$19.99


This is an ORIGINAL Tribute Document measuring 8"?ť x 11" from 1965 with nine pages, with notations and corrections.

This is an original short story, with nine pages. It is filled with hand written notations.

These pages are an original short story to have been published in Douglas Crane's FILM PARADE Movie Magazine. This is an ALL Original Document for a Movie Magazine, written by IRWIN R. FRANKLYN, with hand written notations. It was a tribute story to honor legendary humorist,

WILL ROGERS

This original typed document was to honor this legend thirty-years after his untimely death It's a nice document, ONE OF A KIND Item!

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MORE INFO ON WILL ROGERS: William Penn Adair "Will" Rogers (November 4, 1879 – August 15, 1935) was an American cowboy, vaudeville performer, humorist, newspaper columnist, social commentator, and stage and motion picture actor.

Known as "Oklahoma's Favorite Son", Rogers was born to a prominent Cherokee Nation family in Indian Territory (now part of Oklahoma). He traveled around the world three times, made 71 movies (50 silent films and 21 "talkies"), and wrote more than 4,000 nationally syndicated newspaper columns. By the mid-1930s, the American people adored Rogers. He was the leading political wit of his time, and was the highest paid Hollywood movie star. Rogers died in 1935 with aviator Wiley Post, when their small airplane crashed in northern Alaska.

Rogers's vaudeville rope act led to success in the Ziegfeld Follies, which in turn led to the first of his many movie contracts. His 1920s syndicated newspaper column and his radio appearances increased his visibility and popularity. Rogers crusaded for aviation expansion, and provided Americans with first-hand accounts of his world travels. His earthy anecdotes and folksy style allowed him to poke fun at gangsters, prohibition, politicians, government programs, and a host of other controversial topics in a way that was appreciated by a national audience, with no one offended. His aphorisms, couched in humorous terms, were widely quoted: "I am not a member of an organized political party. I am a Democrat." Another widely quoted Will Rogers comment was "I don't make jokes. I just watch the government and report the facts."

Rogers even provided an epigram on his most famous epigram:

When I die, my epitaph, or whatever you call those signs on gravestones, is going to read: "I joked about every prominent man of my time, but I never met a man I dident like." I am so proud of that, I can hardly wait to die so it can be carved.

Rogers was born on the Dog Iron Ranch in Indian Territory, near present-day Oologah, Oklahoma. The house he was born in had been built in 1875 and was known as the "White House on the Verdigris River". His parents, Clement Vann Rogers (1839–1911) and Mary America Schrimsher (1838–1890), were both of part Cherokee ancestry, making Rogers himself 9/32 (just over 1/4) Cherokee. Rogers quipped that his ancestors did not come over on the Mayflower, but they "met the boat". His mother was quarter-Cherokee and a hereditary member of the Paint Clan. She died when Will was 11, and his father remarried less than two years after her death.

Rogers was the youngest of eight children. He was named for the Cherokee leader Col. William Penn Adair. Only three of his siblings, sisters Sallie Clementine, Maude Ethel, and May (Mary), survived into adulthood.

His father, Clement, was a leader within Cherokee society. A Cherokee judge, he was a Confederate veteran and served as a delegate to the Oklahoma Constitutional Convention. Rogers County, Oklahoma, is named in honor of Clement Rogers. He served several terms on the Cherokee Senate. Clement Rogers achieved financial success as a rancher and used his influence to help soften the negative effects of white acculturation on the tribe. Roach (1980) presents a sociological-psychological assessment of the relationship between Will and his father during the formative boyhood and teenage years. Clement had high expectations for his son and desired him to be more responsible and business-minded. Will was more easygoing and oriented toward the loving affection offered by his mother, Mary, rather than the harshness of his father. The personality clash increased after his mother's death, and young Will went from one venture to another with little success. Only after Will won acclaim in vaudeville did the rift begin to heal, but Clement's death in 1911 precluded a full reconciliation.

He was a good student and an avid reader of The New York Times, but he dropped out of school after the 10th grade. He later claimed he was a poor student, saying that he "studied the Fourth Reader for ten years". He was much more interested in cowboys and horses, and learned to rope and use a lariat.

Rogers worked the Dog Iron Ranch for a few years. Near the end of 1901, he and a friend left home with aspirations to work as gauchos in Argentina. They arrived in Argentina in May 1902, and spent five months trying to make it as ranch owners in the pampas. Rogers and his partner lost all their money, and in his words, "I was ashamed to send home for more," so the two friends separated and Rogers sailed for South Africa. It is often claimed he took a job breaking in horses for the British Army, but the Boer War had ended three months earlier. Rogers actually got work at James Piccione's ranch near Mooi River Station in the Pietermaritzburg district of Natal.

He began his show business career as a trick roper in "Texas Jack's Wild West Circus":

He [Texas Jack] had a little Wild West aggregation that visited the camps and did a tremendous business. I did some roping and riding, and Jack, who was one of the smartest showmen I ever knew, took a great interest in me. It was he who gave me the idea for my original stage act with my pony. I learned a lot about the show business from him. He could do a bum act with a rope that an ordinary man couldn't get away with, and make the audience think it was great, so I used to study him by the hour, and from him I learned the great secret of the show business—knowing when to get off. It's the fellow who knows when to quit that the audience wants more of.

Grateful for the guidance but anxious to move on, Rogers quit the circus and went to Australia. Texas Jack gave him a reference letter for the Wirth Brothers Circus there, and Rogers continued to perform as a rider and trick roper, and worked on his pony act. He returned to the United States in 1904, appeared at the St. Louis World's Fair, and then began to try his roping skills on the vaudeville circuits.

On a trip to New York City, Rogers was at Madison Square Garden when a wild steer broke out of the arena and began to climb into the viewing stands. Rogers roped the steer to the delight of the crowd. The feat got front page attention from the newspapers, giving him valuable publicity and an audience eager to see more. Willie Hammerstein, father of later librettist Oscar Hammerstein II, came to see his vaudeville act, and signed Rogers to appear on the Victoria Roof—which was literally on a rooftop—with his pony. For the next decade, Rogers estimated he worked for fifty weeks a year at the Roof and at the city's myriad vaudeville theaters.

Rogers described these early years at the Fifteenth Anniversary of the Columbia Theater in New York City. "I got a job on Hammerstein's Roof at $140 a week for myself, my horse, and the man who looked after it. I remained on the roof for eight weeks, always getting another two week extension when Willie Hammerstein would say to me after the Monday matinee, 'you're good for two weeks more' ... Marty Shea, the booking agent for the Columbia, came to me and asked if I wanted to play burlesque. They could use an extra attraction ... I told him I would think about it, but 'Burlesque' sounded to me then as something funny." Shea and Sam A. Scribner, the general manager of the Columbia Amusement Company, approached Rogers a few days later. Shea told Scribner Rogers was getting $150 and would take $175. "'What's he carrying?', Scribner asked Shea. 'Himself, a horse, and a man', answered Shea." Scribner replied, "'Give him eight weeks at $250'".

In 1908, Rogers married Betty Blake (1879–1944), and the couple had four children: Will Rogers, Jr., Mary Amelia, James Blake, and Fred Stone. Will Jr. became a World War II hero, played his father in two films, and became a member of Congress. Mary became a Broadway actress, and Jim was a newspaperman and rancher; Fred died of diphtheria at age two. The family lived in New York, but they managed to make it home to Oklahoma during the summers. In 1911, Rogers bought a 20-acre (8.1 ha) ranch near Claremore, Oklahoma, which he intended to use as his retirement home, for US$500 per acre.

In the fall of 1915, Rogers began to appear in Florenz Ziegfeld's Midnight Frolic. The variety revue began at midnight in the top-floor night club of Ziegfeld's New Amsterdam Theatre, and drew many influential—and regular—customers. By this time, Rogers had refined his act to a science. His monologues on the news of the day followed a similar routine every night. He appeared on stage in his cowboy outfit, nonchalantly twirling his lasso, and said, "Well, what shall I talk about? I ain't got anything funny to say. All I know is what I read in the papers." He then made jokes about what he had read in that day's newspapers. The line "All I know is what I read in the papers" is often incorrectly described as Rogers's most famous punch line, when it was, in fact, his opening line.

His run at the New Amsterdam ran on into 1916, and Rogers's obvious popularity led to an engagement on the more famous Ziegfeld Follies. At this stage, Rogers's act was strictly physical, a display of daring riding and clever tricks with his lariat. He discovered that audiences identified the cowboy as the archetypical American—doubtless aided by Theodore Roosevelt's image as a cowboy. Rogers's cowboy showed an unfettered man free of institutional restraints, with no bureaucrats to order his life. When he came back to the United States and worked in Wild West shows, he noticed that audiences were just as fascinated by his frontier, Oklahoma twang. By 1916, a featured star in Ziegfeld's Follies on Broadway, he moved into satire by transforming the "Ropin' Fool" to the "Talkin' Fool". At one performance, with President Woodrow Wilson in the audience, he improvised a "roast" of presidential policies that had Wilson, and the entire audience, in stitches and proved his remarkable skill at off-the-cuff, witty commentary on current events. The rest of his career he built around that skill.

An editorial in The New York Times said that "Will Rogers in the Follies is carrying on the tradition of Aristophanes, and not unworthily." Rogers branched into silent films too, for Samuel Goldwyn's company Goldwyn Pictures. He made his first silent movie, Laughing Bill Hyde, filmed in Fort Lee, New Jersey, in 1918. Many early films were made near the major New York performing market, so Rogers could make the film, yet still rehearse and perform in the Follies. He eventually appeared in most of the Follies, from 1916 to 1925.

Hollywood discovered Rogers in 1918, as Samuel Goldwyn gave him the title role in Laughing Bill Hyde. A three-year contract with Goldwyn, at triple the Broadway salary, moved Rogers west. He bought a ranch in Pacific Palisades and set up his own production company. While Rogers enjoyed film acting, his appearances in silent movies suffered from the obvious restrictions of silence—not the strongest medium for him, having gained his fame as a commentator on stage. It helped somewhat that he wrote a good many of the title cards appearing in his films. In 1923, he began a one-year stint for Hal Roach and made 12 pictures. Among the films he made for Roach in 1924 were three directed by Rob Wagner: Two Wagons Both Covered, Going to Congress and Our Congressman. He made two other feature silents and a travelogue series in 1927, and did not return to the screen until his time in the 'talkies' began in 1929.

He made 48 silent movies, but with the arrival of sound in 1929, he became a top star in that medium. His first sound film, They Had to See Paris (1929), finally gave him the chance to exercise his verbal magic. He played a homespun farmer (State Fair) in 1933, an old-fashioned doctor (Dr. Bull) in 1933, a small town banker (David Harum ) in 1934, and a rustic politician (Judge Priest) in 1934. He was also in County Chairman (1935), Steamboat 'Round the Bend (1935), and In Old Kentucky (1935). His favorite director was John Ford.

Rogers appeared in 21 feature films alongside such noted performers as Lew Ayres, Billie Burke, Richard Cromwell, Jane Darwell, Andy Devine, Janet Gaynor, Rochelle Hudson, Boris Karloff, Myrna Loy, Joel McCrea, Hattie McDaniel, Ray Milland, Maureen O'Sullivan, ZaSu Pitts, Dick Powell, Bill "Bojangles" Robinson, Mickey Rooney, and Peggy Wood. He was directed three times by John Ford. He appeared in three films with his friend Stepin Fetchit (aka Lincoln T. Perry): David Harum (1934), Judge Priest (1934) and The County Chairman (1935).

With his voice becoming increasingly familiar to audiences, he was able to basically play himself, without normal makeup, in each film, managing to ad-lib and even work in his familiar commentaries on politics at times. The clean moral tone of his films led to various public schools taking their classes, during the school day, to attend special showings of some of them. His most unusual role may have been in the first talking version of Mark Twain's novel A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. His popularity soared to new heights with films including Young As You Feel, Judge Priest, and Life Begins at 40 with Richard Cromwell and Rochelle Hudson.

Rogers demonstrated multiple skills, and was an indefatigable worker. He toured the lecture circuit. The New York Times syndicated his weekly newspaper column from 1922 to 1935. Going daily in 1926, his short "Will Rogers Says" reached forty million newspaper readers. He wrote frequently for the mass-circulation upscale magazine The Saturday Evening Post, where Rogers advised Americans to embrace the frontier values of neighborliness and democracy on the domestic front while remaining clear of foreign entanglements. He took a strong, highly popular stand in favor of aviation, including a military air force of the sort his flying buddy General Billy Mitchell advocated.

Rogers began a weekly column, titled "Slipping the Lariat Over", at the end of 1922. He had already published a book of wisecracks and had begun a steady stream of humor books. Through the continuing series of columns for the McNaught Syndicate between 1922 and 1935, as well as in his personal appearances and radio broadcasts, he won the loving admiration of the American people, poking jibes in witty ways at the issues of the day and prominent people—often politicians. He wrote from a non-partisan point of view and became a friend of presidents and a confidant of the great. Loved for his cool mind and warm heart, he was often considered the successor to such greats as Artemus Ward and Mark Twain. Rogers was not the first entertainer to use political humor before his audience. Others, such as Broadway comedian Raymond Hitchcock and Britain's Sir Harry Lauder, preceded him by several years. Bob Hope is the best known political humorist to follow Rogers's example.

From about 1925 to 1928, Rogers traveled the length and breadth of the United States in a "lecture tour". (He began his lectures by pointing out that "A humorist entertains, and a lecturer annoys.") During this time he became the first civilian to fly from coast to coast with pilots flying the mail in early air mail flights. The National Press Club dubbed him "Ambassador at Large of the United States". He visited Mexico City, along with Charles Lindbergh, as a guest of U.S. Ambassador Dwight Morrow. Rogers gave numerous after-dinner speeches, became a popular convention speaker, and gave dozens of benefits for victims of floods, droughts, or earthquakes.

He made a trip to the Orient in 1931 and to Central and South America the following year. In 1934, he made a globe-girdling tour and returned to play the lead in Eugene O'Neill's stage play Ah, Wilderness! He had tentatively agreed to go on loan from Fox to MGM to star in the 1935 movie version of the play; however, his concern over a fan's reaction to the 'facts-of-life' talk between his character and the latter's son caused him to decline the role—and that freed up his schedule allowing him to fly with Wiley Post that summer.

Radio was the exciting new medium, and Rogers became a star there as well, recycling his newspaper pieces. From 1929 to 1935, he made radio broadcasts for the Gulf Oil Company. This weekly Sunday evening show, The Gulf Headliners, ranked among the top radio programs in the country. Since he easily rambled from one subject to another, reacting to his studio audience, he often lost track of the half-hour time limit in his earliest broadcasts, and was cut off in mid-sentence. To correct this, he brought in a wind-up alarm clock, and its on-air buzzing alerted him to begin wrapping up his comments. By 1935, his show was being announced as "Will Rogers and his famous Alarm Clock".

In 1926, the high-circulation weekly magazine The Saturday Evening Post financed a European tour for Rogers in return for the publication of his articles. Rogers made whirlwind visits to numerous European capitals and met with both international figures and common people. His articles reflected a fear that Europeans would again go to war, and thus he recommended that the United States should assume an isolationist posture. He reasoned that for the moment American needs could best be served by concentrating on domestic questions and avoiding foreign entanglements.

Rogers's home, stables, and polo fields are preserved today for public enjoyment as Will Rogers State Historic Park in Pacific Palisades. His widow, Betty, willed the property to the state of California upon her death in 1944, under the condition that polo be played on the field every year; it is now home to the Will Rogers Polo Club. Will Rogers Elementary School in Santa Monica is named for Rogers, as is Will Rogers Elementary School in Ventura. There are two middle schools named for Will Rogers (one in Long Beach and the other in Fair Oaks). A United States Navy submarine USS Will Rogers (SSBN-659) is also named in his honor. A small park at Sunset Boulevard and Beverly Drive in Beverly Hills, California was named the Will Rogers Memorial Park after him. Also, a beach in Pacific Palisades was named Will Rogers State Beach.

U.S. Route 66 is known as the Will Rogers Highway; a plaque dedicating the highway to the humorist is located opposite the western terminus of Route 66 in Santa Monica.

The California Theatre in San Bernardino is the site of the humorist's final show. He always performed in front of special jewelled curtains of which he had two.

While he was using one, he would send the other to the site of his next performance. Due to his untimely death, the curtain before which he performed last remained with the California Theatre where the artifact stays to this day, and two memorial murals by Ken Twitchell grace the exterior of the fly loft. The California Theatre also named one of its reception spaces the Will Rogers Room.

Rogers was portrayed by A.A. Trimble in cameos in both the 1936 film The Great Ziegfeld, and the 1937 film You're a Sweetheart.

Rogers was portrayed by his son, Will Rogers, Jr., in a cameo in the 1949 film Look for the Silver Lining, and as the star of the 1952 film The Story of Will Rogers.

Rogers was portrayed by actor Keith Carradine in the 1994 film Mrs. Parker and the Vicious Circle. Carradine had played Rogers three years earlier on Broadway, in the stage musical The Will Rogers Follies, for which he was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical; the show won six Tonys, including Best Musical.

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WILL ROGERS Short STORY Document TRIBUTE Irwin R Franklyn 1965
Item #BMM0003281