Globe File Photo
Massachusetts may be short on dusty plains, sprawling ranches, 10-gallon hats, and lonely dogies. But that doesn't mean it can't have an official cowboy, one lawmaker says.
Rex Trailer, star of the former children’s show "Rex Trailer's Boomtown," has been nominated for that honor by state Senator Susan Fargo, a Lincoln Democrat.
“This is a real-life cowboy who is a hero to a lot of people,” Fargo said.
Fargo said she proposed the idea because Trailer not only played a cowboy in a popular TV show, but also because he was a pioneer for those with disabilities.
“He was fighting for people with developmental disabilities at a time when they didn’t get a lot of attention,” she said. “That makes him a hero in my eyes.”
“Well, I’m honored. That’s for sure. Humbly so,” Trailer, 82, said in a telephone interview.
“Somebody had called me and asked if I thought it was necessary, and I said, of course not.”
"Rex Trailer's Boomtown" premiered on WBZ-TV in Boston in 1956 and ran until 1974. On the show, Trailer showed off the cowboy tricks he learned when he was growing up in Texas. The show also featured cartoons, educational games, and outdoor adventures. It became part of childhood for many Boston area residents.
Trailer would bring students with disabilities on his program. In 1959, he led a wagon train across Massachusetts to raise awareness about kids with disabilities. The train featured 18 horse-drawn covered wagons, with Trailer and others making stops in towns each night.
“When I came through town, they flipped out. They thought it was great,” Trailer said. “It was exceptional.”
Fargo filed the proposal last month, and hopes it will pass in the next few months.
Trailer now teaches part-time at Emerson College and continues to run a TV production studio in Waltham.
“I’m honored that they thought of me,” Trailer said. “It’s nice to be thought of that way."
On the beat
Columnist Shirley Leung says Boston mayor-elect Martin J. Walsh should focus on middle-class housing. Read more