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Saturday, January 8, 2011
SERGEANT PRESTON OF THE YUKON
Since a kid in the mid-1950's, I have loved this show, have kept a collection of "Sergeant Preston" radio episodes on little 78 rpm records, and once ordered, via cereal offer, actual soil from the Yukon! The advertising hinted that there was even the possibility of finding gold in it...or maybe I just imagined that part. Anyway, I remember my Dad making some negative comment about how silly it was to spend money on dirt.
But the series, "Sergeant Preston," starring Richard Simmons (NOT the effeminate exercise guy), with his horse "Rex" and Canadian husky dog "Yukon King," was not dirt. To us kids in the '50's, the Yukon seemed like the last frontier. Dogs were in. Horses were in. And the Royal Canadian Mounted Police were in. I lived in Blaine, Washington, at the time--right on the Canadian border--and when festivities were celebrated at Peace Arch Park and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police came, my imagination saw Sergeant Preston among them and I was thrilled!
It was unique in the series, too, that the RCMP were given so much respect, even by the bad guys, who thought twice before committing any aggression towards them, especially towards Sergeant Preston. This show brings me back to a simpler time, of heroes who, instead of superpowers, relied on honesty, integrity, justice, courage, and faith. Even the theme song, "Challenge of the Yukon," remains magical to me.
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