Ranger Headquarters

Ranger Headquarters
Big Pine National Forest, Knotty Pine

Friday, December 25, 2009

RB-057 The Muddy River

Soil erosion is washing tons of black top soil into the Shady River turning its clear blue mountain waters into a muddy mess during each rain storm. Senator Baxter wants a dam on the Shady to control the river's flood waters and stop erosion. Ranger Bill has soil erosion under control in the national forest. Bill knows the same methods will work just as well for farmers and ranchers all along the Shady. Who is behind Senator Baxter's dam and assisting the senator to get the dam built? How can a government employee like Bill oppose a US senator? Will farmers be saddled with taxes to pay for a dam?

Christmas Greetings from Ranger Bill

The birth of our Savior Jesus is recorded in the second chapter of the gospel of Luke. Luke tells us that, as Jesus was born in a stable in Bethlehem, angels came and shared the good news that the Savior of the world was born with shepherds who were out watch their flocks at night. The sight of the angels made the shepherds afraid. But angel said don't be afraid for they were bringing good news of a savior.
The word angel means "messenger." The angels were messengers sent from God to share the gospel good news. The shepherds responded by going quickly to find and worship the baby Jesus. But that wasn't all. Those humble, often disrespected, she herds then left Jesus to tell everyone in those parts about the Savior in Bethlehem. So the shepherds became angels to those around them, being messengers of God's gospel.
You can be an "messenger" angel to those around you today. You have heard the gospel of Jesus. You know far more about Jesus and His life, death, resurrection and the forgiveness it brings through faith. Go be a "messenger" angel this Christmas.

And from Ranger Bill, everyone in Knotty Pine, and also from me, Dave, have a Christ-centered joyous Christmas!!!

Knotty Pine Gazette - Christmas 2009

Christmas Air Care
Ranger Headquarters will be much busier this Christmas morning than on other Christmases. Chief Ranger Bill Jefferson and his men will be working with the state's fire jumpers to bring a little Christmas joy to area residents whose homes are in remote sections of the forest. The rangers will be using two helicopters pick up and bring some of these isolated folks to Knotty Pine. Several families here in Knotty Pine and surrounding communities have adopted these isolated families for Christmas. These air lifted families will join their hosts in opening Christmas gifts (some donated by local businesses and churches), Christmas worship, as well as Christmas dinner. Christmas packages of food and wrapped Christmas presents will be dropped to more remote families who have no place for a helicopter landing. The fire jumpers and the forest service plane will drop the Christmas packages. Residents will be contacted by radio before the planes arrive so they can retrieve their package drop.

Christmas Caroling
Several area churches, including Knotty Pine Church, 4th Street Church, Forest Road Church and others, are combining their voices with the Knotty Pine High Choir to sing Christmas carols at noon Christmas Day on the Knotty Pine Square downtown. Residents are encouraged to come and to join in the singing. Song sheets will be provided.

Merry Christmas!!!
Everyone here at the GAZETTE wish all of you readers a very merry Christmas and a happy and peaceful 2010!!!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Bill Pearce then and now

There is a wonderful article in Wikipedia on Bill Pearce. I heartily recommend it. The article covers most of the major events in Bill's life. Here are a few excerpts from that article:
Bill served in the Marines as a band performer during WWII. After the war, Bill started attending Moody Bible Institute. Bill suffered from ADD, Attention Deficit Disorder. He flunked out of the institute after only one semester. God was there even in his failure at school. The head announcer at WMBI in Chicago got Bill a job there as an announcer. Bill worked at WMBI for 25 years.
Bill performed with the Melody Four and with Dick Anthony in Pearce and Anthony. Bill also recorded NightSounds until 2007.
Bill was born on May 20, 1926 in Carlisle, PA. That makes Bill 83, if my math is correct. Bill loved to perform on the trombone and did until 1995 when he was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.
A friend of the club tells me that Bill is currently living in a nursing home in Lancaster, PA.

Friday, December 18, 2009

RB-202 The Christmas Pageant

Henry and his boys club are putting on a Christmas pageant in the high school auditorium. The program will conclude with singing by Christian recording artist Bill Pearce. Henry even got permission to build an apron extension to the stage to allow more room to perform the pageant. Rehearsals are lots of work. Henry is the director and he has problems to iron out. Henry learns that one of the boys, Johnny, doesn't believe the Christmas story or the Bible. Henry takes the time to witness to Johnny, and Johnny begins to believe. Johnny asks Henry, "If the Bible is true, why everyone doesn't believe?" While putting up signs just before the pageant, Henry's friend Wally is hit by a car and must stay in the hospital during the pageant. How will the pageant go with Wally in the hospital? What will happen to Johnny? And what of Bill Pearce?

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Knotty Pine Gazette - Winter Surprizes

Blizzard and Deep Cold
Winter snows are the major news of the day all up and down the Shady Mountain Range. Cold and heavy snow have interrupted or totally stopped traffic throughout the region. Holiday shopping is down as road crews work around the clock to clear roads and highways. State plows and road graders are working overtime to get traffic moving again. Ranger Bill Jefferson has again pulled out his two Big Brute plows to assist city and state plows. The state's two Little Brute plows are currently clearing expressways in Canyon and Knotty Pine counties.

This current blizzard and cold have effectively ended any remaining corn harvest for 2009. Many area farmers lost significant portions of their corn crops to the late harvest and snows. The Canyon County Farm Bureau reports that corn crops lost to this snow have turned profits for some farmers into losses. Soy harvest was at least 99% complete before the storm.

Ski Resorts Open
Ski resorts such as the Big Six Lodges and Mile High Ski Lodge are enjoying the blessings of snow. Attendance at these and other area ski lifts and lodges is up with the snow. College students on break have flocked to the Knotty Pine area to ski. The numbers of Christmas vacationers is also expected to be up 25 to 50% based on reservations made in recent days.
(Blessings of Snow [RB066] and Skiers in the Sky [RB058] should be on our play list early in 2010.)

Visitor to Ranger HQ
Ranger Bill Jefferson and his men had an unexpected visitor to Ranger HQ in Pig Pine National Forest. Ranger Bill is in charge of all building, logging, and mining permits in and around the forest. Nationally known and respected nature writer and photographer Abraham Thorn applied for a building permit for a home near the Big Six Lodges. Mr. Thorn is a Inuit Indian from northern Canada along the Arctic Circle.
Mr. Thorn told Ranger Bill he was moving south to the Knotty Pine region for the warmer weather. Actually Mr. Thorn is here to live and study the wild life of the Shady Mountains.
Ranger Bill granted Mr. Thorn's permit. Construction is expected to begin when snows clear and temperatures rise above freezing.

Friday, December 11, 2009

RB-096 Jimmy's Christmas Miracle

It's Christmastime in Knotty Pine!!! Only three weeks before Christmas. The air is crisply cold, and snow has blanketed the countryside. Folks are out in their sleighs enjoying the sights and sounds of the season. Dave Benson takes his little boy Jimmy out for a sleigh ride. Jimmy can't walk. A couple of years ago Jimmy fell down some steps and lost the use of his legs. Bill asks a surgeon friend, Dr. Weston, to take a look at Jimmy. Dr. Weston thinks surgery might correct Jimmy's leg injuries. Medical tests and surgery would be expensive, very expensive. The Bensons don't have that kind of money. Bill asks Knotty Pine Church to help the Bensons. Burt Leason, an important board member objects to spending the money to help Jimmy. Stumpy gives Dave Benson a visual aid for his faith - a mustard seed.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Rex Brenner November passing

From a recent news post in broadcasting…

Remembering a Moody Radio “Voice from the Past”
A major player in Moody Radio dramas of the past, Rex Brenner, went home to be with the Lord on November 24th. Our resident “historian,” Phil Shappard, remembers Rex’s contribution to the ministry:
News has reached us of the passing of Rex Brenner, one of the key dramatic players of Moody Radio spanning over five decades. Rex often mused about coming directly to MBI in 1946, “right off the farm in Michigan.” Listed as Rex Maynard Brenner on the scripts of the very first “Stories of Great Christians” dramatizing the life of Charles Finney, Rex went on to act on many Stories of Great Christians, Sailor Sam and Ranger Bill programs , just to name a few. Not only an actor, Rex went on to direct many of the dramas as well, including work on the Sugar Creek Gang and the Adventures/Bookshelf series of stories. For those who knew and worked with him, Rex was known as a real character with a sense of humor that often caught you off-guard. In the late 80s and the early to mid 90s, Rex served as a resource person for Mike Kellogg providing research and devotional material for the Music thru the Night program. Throughout the years, Rex also made himself available to staff members who wanted to improve their vocal performance. Even though at times a teacher, he was always working with his own voice coach to stay on top with his vocal skills as well! Looking back at his life one can only say Rex Brenner was a uniquely original person who contributed greatly to the success of Moody Radio through a significant period of dramatic and artistic programming.
Take a look at our photo labeled "Group 10" on our Zoomshare pages:
Pictured here are some of the voice actors and actresses of Moody Radio’s past. (Rex is seated on the right.)

RB056 The Ice Prison

It's 30 degrees below zero in the Knotty Pine region. It is not a fit time to be out for man or beast. Even Frenchy DeSalle and his loggers are in their cabins huddled around blazing fires to keep warm. As Frenchy and the boys relax a nearly frozen man knocks at the door. It's Moose McBain. He has walked for three days to tell what he found - a man frozen in Big Pine Lake. Frenchy calls a doctor for Moose and then calls Bill Jefferson. Bill and our rangers come right out to find the frozen man. At the same time, Bill learns that a group of scientists are lost in the Big Pine region. Could this man be part of this party? The rangers will have to make a very dangerously cold trek to Big Pine Lake to find out.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

RB055 A Lesson In Love

10-year-old Toomy Woodruf lives with his grandpa. His parents have died. Grandpa supports the two of them on his small pension. Tommy works as a delivery boy and as a paperboy to help with the expenses at home. Tommy is a happy child and loves his grandpa deeply. Town busybody Mrs. Bixby believes that Tommy should be taken from Grandpa and put in an orphanage. She even asks a judge to get involved. Tommy's teacher Miss Amy asks Bill to help her save the Woodruf home. What can our local chief ranger do in this domestic affair? See all the Knotty Pine folks who get involved in Tommy's welfare.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Knotty Pine Gazette-Thanksgiving news and events

Thanksgiving Harvesting

Wet and cold conditions have dominated the weather news for the last several weeks. Farmers continue to harvest crops late this year. State officials report that soy bean harvest is averaging 90% complete across the state. Corn is only 30% in the barn. State propane dealers are also having trouble meeting demand for propane to run crop driers. Cotton crops are only 10% to 15% harvested and crop losses will make this the worst cotton harvest in 30 years. Ranger Bill Jefferson has stretched his manpower as much as possible to allow his men to continue with the late harvest. Many of the Big Pine Forest's rangers have volunteered to help with harvest until complete. Most will be in the fields at least part of Thanksgiving day today.

Thanksgiving Events:

Morning Worship Service
Churches throughout the Knotty Pine area held services Thanksgiving Eve. Most of these churches joined together on the town square to hold a joint outdoor Thanksgiving service at 9 am this morning. Knotty Pine businesses and stores in and around the town square brightened the service by lighting Christmas lights and store lights. Several hundred attended the morning's worship. Services were concluded with sirens blaring from police cruisers, fire engines, and city hall.

Thanksgiving Dinner
Volunteers from various Knotty Pine organizations will join together from 8am until 8pm this Thanksgiving to provide Thanksgiving breakfasts as well as dinners. This is the 21st year for the free dinners, but the first year for the breakfasts. Many of our volunteers this year will come from the student ranks of Knotty Pine High School. Frenchy Desalle and his loggers have been invited as special guests of Knotty Pine High. Mr. Henry Scott, a student at KPHS suggested the invitation, noting that the loggers and trappers in the Knotty Pine area are often alone at holidays and other special times of the year.

Charity Run
A 10K charity run will begin and end at the visitors parking lot of Big Pine National Forest just a few yards from ranger headquarters there. The run is to raise funds and canned goods for the county food pantry. Runners are asked to contribute a pair of new or good condition shoes as entry fee to the run. The shoes will go to various local charities.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

RB-054 The Marauder of Goose lake

There's trouble at Goose Lake - BIG trouble. Homes and cabins along the lake are being broken into and wrecked. Angry homeowners want Ranger Bill and his boys to see the damage and find the culprit or culprits. Stumpy and Gray Wolf soon find something that they can't believe and don't want to believe. It looks like the biggest grizzly alive has come back, Old Joe. The Goose Lake residents are hopping mad and impatient. They aren't going to wait for Bill to get Old Joe. The men plan to hunt down Old Joe themselves. What is Bill going to do this time? How can he handle a mod of angry citizens and this enormous grizzly?

Monday, November 16, 2009

RB-053 Arson At Brighton College

Bill and Henry take off for the weekend to visit Bill's alma mater Brighton College and enjoy the homecoming football game. Henry is going to Brighton to visit with the college president's son Ronnie Winters. Ronnie keeps getting into trouble and has difficult time owning up to his mistakes. An old building being used as a dorm catches fire and the building's janitor is severely hurt. Fire investigators suspect arson. Later, Bill and Henry spot Ronnie speeding and generally driving dangerously. Is the Brighton fire arson? Could Ronnnie be that arsonist? What can Bill and Henry do to find the fire's cause and the person responsible?

Friday, November 13, 2009

"Catching a Big Fish" poll answers

Thanks to everyone who participated in our "Catching a Big Fish" poll. And congratulations for the many correct answers.
The correct answer to "what was the problem in the forest" is Bark Disease.
And 100% of you got the right answer to the question "what is the new identity of Dr. Black." The correct response is Jay Wassail.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

RB Memories from a Moody Employee

The following are some comments from Larry who worked at Moody in Chicago. I want to thank Larry for taking the time to share his memories of the Ranger Bill cast and crew and for allowing me to post those memories here for you. I think you will really enjoy this:

I started working at Moody Broadcasting in 1977, just after graduating from Wheaton College. Ranger Bill and Sailor Sam were no longer in production, but we were still doing a number of children's radio dramas, including the Sugar Creek Gang, in which I played Big Jim for several years.
Miron Canaday, who played Ranger Bill and Stumpy, was still working there when I started. Walter Carlson, who is the narrator for the show, (and also plays the sheriff, I believe) was the head of the news department at the time. And Rex Brenner, who played dozens of villains and supporting roles, was still working as a freelancer,
producing the remaining radio dramas such as the Sugar Creek Gang and Stories of
Great Christians. I knew all the organists who used to work on Moody dramas: Gil Mead, Lucille Becker, Marybelle Beebe, and Ralph Colburn. “Sailor Sam” (Chuck Christensen) was the head of the broadcasting department in the undergrad school.
I remember finding a tape of the Ranger Bill show that had been recorded the weekend was born: April 1956. We were always trying to salvage the old tapes and make new masters, because the original tapes were in terrible shape. Some of the original programs had to be removed because of technical problems. However, I remember that other Ranger Bill programs were taken out of rotation because of their stereotypical depiction of Indians and Eskimos. I believe we may also have pulled some programs that depicted the use of guns, but I can't say that for sure.
All the old sound effect equipment was still there in the late 70s and still in use, including a contraption with three turntables on it, which could be used to “extend” the old 78 RPM background sound effects by using two tone arms on the same disc. The turntables had variable speeds, which was useful for automobile effects. We also
had a machine that could produce several different types of doorbells and buzzers, and large wooden trays filled with sand and gravel which the sound effects man could walk in. Other highlights were a large old cash register, a full size door, a little wooden contraption with a leather strap on it that could imitate a door squeaking, and a large metal bucket filled with pieces of glass that could be smashed when needed.
There were some blooper reels still in circulation that had outtakes from the shows, including Bill Pearce joking around and announcing…”Sailorrrrrr BILL!”

I've been sending links to your sites to various friends of our generation who knew Ranger Bill. Two of them were sons of WMBI organists, and the father of one, Leigh Robinson, is one of the engineers in the Group_5 picture. The bald guy in Group_3 (at the table) and also in Group_5 is Ken Alspaugh, an engineer who was still working at MBI when I started in 1977. In the engineer's group at the left is Carl Haflinger, who engineered our "Morning Clock" show on WMBI for years.
I also meant to tell you that I knew John McComb (not Combe, I’m pretty sure), who was the sound effects guy. Mike Kellogg at Moody tracked him down in the late 70s and brought him back to do SFX for us again. He was a real craftsman and had a passion for Bach’s church cantatas. (In fact, he persuaded Ruth Dinwiddie to help him produce a whole series about Bach’s cantatas that MBN ran briefly about 30 years ago.) But he was also kind of surly and would get into “snits” with Rex Brenner and our engineer at the time (usually Dennis McGrath, who I recently “friended” on Facebook after 30 years of not being in touch!).

I don’t know where they stored the REAL old scripts. A lot of the scripts from the late 1960s and 70s were bound in library bindings and used to be on a huge bookshelf in the editing room on the 10th floor of Crowell Hall. I would frequently take a look through the old Stories of G.C. scripts, or Fables of Faith, which I also got a kick out
of. (Les Lamborn, who played Bruce the Goose and Beauregard Bear, is also on Facebook, in case you’re a F of F fan.)

Friday, November 6, 2009

RB-052 An Old Horse Learns New Tricks

While on the trail in the back country, Bill's horse and faithful friend Storm becomes ill and eventually collapses. Bill must find a way to get Storm to veterinarian Dr. Clem at State U. Once at the vet clinic, the doctor can't find what's wrong with Storm. Even X-rays don't reveal what the problem is. Bill wants Knotty Pine vet Jeremiah Sutter to examine Storm. The college wont have a backwoods "quack" ruin their reputation by coming there. Can backwoods vet Jeremiah find what's ailing Storm? Can Bill get the college to let Jeremiah look at Storm? Will Storm survive?

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Knotty Pine GAZETTE - Late Harvest

A combination of early snows and late rains have delayed harvest for many of the state's farmers. The rains and snows have also damaged crops and fields, reducing what should have been an average or slightly below average harvest. The tri-county area has been hardest hit by these poor weather conditions. Area farmers are hoping and praying that conditions will improve quickly or crop losses will rapidly rise.
Chief Ranger Bill Jefferson has extended his usual annual offer to allow available rangers assist local farmers with their harvests. Ranger Bill hopes that the extra manpower for farmers will get late harvests in sooner.

Log Jam trivia answers

A "Well Done!" to all of you who answered our Log Jam trivia. Almost all of you answered our two questions correctly.

The correct answers to our two Log Jam questions are:

1. The lumber jacks used pike poles and hob nail boots to ride the logs down the Shady River.
2. The size of the log rafts was 100-tons each.

Friday, October 30, 2009

RB-051 Catching a Big Fish with a Small Hook

Dr. Orlando, the USA's chief nuclear chemist/physicist, is dying and has only a few weeks to live. Dr. Jonathan Black is the only man with the knowledge and experience to be able to replace Dr. Orlando. But Dr. Black disappeared after a lab accident killed his close friend. Secret Service agent Andrew Anderson has been sent to find Dr. Black. Andy is sure that the missing scientist is in the Knotty Pine region. Bill's skills at drawing and fishing may be the keys to finding and catching this most important missing man.

Friday, October 23, 2009

RB-050 The Log Jam

It's springtime along the Shady River. The river is high and swift. And it is also the time of year that the lumber camps send their logs to market down the Shady. Each camp gets its turn to float its logs down the river. Frenchy DeSalle's men are first to float their logs and log rafts downriver or so they think. Ben Larson has accidentally sent some of his logs down at the same time as Frenchy. This creates a massive log jam near Knotty Pine. Tempers begin to flare between the loggers. But then everyone sees the river is flooding from the log jam. Now everything must be done to free the jam and protect the town. Frenchy needs help. Only Ranger Bill and his men will do!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

"New" RB Show Information

I have been incorrectly reporting on information concerning the beginning of the 30-minute Ranger Bill episodes. I apologize because the correct information was right under my nose and I missed it. I would like to thank fellow Ranger Bill fan Wayne for asking some questions that helped me find my mistake.
I had been reporting that RB179 "VIPs Visit Knotty Pine" was probably the very first 30-minute Ranger Bill episode because it had the earliest broadcast date of all the RB shows Moody uses in its two-year cycle for Bill. I am nearly positive that another script Moody Audio has shared with us is the first 30-minute show.
Moody Audio shared some scripts with the Ranger Bill Fan Club that we have posted on our Zoomshare pages. There are the three scripts for the very first Ranger Bill story, "The Pendleton Valley Fire," first aired in October of 1950. We also have the scripts for the two-part half-hour story "The Spirit and the Spirits." We also have one more script, for a story I titled "Escape of the African Animals." This story is about a train wreck in Wildcat Valley in which several wild African animals bound for the Knotty Pine Zoo escape into the wilderness around Knotty Pine. That script is labeled "Script #104" and aired Saturday, Oct. 3, 1952. It appears that this show was the 1952 season opener for Ranger Bill.
If my guess is right, then Moody aired 15-minute Ranger Bills every Monday afternoon for just short of two full years, 103 shows in total. Then beginning in the fall of 1952 Moody went with 30-minute Ranger Bill shows that aired on Saturdays at lunch-time. It also looks as though they produced 32 to 35 Ranger Bill episodes per year from 1952 until the close of production. RB006 "The Fire Bug" pretty much verifies my guess because it is script #168 and aired in mid-August of 1954.
If you will allow me one more assumption, I believe that Moody decided to continue to air Bill in a 4-year cycle and took the most recent 200 shows for that cycle. They then dropped the 65 earliest 30-minute shows along with all of the 15-minute shows. I would say that they had enough material for a 5- or 6-year cycle, if they had so chosen. This is no criticism of Moody. They had to make some decision on what to use and what not to use.
So please, stop by our Zoomshare pages and take a look at "Escape of the African Animals." It is certainly a key story in the Ranger Bill saga!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Frank Keith Poem "For A Little Boy"

Last week's Ranger Bill, "The Man Who Understood" (RB048) quoted a poem by Frank Keith as printed on the headstone of young Wes Morgan, Jr. I have had many requests for this poem in the past. I thought it would be good to share it with you all. may this Keith poem bless you as it has so many others.

"For A Little Boy" by Frank Keith

Be tender to him, Lord, because he is so very small,
And all of us are now beyond his his young and frightened call.

Please, press him gently to Your heart, as we who loved him so
Once held him gently knowing not how swiftly he would go.

Be kind to him. We tried to be within our given time.
Oh, let him play and shout and sing. Let him run and climb.

We know that You are near him, God, as he takes ways unknown.
And You are Love. So where You are he will not walk alone.

And as we age, our cheeks will fade and gray infest our hair.
He will always be the same, forever young and fair.

Friday, October 16, 2009

RB-049 Nature's Vacuum Cleaner

Ranger Bill and weather bureau forecasters Mel and Mike try to get a weather observer system organized in Knotty Pine, with no success. The town's residents refuse to believe that a tornado or anything as dangerous will strike in secluded Shady Valley. To make matters worse, radio announcer Bart Sneed mocks Bill and the weathermen whenever their warnings don't produce a dangerous storm. What will it take to convince the people of Knotty Pine that they need an early warning system?

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Knotty Pine GAZETTE - Snow Buries Rockies

An unexpected, heavy snow buried most of the Rockies Thursday and Friday bringing daily life in Knotty Pine to a temporary halt until roads and sidewalks could be cleared. Several feet of snow fell in the upper elevations of the Shady. Several inches to a foot of snow fell in the tri-county area. State and local road crews have been working around the clock to open snow-clogged arteries. All Knotty Pine schools were closed Friday. Most other schools in the county were closed as well. Ranger Bill Jefferson and his men aided in road clearing. Ranger snow plows, road graders, and of course their Big Brutes worked all day Friday.
One BIG benefit for Knotty Pine from all of the snow is the early opening of the Big Six Lodge as well as all of its ski runs and trails. Residents can either drive directly to the lodge for a day in the snow or they can ride the lodge's new buses and be taxied to Big Six from either City Hall or from the public parking lot adjacent to Ranger Headquarters.

Friday, October 9, 2009

RB-048 The Man Who Understood

Ranger Angus McClain can't or won't control his pain and anger when his son Steve is hit by a car and killed. Angus becomes even more enraged when a judge rules Steve's death an accident. Wes Morgan, the driver of the car that hit Steve, is so sorry for Steve's death and is very understanding of Angus and his pain. Bill can neither neither comfort nor control Angus. Will a tombstone for Steve's grave be the key to Angus' mind and heart?

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Knotty Pine GAZETTE- Churches Aid Pacific

The churches of Knotty Pine have begun a project to aid the victims of the disasters that have damaged homes and cities all across the Pacific this last week. In roughly a week's time, three separate natural disasters have struck. A hurricane blasted the Philippines. A tsunami damaged the islands of Sumatra. And at least two major earthquakes shook Indonesia just northwest of Indonesia's famous 1883 super-volcano Krakatoa.
Knotty Pine Church and Park Road Church had each separately decided to send donations to the Red Cross for the Philippines. The Philippine hurricane became the topic of discussion at ranger headquarters when Ranger Bill Jefferson and his crew heard about the tsunami and quakes in the Pacific. The rangers soon realized that their various churches were planning to aid the Philippines in the disaster. The rangers made some phone calls. Soon their pastors and elders were exchanging information. Representatives of each church in town met at Knotty Pine Church yesterday and finalized plans to send aid and donations to the Red Cross. The first donation will go out to the Red Cross this Monday.

Friday, October 2, 2009

RB-047 The Broken Promise

For the last couple of years, elderly Ezra Newcomb has allowed a hot rod club use the edge of his property as a drag strip for their cars. Ezra is getting too old to run his ranch. So Ezra sold his land to Todd Stone, a wealthy easterner. Ezra made Todd promise to keep the drag strip open for the hot rods. But Todd immediately broke his promise and fenced off the drag strip from the boys. Ezra will move heaven and earth to open the track for the dragsters, but he can't do it alone. So Ezra calls Ranger Bill for help. What can Bill do to make Todd keep his promise and help Ezra keep his promise to the boys?

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Knotty Pine GAZETTE - SAD Strikes Big Pine Forest

Visitors and hikers to Big Pine National Forest here at Knotty Pine will find there is gold missing from the forest. No gold thief or mining operation has taken any of the precious metal out of the hills around Knotty Pine. But many of the Aspen trees in the forest are dying, which means that much of the red and gold Aspen leaves that paint those hills this time of year will not be here this year. SAD, or Sudden Aspen Death, has struck Aspen groves in Big Pine National Forest north of Knotty Pine.
Chief Ranger Bill Jefferson tells the GAZETTE: "The US Forest Service has been aware of the problem of Sudden Aspen Death along the Rockies for the last few years. my rangers and I became aware of SAD in Big Pine late last year. We didn't know how widespread the problem was until late this summer when my staff performed it's annual areal photographic survey of the forest. We use the survey to locate and analyse the extent of problems like tree disease or soil erosion."
"It appears that we have several hundred acres of Aspens suffering from SAD. We will have to find the causes of the problem and begin to cut down and replace diseased trees."
"Aspens are only a small fraction of the trees in Big Pine National Forest but a large portion of the deciduous trees that provide the forest's fall foliage. Most of our trees are evergreens which tend to grow mostly in the higher elevations. The Aspens grow in the valleys along the forest's roads and trails."
Ranger Bill goes on to say: "Our success in protecting the trees from fire and disease may have worked against us with the Aspens. Many of our Aspens are 70 to 80 years old. We have been dealing with drought or near-drought conditions in the West for the last 8 to 10 years. Drought combined with age has stressed the forest's Aspens more than other trees. This has made them susceptible to disease. Our younger Aspens are doing relatively well at this time."
Ranger Bill expects that Aspen recovery and replacement will take several years. But he also believes that a full recovery from SAD is possible.

Chinook winds and the Chinook people

Earlier this summer we aired the Ranger Bill episode Chinook (RB-033). In that story, the warm Chinook winds in the heart of winter melted huge amounts of snow. The melt was threatening Mid-Mountain Dam.
Those Chinook winds mentioned in the story are quite real and every bit as dangerous as mentioned on Ranger Bill. Chinook winds are warm, moist winter winds that blow to the east or southeast from the Pacific Ocean. These Chinooks generally blow across the states of Washington and Oregon. The winds are strong enough that they make it from the ocean to the Rockies. The Chinook winds drop moisture as they rise over the west side of the mountains. This warms the air. Then the air warms further as it travels down the east die of the Rockies from compression. These warm Chinooks can and do cause heavy melting and flooding in winter.
The Chinook winds got their name from the equally powerful Chinook Indian people. The Chinooks were the great trading people of western America. The Chinooks lived in the Washington/Oregon area. But they traded from Alaska all the way to Central and South America. The wealth of goods was legendary across America. Tribes as far away as the Great Plains traveled west to trade with the Chinooks.
The Chinooks were peaceful people, but were nearly wiped out by Europeans. They were not killed off by soldiers with guns and swords. They were killed by European hunters, trappers and traders who brought diseases from Europe that the Indians had no resistance to. The Chinooks barely survived the spread of disease. Only a small group of Chinook Indians remain today.

Friday, September 25, 2009

RB-046 The Handcar Race

The Fireball Express is streaking north toward the Knotty Pine region at 100 miles per hour with 400 souls on board. "Unc" McFadden is the rail dispatcher at Junction City. His job is making sure that the trains under his care get to their destinations safely. That includes the Fireball Express. Heavy rains followed by flash flooding threaten the rail trestles and bridges near Knotty Pine. To be safe, Unc sends a trestle tester engine to check the northern line especially the old trestle over 800-foot-deep Cougar Canyon. What will the tester crew find? This doesn't sound like any kind of a race to me. What does a handcar have to do with the whole problem? And what does this have to do with our rangers?

Sunday, September 20, 2009

How's Your Ranger Bill Memory?

John from Florida wrote to ask:

"In all the years I have listened to Ranger Bill, I do not recall the last three episodes, including this week. [The Crusher, The Old Diehard, and The Road Ghost] Has Moody been issuing programs which had been set aside for a few years?"

I don't know if I can answer John's question definitively. I think that these shows have been part of the regular list of RANGER BILL shows for some time, but I'm not absolutely sure. How about you? Do you know if these three episodes have always been part of the regular rotation of Ranger Bill programs? Or have these and/or possibly other episodes been taken out of the rotation for a time and are still out or have been added again?
If you know or have a good idea what the answer to John's query is, please email me at rangerbillclub@aol.com and I will post your answers here. We'll try this one on our Ranger Bill group on Facebook as well.
Thanks in advance for your help. And good head scratching!

Friday, September 18, 2009

RB-045 The Road Ghost

Buses heading for Knotty Pine are crashing. It's not poor weather or icy roads that are causing these accidents. Bus drivers on the night route from Junction City to Knotty Pine are seeing animals, ghost animals, crossing the road in front of them causing the drivers to swerve and wreck. Gus McDougal will go out of business unless the road ghosts and the wrecks stop. Gus asks Bill and the boys to look into the problem. Are the animals real? Are the road ghosts real? And what can Bill do about ghosts anyway?

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Pet 18-foot Python Found in Florida

Shades of "The Crusher"!!! A 400-lb, 18-foot long, reticulated Burmese python was seized by Florida wildlife officials on Friday. The 16-year-old snake, named Delilah, was seized because the owner did not have the proper permits to keep the snake and the snake's chain-link cage was not secure enough to hold the snake. The snake appeared to be well cared for. It had eaten 7 rabbits for breakfast that morning. The had no signs of disease, pests, mistreatment, injury, or starvation. The snake's mid-section measured 30 inches around.
It took four large, adult men to pick up the snake and place it in a truck for removal from the residence in Apopka, Florida.
Pet snakes are an on-going problem in Florida. Laws have been passed recently in Florida limiting the sale and ownership of snakes. Last year a two-year-old girl was crushed to death by a python much smaller than Delilah.

Friday, September 11, 2009

RB044 The Old Diehard

Ranger Bill and the boys take a trip to State U. to give chemist Dr. Thaddeus Draper some soil samples to test. The fellas walk into an disagreement between Dr. Draper and his grandson Mel. Dr. Draper wants to Mel to follow in his footsteps and become a research chemist. Mel wants to be an agricultural chemist but won't buck his grandfather. Bill sees the tension building between the Drapers. Mel asks for Bill's help with his grandfather. Then Dr. Draper wants Bill to talk Mel into being a research chemist. Bill is between a rock and a diehard. What is he going to do in this situation? Can Bill make either Draper happy, or will both be mad at Bill and at each other?

Monday, September 7, 2009

Missing Hiker Found - Alive!

Missing hiker Daniel Mays, a forestry management student at Brighton college was found by loggers working late yesterday evening just before sunset. Daniel had fallen in a remote area know as Hidden Valley. Daniel had injured a leg and was suffering from hunger and fatigue, but was otherwise OK. Daniel fell near a small stream that provided him with ample drinking water. Strangely one of the logger's dogs from a crew run by Frenchy DeSalle had found Daniel and even brought Daniel some food scraps. The loggers went to find the dog when it did not come for dinner on time and discovered the pup caring for Daniel.
Ranger Bill and his crew arrived to provide first aid and to get Daniel air-lifted to safety at Knotty Pine Hospital. Daniel is doing well at KPH and hopes to see the pup and all the men involved in his rescue.

Little-known RB facts

Joel, one of our Facebook friends, mentioned two items that you may not remember or be aware of.
First, did you know that Stumpy has a long, white beard? Stumpy mentions that in RB183 Mystery Island, Mystery Man. Bill and Stumpy take a long-needed vacation cruise in the Caribbean in that show. This is the show where the ship's captain takes passengers on a tour of an island that he says mysteriously appeared out of nowhere.
Joel also mentioned that he found something in RB177 He Broke through the Ice that was new to him. In that show, Henry prayed to be able to forgive the boys that caused Bill and his car to plunge under the ice on the Shady River and drown Bill. Joel mentioned that he just realized that immediately after that prayer, a man arrives who is caring for Bill who managed to barely escape being trapped under the ice and is suffering badly from the effects of that.
Can you think of a little Ranger Bill fact that most people may have overlooked? Have you ever had one of those "Ah-Ha" moments while listening to a show? Why don't you share that with us? Email me at rangerbillclub@aol.com or leave a note on our Ranger Bill Facebook page. I'd love to include your note here and on Facebook. Who knows what we might learn about our favorite forest rangers!

Blessed Labor Day!!!

A Blessed and Happy Labor Day to all our Ranger Bill friends from Ranger Bill, Stumpy, Gray Wolf, and Henry!!!
Our rangers will be hard at work today on this last official day of summer. Bill and the boys will be watching over all the visitors, campers, and backpackers, as well as the trees, at Big Pine National Forest. Over the next week Bill will begin to scale back summer work and prepare for fall, especially fire fighting efforts.

Friday, September 4, 2009

RB-043 The Crusher

An Airfreight plane crash lands at Knotty Pine Airport. The plane's cargo is placed in a hanger for security and for inspection. An airport tower operator is killed while inspecting the plane's cargo for damage. The man appears to have been crushed to death by some animal. Bill and the rangers are called in to find and capture whatever killed the airport worker. What killed the man? Can the boys identify the killer? Will it kill again? Can the rangers find this menace before it finds them?

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Title Correction

I got an email from Ranger Bill fan Jeremy asking me about the correct title for RB039 "Mrs. Kane." I mistakenly wrote the title as "Mrs. Kane Wins THE War." The correct title according to Moody and in the show's opening is "Mrs. Kane Wins A War." As I told Jeremy, I have been making that mistake for years and have always failed to fix my notes when someone catches that.
So thanks Jeremy for that email. My notes are now correct! ;)

Blessings to all,

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Ranger Bill Anniversary Celebration!!!

It may be hard to believe, but RANGER BILL will officially turn 60 on October 2, 2010!!! To celebrate this milestone in Ranger Bill's career, The Ranger Bill Fan Club is starting the Ranger Bill "You CAN Do It" Celebration. The club is asking YOU members and all YOU who love and listen to Ranger Bill to say thanks for all the RANGER BILL fun and adventure YOU have enjoyed by supporting HisKids, or Moody Broadcasting, or your local Christian radio station in a RANGER BILL way. Try recycling aluminum cans or newspaper and taking the money you make from recycling and donating that. Donate a RANGER BILL CD to your church library or your local public library. You could even buy and plant a tree for Ranger Bill (maybe a pine tree!) with some recycling money. This is strictly my (Ranger Dave's) idea. None of the organizations mentioned above are part of or have any knowledge of this RANGER BILL project. If you have any suggestions for RANGER BILL "You CAN Do It" projects, send them to me at rangerbillclub@aol.com and I'll mention them in future notes regarding this 60th anniversary.
If you can't participate in the Ranger Bill "You CAN Do It" Celebration, then please take the time to mention Ranger Bill to a friend and let them know that Ranger Bill is available here at the club's Blogger site any time 24/7.
Yes Ranger Bill made its debut on a Monday afternoon in 1950 on Moody Radio with Pendleton Valley Fire. Pendleton Valley Fire was a three-part story broadcast in 15-minute segments. Part one of the story really featured Col. Anders who was leading fire fighting teams in the valley. It really wasn't until part two that we got to hear from Bill and Henry. Stumpy and Gray Wolf would join the team in subsequent episodes.
I need to also mention that the 200+ half-hour Ranger Bill stories that we all know and love so well began in 1954. So our 30-minute episodes are celebrating 55 years on the air!
There's just one more anniversary I need to mention. The Ranger Bill Fan Club's web site just turned 6 years old on the 4th of July. Thanks so much for your interest in and support of Ranger Bill. Your weekly support and your emails make operating this blog site most enjoyable and rewarding.
Have a wonderful and blessed day!

In Christ,
Ranger Dave

Friday, August 28, 2009

RB-042 Forest Fire

A warm spell late in the winter has melted most of the snow in the forests and left the forest litter exposed and tinder dry. A huge thunderhead shoots lightening throughout the regions south of Knotty Pine. The fire tower rangers are on their toes waiting to see if any of the lightening starts a fire. They don't have to wait long before not one but ten separate large forest fires are going. The towns of Silver Springs and Claytown are surrounded by fire and their citizens are trapped. The southern district rangers can't fight these blazes alone. They call Bill and his men and equipment to control the fires. This is one of the biggest fires the state has ever had. And to top it off, the train bringing equipment from Knotty Pine breaks down. Can Bill get these fires under control or will rangers and innocent citizens die?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Ranger Horses Well Trained

A ranger candidate must take some rigorous training to become a ranger. A candidate must go through six weeks of police academy followed by ranger school just to become a ranger. A ranger must then take special classes in areas where he might be assigned, such as first aid or search and rescue. The ranger's training doesn't end there. At various times during each year, a ranger will take special classes to update or braoden his skills and knowledge.
A ranger's best friend, his horse, has to pass training that is just as tough, if not tougher than what his ranger gets. A ranger's mount will probably take two to four months of training. The ranger horse must remain calm and in control and do his job in any situation. A horse must be able to deal with horns, firecrackers, running children, objects blocking his vision, and even someone pulling his tail. All this training is much more difficult for a horse than any kind of show training. It's necessary because the ranger's horse may have to face any of those distractions while patrolling several miles of varied terrain, carrying his ranger securely.
A ranger and his horse can cover more miles of woods and trails than several men on foot. They may have a better chance of finding a lost child or hiker. The horse gives a ranger a better vantage point for observing the park. A horse is an ambassador to the public, making it much easier for the public and the ranger to make contact and get along. A horse may even be cheaper than a jeep to maintain.
So the next time you see rangers or police officers riding their mounts down your street for a parade, consider the training and hard work both man and horse go through to guard and protect you the public and the lands they patrol!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Piggyback Homes Built in Junction City

The union of Canyon City Truck Lines and the railroad in piggyback delivery service to the mountainous and snowy regions of the state has lead to a new home construction service in Junction City. Leonard Grant, owner of Canyon City Truck Lines, heard about a new idea for use of steel shipping containers (truck trailers, etc.), converting those containers; which are 40 feet long, 8 feet wide, and 9 feet tall; into safe and easily transportable homes. These container-homes could be quickly and easily transported to storm-ravaged places such as New Orleans on a train by piggyback service. The home could then be driven to a foundation and bolted to metal mounts in the foundation.
Container homes can withstand buffeting from 175 mph winds and days of soaking from flooding. Plasterboard walls and carpeting may be all that might need to be replaced from a flood or hurricane.
To make a container home, a shipping container has door and window openings cut out and the cut-outs recycled. The container can then be constructed to look like any other home or can be left "plain" for an industial look.
Mr. Grant is setting up container construction in Junction City for distribution all over the country. Keep you eyes open the next time to wait at a train crossing. You may just get to see your next home riding piggyback on that train!!!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Blue Mountain Tunnel Approved

The state legislature has approved the construction of a train tunnel to be bored through Blue Mountain by means of a tunnel boring machine(TBM). Rail officials tell the GAZETTE that Big Rock Mining LLC currently has the lead bid in for the Blue Mountain Tunnel.
The GAZETTE contacted Big Rock Mining about their construction plans for the Blue Mountain Tunnel. Big Rock president Samuel Flemming informed the paper that plans are to use their largest TBM called "Big Alice" also called "Teeny" by it's operating team. Mr. Flemming also mentioned that boring should begin on the north side of Blue Mountain. Big Rock plans to use Knotty Pine as its operations headquarters.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Missing Hiker in Big Pine Forest

A search is currently under way for missing hiker Daniel Mays. Daniel is a 21-year-old student at Brighton College, alma mater of Ranger Bill. Daniel arrived as part of a group of forestry students studying forest management and soil erosion prevention. Daniel apparently went hiking into the deep woods alone without notifying rangers or school officials of his plans. Deep woods rangers and SAR (Search And Rescue) teams are currently searching the deep woods due north of the public camping facilities in Big Pine.
Ranger Bill is grateful that each year the ranger staff is augmented by is summer volunteers, many of Big Pine's deep woods rangers and fire tower watchers. The summer fire tower watchers are almost solely female volunteers headed by Jane Reeves. These "petticoat rangers," as they have come to be known, free up full-time rangers for other summer work such as search and rescue. Ranger Bill says the fire tower watchers are invaluable to him and his rangers.
(Hear more about much of the above on RB053 Arson at Brighton College, RB085 The Deep Country, and RB107 Petticoat Rangers.)

The Big Pine Snowmobile

This week's episode The Jealous Stepfather begins with our rangers returning home to Knotty Pine down a remote snow-covered road. The boys are not riding horses or driving a jeep or truck. They are riding in the comfort of Big Pine's "snowmobile."
When I think of a snowmobile I picture something like a motorcycle on snow tracks and skis with seating for a rider and maybe a passenger. The Big Pine "snowmobile" that Ranger Bill and the boys built is nothing like my idea of a snowmobile.
Ranger Bill's "snowmobile" is actually a station wagon or SUV size car on great big skis. And this snow car doesn't use snow or tank tracks to get around. It uses a propeller like an airplane! The best way to describe this is to say it's an airboat or swamp buggy on snow. An airboat is a flat-bottomed boat that uses an aircraft type propeller to push the boat around swamps, everglades, and bayous. The "snowmobile" is pushed over the snow by a propeller on the rear. Bill's snow car keeps going in all kinds of weather and on all kinds of ice and snow. It is the winter workhorse of Big Pine National Forest.
You can hear about the "snowmobile" in RB034 Piggyback, this week's RB041 The Jealous Stepfather, and RB203 A Miss Is As Good As A Mile.

Ranger Bill mp3s at Moody Audio

Moody Audio now has five new Ranger Bill stories (8 episodes in all) for sale on their web site, individually or as part of CD #5. Go to our club web page (http://rangerbillclub.blogspot.com) to see summaries of these stories. Two shows are single-episode stories and three are two-part. One story is "The Spirits and the Spirit." Another is about a haunted church and organ and a third about Frenchy DeSalle and a man named Boris "The Bear." Go to the Moody Audio web page to order CDs and individual mp3s at www.moodyaudio.com. All of these shows probably haven't been aired in over 40 years. Moody Audio now offers 214 RB episodes on 5 CDs.

Moody Audio also offers 37 Sailor Sam stories. Each story consists of approximately 10 15-minute episodes, or over 2 hours of Sailor Sam per story.

Friday, August 21, 2009

RB-041 The Jealous Stepfather

It's the end of a cold day on a deserted road. Our rangers are driving back to Knotty Pine after a long day in the forest. They are just starting to get warm in the "snowmobile" when they pass a young boy walking out of town into the forest. The fellas pick up the boy, who reluctantly agrees to go back to town but not home. This young man Gary has been verbally abused and beaten by his stepfather. The stepfather Jake has trouble controlling his anger and lashes out at home and at work. Instead of getting angry at Jake, Bill is willing to help both Gary and Jake. But will Jake be willing or able to change his life - even with help? Jake's and Gary's lives both depend upon it!

By the way, the ranger snowmobile is very unusual. Look for some news about it in my next blog.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Knotty Pine GAZETTE - Worker Injured 2000 ft Straight Up

A worker on the new 2000-foot TV tower under construction east of the small town of Bent Creek was injured today. The construction crew was hoisting the main television antenna to the top of the tower when a sudden gust of wind caused the $200,000 antenna to sway and crush the worker against the tower. The worker was knocked unconscious and left hanging by his safety harness 2000 feet off the ground while the 11,000 lb antenna continued to sway. Fire rescue crews were unable to use the tower's elevator (a 6-ft triangular platform hoist) to reach the injured man because the tower's electrical power was knocked out by falling debris from the antenna.
Chief Ranger Bill Jefferson along with Ranger Gray Wolf of Big Pine National Forest near Knotty Pine were called in to rescue the injured tower worker. The two rangers flew by forest service "yellow banana" helicopter directly from Knotty Pine to the Bent Creek tower site. After several hours of climbing, Ranger Bill and Gray Wolf were able to reach the injured man. The rangers gave the man emergency first aid immediately to make him more comfortable for his return to the ground. The rangers with the assistance of other tower workers also trapped on top of the tower placed the injured man in a protective carrier. The rangers and tower workers then slowly lowered the injured man down through the tower. Power was restored to the tower and elevator at this time. The elevator was able to meet the rangers and their charge about half way up the tower. The three men were able to ride the elevator the final 100 feet to the ground. The forest service chopper life flighted the injured man to Central City Hospital. The worker is reported in fair condition and is expected to make a full recovery. The name of the injured man was not released to the press.

New Train Tunnel Proposed

The railroad has sent a proposal to the governor's office in Central City for a railroad tunnel to be bored through Blue Mountain in the Savage Mountain Range. This tunnel will shorten the rail route going north and south on the western half of the state.
The northwest region's rail manager tells the GAZETTE that the tunnel will be cut through the mountain by a tunnel boring machine (TBM). A TBM is a train-sized piece of equipment with a large circular cutting frame with 240-lb cutting teeth. The TBM braces itself against the walls of the tunnel as it cuts away at the mountain rock.
The railroad has several bids for the project on the table awaiting approval from the state. State officials say that this tunnel project will provide much quicker and safer rail travel and will give the state's economy a much needed boost.

A Ranger's Best Friend

If you've been a listener to Ranger Bill for any length of time, then you will be familiar with the following names: King, Bess, Maude, Matilda, and of course Storm. These are the names of the Big Pine National Forest's ranger horses. As in this week's story, Stumpy Gets 30 Days, ranger horses contribute an important part of the work and daily activities of our rangers - riding trail, herding animals, searching for missing hikers and campers, security and crowd control, carrying food and equipment, even marching in parades, and so much more.
I was curious what rangers look for in a horse. Do rangers use thoroughbred horses? How is a ranger horse trained? I asked Tennessee park ranger Marty Silver those questions. And Marty directed my questions to long-time horseman and park ranger Thurman Mullins. The following is an email Thurman sent me recently:

Our friend Marty Silvers forwarded your e-mail to me and asked me to respond. I love all breeds of horses and I guess at one time or the other have owned or worked the majority of breeds. At present I manage a Ranch in my other life and we raise American Quarter Horses and American Paint Horses which are extremely versatile and are used in some areas of the country for any and all Ranger type duties. The US Park Service primarily uses Thoroughbreds or at least they were when I attended their Training program in the early 1970's.
I was asked in 1973 to put together a Horse Mounted Program for Tennessee State Parks. We were fortunate that we had a versatile animal named after the State being The Tennessee Walking Horse. Although all animals are individuals, typically, the Tennessee Walking Horse breed is noted for a great temperament, an easy ride and easily trained for Patrol duties. In Tennessee State Parks they also provided a great opportunity for a living history program. We purchased the original horses but soon received quality donation horses and equipment from the Walking Horse Owners Association and the Tennessee Walking Horse Owners, Breeders and Exhibitors Association. The Carolyn Cross Family, the John Dunn Family, the Red Epps Family, The Bob Womack Family, Bob Cherry and others saw the advertising advantages of seeing their breed on display in Tennessee's State Parks and this was a big help in the initial years. Author and Artist Jack Knox (now deceased) spoke at our first training sessions and Rangers were furnished with his book on the Tennessee Walking Horse.
The primary reason it seemed to me that the US Park Police liked the Thoroughbreds was the consistent height more than any other factor. Many of the agencies across the Nation will argue the advantages of the American Paint, the American Quarter Horse or whatever breed they may be using and they are great versatile horses. Depending on the part of the country I was in, would have a great deal to do with my selection of a mount. I ranched 3500 acres in Tamulipas, Mexico several years ago and the terrain would go from desert to Jungle and our mount of choice were small mules.
Hope this helps and feel free to contact me if I may provide further information,
Thurman Mullins, Long Hunter State Park

Thurman also sent me several photos and newspaper and magazine articles about ranger horses. I will post some of that information in blogs over the next few weeks on the subject of A Ranger's Best Friend.

Friday, August 14, 2009

RB-040 Stumpy Gets 30 Days

If you love Stumpy then this show is one you can't miss! This Ranger Bill episode is a fan favorite, and you'll see why in Stumpy Gets 30 Days!
It's winter and the snows are deep. The rangers are moving a herd of buffalo to good grazing land. A young bull in the herd gets upset with Stumpy and his horse Maude. Bill and Henry see the bull too late. It gores both Stumpy and Maude, then prceeds to roll on Stumpy crushing his chest!!! Stumpy is rushed to the emergency room with little life or will to live in him. If the Old Timer lives will he have the strength and the will to go on? What can Bill and his rangers do to keep their dear friend alive? They begin with prayer.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Saturday Music Fest at River Races

Knotty Pine will host another of its popular Music Fests this Saturday evening following the River Races. Several area bands and singing groups are on the roster for the evening. But the highlight of the evening will be the amateur jug band competition. The GAZETTE has learned the local favorites the Knotty Pine Rangers headed by long-time ranger Stumpy Jenkins, will be competing in the jug band competition. There will be a number of opportunities for the public to sing along to old and new music.
The Knotty Pine town square will serve as a food court for this weekend's River Races. A picnic area with picnic tables will surround the green. All sorts of family activities are there for a fun time for the entire family. So stop by for a great weekend of boat racing, food, family fun, and great music and singing.

RB039 Mrs. Kane Wins the War

Mrs. Kane is a widow who lives alone in her home on the outskirts of Knotty Pine. Two gangs, the River gang and the Hill gang, are both hanging out on Mrs. Kane's ten acres of woods. The gangs are fighting one another for control of Mrs. Kane's land. Mrs. Kane calls the sheriff one evening when the gangs battle. Both gangs decide to scare or even hurt the widow to get their own way. Mrs. Kane is hurt when the gangs both show up at the same time to vandalize her home. She prefers to give the boys tea and cookies rather than have the boys arrested. What are Bill and the sheriff going to do to protect Mrs. Kane and end the gang violence? Why won't Mrs. Kane teach these boys a lesson?

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

GAZETTE - Boat Races on Shady River

Residents of Knotty Pine and others up and down the Shady River are in for a real treat this summer. Knotty Pine will host riverboat races on the Shady River. These races will pit the River Queen, owned by Andy Coogan, against the Mountain Streak, owned by Jim Gunderson. Stern-wheel boatmen Coogan and Gunderson have been long-time competitors and bitter rivals until recent events nearly destroyed Coogan's ship.
Both Gunderson and Coogan have taken freight and passengers from Knotty Pine to Mirror Lake and the King's Islands. Chief Ranger Bill Jefferson refused Coogan's passenger license earlier this year for poor maintenance (see RB032 Floating Death Trap). Not long after, Coogan's boat caught fire moving freight on Mirror Lake.
Mr. Coogan tells the GAZETTE that the boat fire along with much support from Ranger Bill and his rangers made a major change in Coogan's life. "I was not satisfied with cutting corners to make a profit," stated Coogan. "My attitude about God and my relationship with the Almighty changed for the better. I decided to quit cutting corners and live a God-pleasin' life. Me and Jim Gunderson patched things up between us, and now we're good friends. And I didn't just get the River Queen repaired. I got her fixed up good. Now she looks and works like a brand new boat."
Andy's River Queen is now one of the most powerful and fastest ships on the Shady River.
The new and improved River Queen got Jim Gunderson to make a few changes of his own. "I decided the Mountain Streak needed some improvements like the River Queen if I was gunna stay in competition with Coogan," commented Gunderson. "So I got my engine fixed up like Andy did, so I could keep up with the River Queen."
Soon the two friendly competitors were having fun racing their ships. Folks along the Shady River started rooting on the two ships as they raced (with Ranger Bill's written permission) from Knotty Pine to Mirror Lake. There will be one race each weekend for at least the next four weeks between the two ships. Other ship owners along the river have gotten word of the Ranger Races, as they are unofficially called, and want to add races of their own. Ranger Bill says that permission for the races should be no problem.
City officials say that radio and TV stations from around the state have been flooding city hall with requests for further information on the Ranger Races. The mayor expects a large increase in visitor traffic for the races.

Friday, July 31, 2009

RB038 Set the Record Straight

Miss Anderson is the teacher at Beaver Creek Elementary School. Two of her students, Justin Alexander and Peter Kloss, who are not paying attention in class and may fail if their work doesn't improve. The boys' only interest is sports and creating plays for those sports. The boys' fathers were college athletes whose only interest is also sports. Justin's and Peter's dads petition the school board to have Miss Anderson fired. The men accuse Miss Anderson of being prejudiced against sports because she is physically handicapped. Then the fathers convince other parents that Miss Anderson is an unfit teacher. What can Bill do to help Miss Anderson defend herself and keep her job? What will Miss Anderson do in the face of all this public opposition?

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

How much does that choo choo cost?

I thought you might be interested in just how much a typical train with 100 to 130 cars might cost if you were considering purchasing one.

Let's start with the train's engine, or more correctly engines. It is likely that your train will need four engines, two pulling and two more pushing the cars. And those pusher engines require computers with software that controls and limits how hard those engines push to keep those engines from derailing the train. Your engines will cost roughly $1.65 million to over $2.0 million each depending on the extras in each. So engines will cost you a total of roughly $8 million.

Then there are those 100 or so cars you need. One box car will be $86,000 - $96,000. Coal cars are $72k to $82k a piece. Your typical tanker car is $80k. A standard grain car is $75k. Those piggy-back cars come in sets of three at a cost of $175k - $200k or in sets of five at a cost of $250k - $275K. That means you will have to spend about $9 million for your 130 cars.

That gives you a grand total of $17 million for your very own freight train.

Now if you feel that hauling passengers would be better and cheaper for you, consider this. Engines for commuter trains start at $2.5 million and go over $4 million. Passenger cars cost from $1.8 million to over $3.5 million each. You can see that it doesn't take too many engines and passenger cars to equal or top the price of a good sized freight train.

Maybe we are all better off letting the railroads purchase their own trains and we will simply take advantage of the goods and services these good folks provide.

Junction City Railroad Days

Junction City Railroad Days begin this Friday, July 31, at 4:00pm. There will be activities and games for young and old in the town square. The railroad will be exhibiting its newest and fastest engines at the rail yard on the north side of town. All sorts of classic trains, such steam engines, will be in Junction City courtesy of several train collectors from around the country. Also an array of various types of cars from coal and hopper cars to tankers to box cars to flat cars. And what would Railroad Days be without intermodal cars. Maybe you know intermodal by their more common name, piggy-back cars. Catch the latest piggy-back cars, containers (i.e. truck trailers) are stacked two high on well cars that are flat cars with short walls that give the cars extra rigidity and strength.
Railroad Days are sponsored by the railroad and Canyon City Truck Lines. Leonard Grant, truck line owner, and Spencer Neihoff, railroad manager, came up with the idea for Railroad Days ever since Chief Ranger Bill Jefferson convinced these two men to combine the efforts of both businesses to improve delivery service in all kinds of weather. By the way Ranger Bill will be the event host Friday.
Bus service will be provided for Railroad Days events around Junction City all weekend. Also most communities in the tri-county area have arranged bus trips to and from Railroad Days. Knotty Pine is no exception. There will be one bus to Railroad Days on Friday afternoon and two buses each day on Saturday and Sunday.

Friday, July 24, 2009

RB037 The Shortage

Ranger accountant John Peterson has become distant and irritable. Then he disappears one evening. His wife asks Bill to find John and his problem. John is an honest, hard-working man. He does excellent work for the forest service and has his books audited annually. But John has a major problem. He has a shortage in the books of several thousand dollars and can't find the mistake anywhere. What can Bill and the boys do to get John out of this problem? Will Bill tell on John? See that figures really don't lie.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

"Sleeping Death" note

If you are like me, then you may not know much about the disease sleeping sickness. I thought that sleeping sickness was a disease only found in very hot, humid climates in places like Africa or lands close to the equator. I also thought that the tsetse fly was the only carrier of the illness.
Actually that is only partially true. Sleeping sickness (Its medical name is African trypanosomiosis.) is only found in Africa and is passed by the bite of the tsetse fly. A special form of the illness in animals is called animal African trypanosomiosis. Also several conditions that cause lethargy in man are referred to as sleeping sickness or medical fatigue.
But back in the 1910's and 1920's another form of sleeping sickness swept the entire world. It is an unusual form of encephalitis (a disease that attacks the brain) called encephalitis lethargica. This form of encephalitis spread quickly all over the world and lasted more than 10 years. It disappeared as quickly as it appeared and has not been seen in the world since. This sleeping sickness was also spread by mosquitoes just as in this week's story. There doesn't seem to be any fear of this form of sleeping sickness coming back. The disease may have had genes that quickly mutated helping it to survive and spread as it did. But the mutation process apparently eventually killed off encephalitis lethargica.
The writers of Ranger Bill worked hard to write stories that were in the news at that time or were historically correct. I think this is one of those historically based shows that we don't have much knowledge of today.

Geocities closing

Later this year Geocities will be closing up all but a small portion of its web pages including some of our pages there. We are in the process of moving everything we have on Geocities to Zoomshare. Very little will change in the move. We hope this will not inconvenience you. If you have any trouble locating any of our Ranger Bill information, please contact us at rangerbillclub@aol.com and we will get you the pages you are looking for or the information you need.

In Christ,

Ranger Dave

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Knotty Pine GAZETTE - More 3C and WPA Revelations

Big Pine Information Ranger Rocky McGuire shared with the GAZETTE that CCC building efforts in and around Big Pine National Forest must be described as huge. The Civilian Conservation Corps team known as Camp Shady built numerous buildings during the Great Depression. Some of the construction included Ranger Headquarters, all of the fire towers in Big Pine, the Big Pine Gift Shop/General Store, as well as Big Pine's parking area, camping site, and camper park. As mentioned in previous articles, the 3Cs also planted thousands of pine trees, repaired erosion damage and fixed drainage.
Ranger McGuire was able to verify that a second CCC camp composed mostly of members of local Indian tribes worked on the northern regions of Big Pine. She surprised Ranger Gray Wolf with a plaque authorized by Ranger Bill Jefferson and the Forest Service. The plaque recognizes the work of Gray Wolf's Dakota tribe. Ranger Gray Wolf along with the rest of the Knotty Pine staff traveled to Gray Wolf's tribe to present the plaque and thank the tribe for their hard work in Big Pine.
WPA crews were also hard at work in the Shady River region during the Depression. WPA stands for the Work Progress Administration. These crews built the huge Mid-Mountain Dam which provides millions of watts of electrical power to much of the state. That power changed the face of the Shady Valley. Readily-available, inexpensive power allowed the region to grow and prosper. Knotty Pine grew from a small crossroads village with a general store to the community we all know and love today. Electrical power allowed 3C Camp Shady to build the Big Six Lodge and ski lift which is a major tourist attraction for Knotty Pine.
Ranger Bill would again like to remind readers the God does work good in the midst of hard times like the Great Depression.
This is the final article on the 3C Boys and Knotty Pine. Please e-mail us and let us know what you thought of the story and let us know if you'd like to see more stories like it.
Have a blessed day in Christ.

Friday, July 17, 2009

RB-036 Sleeping Death

Mosquitoes are spreading Sleeping Sickness rapidly around Central City. Local officials begin mosquito spraying immediately. But their efforts are not enough. District Chief Ranger Ralph Hodges helps with the equipment he has, but that isn't enough either. Hodges contacts the Knotty Pine's Northwest District Ranger Bill for more planes and trucks for spraying. Spraying is not coordinated or effective. Ralph asks Bill to try to fix all the problems. Then more trouble arises, a rancher Sy Boone won't let Bill's men and sprayers on his land. All the hard work will be for nothing if Bill can't get spraying organized and also get access to the rancher's lands.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

RB-035 Henry for Mayor

It's Youth Week at Knotty Pine High, and Henry has a "Thorny" problem - Thornton Newcastle, that is. Henry is running for Youth Week mayor against young Mr. Newcastle. Thornton is the son of a big businessman and used to getting his way. Thorny is worried that Henry will win the mayor's race because of Henry's popularity at school. Henry is on the swim team and has the best grades in math. Thornton steals Henry's math notes and accuses him of cheating. Now Henry may not only lose the race but also kicked off the swim team and flunk math. Bill can't go to Henry's aid or he will interfere with the Youth Week. Henry must stand up for himself. But what can he do to defend his good name?

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Knotty Pine GAZETTE - Flanigan Box and 3C Boys

This is part two in the series about the 3C Boys and their connection to Big Pine National Forest.
In part one of this story, the GAZETTE reported that the locked box found at the Ranger Bill Jefferson residence belonged to the brother of Knotty Pine resident Maggie Murphy, John "Jack" Flanigan. Mrs. Murphy opened the box with a key belonging to her late brother. Inside the box were some letters from the Flanigan family to Jack during his time in Knotty Pine with the CCCs, The Civilian Conservation Corps, also Jack's diary and some photos of 3C Boys.
Ranger Bill commented that the story of Jack Flanigan and the 3C Boys found in Jack Flanigan's diary shows "God working all things together for good to those who love God" (Romans 8:28).
Maggie told the GAZETTE that her family lived in Ohio in the town of The Falls in the 1930's during the Great Depression. Maggie's father Ian had a factory job in Cleveland. He used to take a trolley called the Dootle Bug to work every day. As the Depression deepened, Ian's company lost business and he was laid off. Maggie was just a baby at the time. The Flanigans had little to eat. The kids were getting sick from malnutrition. Thousands were out of work all across the country. Charities ran out of food and money to help the poor and unemployed. Newly elected President Roosevelt created the CCCs as one way to help folks.
Maggie's oldest brother Jack had some struggles of his own. He stopped going to church. He began to hang around with a bad gang. He told his family that he stopped trusting God. But then a ray of hope came to the Flanigans. Jack was old enough for the CCCs and signed up. He was accepted in the corps and left for a little unknown town near the Rockies called Knotty Pine. His family couldn't even find Knotty Pine on the map, but Jack went there anyway. Jack worked hard in Knotty Pine, but he was well fed and had warm clothed. He grew strong and healthy. And he told his family all about this lovely little farm town and the friends he made in the 3Cs. And each month the Flanigans got a $25 check from the government for Jack's work in the 3Cs.
Jack had two friends in the corp, Paul and Bruce. The CCC leaders made sure that any boy who wanted could go to church. Paul and Bruce went every week. They kept telling Jack about God's love in Jesus until the seeds they planted began to grow. Jack started to go to Knotty Pine Church from time to time. Then it was every week. Jack had found his faith once more.
Jack learned carpentry and cabinet making along with Paul and Bruce. They built the big table at Ranger Headquarters, also Bill's desk, Jack's box and one just like it for Maggie . They also built the cabinets at the CCC leaders' house, which is now the Jefferson residence. Jack was allowed to keep his box there in the attic for safe keeping.
Jack forgot his memories box in all the excitement and confusion when the Camp Shady was closed and everyone was sent home. Jack joined the Army during World War II. When he left for the service he gave little Maggie her own memories box and a necklace with the key to both boxes on the end of the chain. Jack died in the war. He never told Maggie where his box was.
The Flanigans had fallen in love with Knotty Pine during Jack's time there. They finally did find the Shady Mountains were located and moved there. Maggie's dad got a good job on the Johansen farm. Maggie eventually grew up and became Mrs. Maggie Murphy. Jack's box was eventually forgotten about until Henry Scott found it in the Jefferson attic.
In the next installment of this story, you will find out about another CCC camp at Big Pine Forest and other Depression era New Deal work at Knotty Pine.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Knotty Pine GAZETTE - Big Pine Origins Revealed

Boxes and a shovel found at Ranger Headquarters have helped reveal much of the history of Big Pine National Forest. At least one, and probably two or more Civilian Conservation Corps camps were organized in the Knotty Pine District. Camp 1, as it was officially known, was nicknamed Camp Shady.
Many of the forested areas in the Shady Valley suffered from overlogging and forest fires that burned hundreds of acres. Approximately three fourths of the region's trees had been lost, and erosion caused further damage. Nothing had been done to repair or replace those pines until the CCC camp was established at Knotty Pine.
The boys at Camp Shady planted thousands of trees, repaired erosion damage, and dug ditches and creeks to prevent erosion. The boys also built Ranger Headquarters, including its fireplace of rock from all over the Shady Valley.
Camp Shady began as a military style tent camp. As time went along, the boys were moved into some of the Knotty Pine warehouses that the boys converted into barracks. The boys were well fed and warmly clothed. The Ranger Bill Jefferson home was home to the commanders at Camp Shady.
The 3C Boys were paid a modest $30 per month. $25 of that was sent to each boy's family to help support the family during the Depression. $5 went directly to each boy for personal expenses. Knotty Pine was a tiny one-horse farm town struggling to survive during the Depression. The money spent by the 3C Boys and to run Camp Shady kept Knotty Pine from disappearing at that time.
The boys were paid more than just $30 per month. Many boys has little or no education. Many could not read or write. Few had any working skills. The boys at Camp Shady were taught to read and write and learned trades like plumbing, carpentry, drafting, surveying and more during the evening hours. Many of these classes were held at Ranger Headquarters and at the Jefferson home.
The volume of information on Big Pine and the 3C Boys was too large for one article. So the GAZETTE editors have decided to break this into a series of articles. The editors felt that this information was too important to skip any of the details. Look forward to information on the Maggie Murphy family connection to Big Pine. Also Information Ranger Rocky McGuire has found more details on the CCC in Knotty Pine and another Depression era program, the WPA.

Weekly Ranger Bill Updates

Ranger Dave sends out a weekly Ranger Bill update. The update gives information on the show for the week and for the next two episodes. The update also contains a little show trivia, news from Knotty Pine, as well as news about other His Kids broadcasts and Sailor Sam.
Email the club to receive your Ranger Bill weekly update at rangerbillclub@aol.com.

Friday, July 3, 2009

RB-034 Piggyback

Leonard Grant's Canyon City Truck Lines are struggling to survive. His trucks can't handle the combination of mountainous roads and heavy snow and ice during the winters in and around the Knotty Pine area. In addition to tough roads, Len's trucks must compete against the railroads who can get in any sort of weather. Len buys new trucks with special gears for icy weather. The trucks also have road sanding equipment installed. The trucks are even traveling in groups of three for safety.
The railroads are having troubles of their own. They can't provide door-to-door service that their customers get from Len's trucks. And they aren't making money on many of their contracts.
Len's men and the railroad workers are fighting and arguing constantly. Can Bill do something, anything, to bring peace and harmony to this situation? Can he find any way for both companies to keep business and do it profitably?

Monday, June 29, 2009

Knotty Pine GAZETTE - Jefferson Box Opened

A locked wooden box discovered by Henry Scott in Ranger Bill Jefferson's attic was identified and opened yesterday. The box appears to be connected to a mystery going on at Ranger Headquarters concerning the origins of Big Pine Forest and Depression era workers called the "3C Boys."
Ranger Bill and Henry took the box to Masters Lock and Key to have its lock opened. Maggie Murphy arrived at the locksmith with a key that unlocked the box. Mrs. Murphy is housekeeper for Ranger Bill's co-worker Stumpy Jenkins. She said that Mr. Jenkins told her of the box with the initials "JJF" on the lid. Maggie said the box must have belonged to her oldest brother John Jeffery Flanigan. Maggie, along with Ranger Bill and Henry, found letters from her family to her brother, a diary, and more.
Maggie told the GAZETTE that her brother worked on a Knotty Pine CCC crew to help his family survive the Depression. John was also called Jack because so many Irish boys were named John then. Maggie was a baby when Jack worked as a 3C Boy. Jack came home to Ohio in the early 1940's with stories of a quaint little town that he helped build called Knotty Pine. The family eventually moved to Knotty Pine. Maggie has lived here ever since.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Thanks for your support!

Thank you one and all for your support of this Ranger Bill web site. On Fathers Day we reached the mark of 10,000 hits so far for 2009! What a wonderful Fathers Day gift!
And many thanks to HisKids for the wonderful Ranger Bill audio each week!!! The Ranger Bill Fan Club is most blessed to have such faithful Ranger Bill listeners and such good friends.
Have a blessed day everyone!
And again, my thanks,
Ranger Dave

Friday, June 26, 2009

Knotty Pine GAZETTE - More Big Pine Finds

The GAZETTE reported last week that boxes and a shovel were found at Big Pine Forest's ranger headquarters by Henry Scott, ward of Ranger Bill. These items appear to connect Knotty Pine's own Big Pine National Forest with the CCC, the Civilian Conservation Corps of the 1930's and early 1940's. The Corps was a government program that gave jobs to unemployed young men during the Depression. These CCC boys were organized into camps of about 200 young men who built roads, planted trees, fought forest fires, and more.
Young Mr. Scott went to the Jefferson home to look for more CCC artifacts based on information found at ranger headquarters. Henry found a small wooden box which was locked. The box is inscribed with "3C Boys" and the initials "JJF." Ranger Bill tells the GAZETTE that the box looks very similar to the drawers in his desk at ranger headquarters. Ranger Bill believes that the 3C Boys may have built his desk. Henry and Ranger Bill do not want to break open this box if they can avoid it. They plan to see a locksmith to open the lock.
Anyone having any information about this box or about the CCC boys at Big Pine are asked to contact ranger headquarters or the GAZETTE.