Gene Autry would have been 100 years old this past Saturday September 29; one might wonder why this matters and who cares?
You could say Gene Autry hails from a time that never was, as nostalgia often does, but this would be inaccurate; Gene Autry had and has many fans and at the height of his career children looked up to him. Gene Autry the hero to millions of kids, Gene Autry the man that brought us the “Cowboy Code:”
1. The Cowboy must never shoot first, hit a smaller man, or take unfair advantage.
2. He must never go back on his word, or a trust confided in him.
3. He must always tell the truth.
4. He must be gentle with children, the elderly, and animals.
5. He must not advocate or possess racially or religiously intolerant ideas.
6. He must help people in distress.
7. He must be a good worker.
8. He must keep himself clean in thought, speech, action, and personal habits.
9. He must respect women, parents, and his nation's laws.
10. The Cowboy is a patriot.
Take Gene Autry or leave him, but when the choice is falling in line with perhaps America’s favorite serial killer as hero, to a gentleman like Autry and the aspiration of the “code,” I’ll take the Public Cowboy #1 any day.
We need more like him!