Ranger Headquarters

Ranger Headquarters
Big Pine National Forest, Knotty Pine

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.