Ranger Headquarters

Ranger Headquarters
Big Pine National Forest, Knotty Pine

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?