Pow. Wow. The Post’s Power.

Posted by on Oct 7, 2011 in Musings | 18 comments

Huffington Post, October 7, 2011

If I learned anything growing up in Hollywood, it’s that sometimes – annoyingly enough – you have to drop a name to get what you want.  And I am all about getting what I want.  So, Thank You Johnny Depp.  A piece I wrote quite a while ago (and ignored by everyone I submitted it to) got published today in the Huffington Post.  Because I added JD. Not gratuitiously.  It is a legitimate reference.  But, there was some debate.  

And frankly, I’m feelin’ pretty good about it. Click on the link to get the story but, (again, annoyingly enough) you’ll find no images.  Well, beggers can’t be choosers I suppose (the Post doesn’t pay you to blog – it’s a privilege and the wait list I hear, is pretty long).

I’ve pulled some of my family’s personal images to remind the reader that this story is about Jay Silverheels, not that other dude.  Jay Silverheels.  My father’s co-star, friend, activist, gentleman.

1955 at my parent’s ranch in Tarzana, California.  Jay, Dad and “The Lone Ranger and the Lost City of Gold” co-star, Rod Redwing.  Screwing around like guys do.

I was probably 32 before I could figure out who these people were.  Forgetting that my father had blue eyes.  Hmmm… LR and Tonto undercover.

Clearly, White Man Out of ‘Hood.  Tonto take charge.  Or White Man get ass kicked.


Madison Square Garden 1957.  Look at those outstretched hands.  And those million-dollar smiles.

Heading up the American Indian Actor’s Studio 1970.

Getting this story published was important to me and honestly, the wait – and the means – was worth it.  Please read it.  Share it.  “Like” it.  Huffington Post, October 7, 2011






“I Believe… That to have a friend, a man must be one.”  – The first lines of The Lone Ranger Creed written by Fran Striker in 1933. 



  1. Dawn, this is great! You write so beautifully…and effectively. The photographs are wonderful and it’s too bad they weren’t included with the article.
    Kathryn Leigh Scott

  2. I lovely tribute honoring Jay and beautifully written. This one is a gem.

  3. Hi Dawn,
    Great writing and photos! I can happily say I was at the Madison Square Garden NYC appearances by your Dad in 1957 and had the pleasure and honor of meeting him one on one many years later (1992) in Atlantic City NJ. He was the great guy I had hoped to meet when I was older, and he didn’t let me down like so many ‘heros’ can. A truly nice man that took time and interest in talking with me. I also had the great pleasure of meeting YOU at the Sotheby’s NYC preview of your Dad’s memorabilia in 2000 and my photo with you adorns a special spot on my wall and you were kind enough to autograph a copy of the Sotheby’s catalog for me.
    Thanks for now including Jay Silverheels in your efforts to keep their memories alive.
    Did we voters kick a– in the most popular TV show opening themes? I’ll say!
    Good luck with your new business venture. May it prosper and grow like you deserve.

    • Yes! Dad’s fans totally kicked ass – thank you!!!

  4. Well done, Dawn …and thank you so, so much for the photos. It’s amazing after all these years, the memories of Jay and your Dad can still reach such a deep point in your soul.
    I still dip into the book (I was that Masked Man)or view an old episode or one of the movies to get a boost.
    As a child I was very disappointed when he visited Belfast but not Dublin ..but I forgave him soon after.
    By the way, never heard of the Huffington Post!1
    Best wishes /Joe

    • Wow – you found me all the way in Ireland?!?! Terrific! If I ever get to Dublin, I will try to make amends 😉 Thank you for reaching out!

  5. Thank you Dawn.

    I never met Mr. Moore or Mr. Silverheels ( I have too much respect for them to call them Clayton or Jay) but everything I’ve ever read about them spells “CLASS”

    Thanks for helping us remember them.

    • Rick, I love hearing what you’ve shared. Thank you.

  6. I have had 3 “heros” growing up in the 50’s. Roy Rogers, Micky Mantle and your dad. I just wished I could have met him. Great article and great pictures!!! Thanks

  7. I recently published a book of short stories about families and finance. One of the stories is entitled “About the Lone Ranger, Silver Bullets, and the Secret Silver Mine.” Over the years it surprises me how much I have leaned on values modeled by the Lone Ranger. Your dad gave all of us a great gift by keeping the character alive. Perhaps in this small way I can do the same.

    • Good luck with the book!

  8. Thank you for your work in keeping the memories of your father and Jay alive. I just had the privilege of inroducing my 12 year old neighbor to the Lone Ranger and now he follows it faithfully everyday Saturday morning via Netflix. Quality never goes out of style! Sam Denny’s comment reminded me of an essay I read several years ago entitled ” Everything I need to know in life, I learned from the Lone Ranger.”

    Best Wishes.

    • Me, too.

  9. After reading your blog on the Huffington Post, I can’t see what the negative stereotypes were in regards to the “role” of Tonto. Jay Silverheels played the “part” of an Indian from approximately the 1870s. Would that person have spoke perfect English? Of course not, it would be broken English as would be expected of someone where English is not their first language (or in the process of learning it). I always viewed (even as a child) the character of Tonto as being equal to the Lone Ranger, he always did the right thing, and is directly responsible for my positive view of Indians. Hollywood has certainly made movies that vilified and demeaned Indians, but to include The Lone Ranger series in that group is utterly ridiculous.

    • Actually, I would agree with you. If you’ve had a chance to read some of my further comments, I noted that we are looking with 21st century perspective on a relationship – had it been a real one – that in the 19th century would have been far different than what was portrayed by 20th century writers. I have many Native American friends who were not allowed to watch the show when growing up. From their perspective, the portrayal of Tonto was demeaning. However, the sentiment you’ve shared, is one I hear often as well, and I have tremendous respect for each individual’s point of view. Mostly, I’m delighted you feel the way you do – because, so do I.

  10. i saw your note on the smithsonian site, after reading the article about the famous mask. two weeks ago, i read ‘i was that masked man’, after seeing it on a library shelf. and every year or so, i hear jay thomas’s story on letterman’s xmas show, about giving the masked man a ride in his jalopy after a radio appearance. my father was born in coney island and talked like william bendix. when we were kids, he was as insistent as he could be, encouraging me and my two brothers to ‘talk like the lone ranger’, something he could not do. he did not recognize the charm of the bygone regional dialects in america, but heard clayton moore’s voice as the right way to talk. thanks for keeping him and jay in the limelight. the book was very inclusive of harry smith’s accomplishments.

    • Ha! Well, part of the producer’s very firm character description was that the Lone Ranger never use slang and speak clearly with perfect diction, so you father had a good ear! Thank you for sharing your memories and kind words.

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