Have you read The Touch of Roy and Dale by Tricia Spencer? If you haven’t, you need to get a copy. The Touch of Roy and Dale is a selection of letters and stories from Roy and Dale’s fans. Never before seen photos, poems, and songs are also included in the brief but comprehensive selection. As the reader, you get to see Roy and Dale as their fans saw them back in the 1900s. You get to read funny stories about folks who would rush into the Roy Rogers-Dale Evans Museum at closing time, just to talk with their hero. There are letters from Dodie, Cheryl, and Marion – three of the Rogers’ children. The lyrics to “King of the Cowboys” written by Dusty Rogers are in there. There’s a beautiful poem written by a fourteen-year-old fan shortly after Roy’s death in 1998. The poem is written from the perspective of the folks up in heaven who were waiting for Roy.
There are stories from some of the actors Roy and Dale knew: Dick Jones shared about the time he and Roy had a speed-boat race. The race was broken into two legs. The first was from the Cabrillo Beach Yacht Club in San Pedro, California to Catalina Island. Roy had worked it down to science, the wind, the sea drift, the boat and fuel and body weight – the whole works. Dick was in the Army. He just plopped a big, old army tank compass between his legs and took off. Roy’s calculations got him so off course that Dick beat him to Catalina by over an hour. On the return trip, the tables turned. Dick got a good lead on Roy… until Dick’s boat ran out of gas! Roy sped right on past, slowing just long enough to shout, “Get a horse!”
Cactus Mack’s granddaughter tells a few stories about her grandfather and Roy, who worked together off and on until Cactus’s death. Donna Martell wrote a little four-paragraph essay about her first movie. Her first role in the movies was playing Rosa in Apache Rose (Note: in the credits her name is written as Donna DeMario). Raymond E. White, the author of King of the Cowboys, Queen of the West: Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, wrote a two-page essay about his experience as a fan and as the author of a book on their lives. The list goes on and on. Each story and each letter gives a little glimpse at what Roy and Dale meant to their fans. If you haven’t already read this wonderful book, you need to! You can find it here.