Moore once in the Richland Mall in Waco, Texas. He had been court-ordered to remove his mask, for Hollywood wanted to cast a new, younger Lone Ranger, not one that was over 65. He wore black wrap-around sunglasses under his Stetson. He greeted everyone and signed autographs for fans like me. I think I heard The William Tell Overture playing in the background.  Clayton Moore was born in Chicago. Jay Silverheels (born Harold J. Smith) was the son of a Canadian Mohawk tribal chief. Their lives as actors are forever intertwined in our memories. Tonto means “wild one.” Tonto called the Lone Ranger kemosabe, “faithful friend or trusty scout.” They needed each other. The Lone Ranger never rode alone, and neither should we. 

Who is your faithful friend? Who is your kemosabe? You do not need to wear a mask today or shoot bullets to stand for justice or fight for the good. We do still need each other. I think that is why, when he was at his loneliest, Solomon was reminded that, There is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. (Proverbs 18:24) You also can be that friend.

Keep healthy. Pray mightily. Enjoy your life today. Never ride alone. And let’s experience the love and power of God together.

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