From “Boomtown” to Beantown, television cowboy Rex Trailer made his mark in the Commonwealth, and now one state senator is hoping to put that impact in writing.
Senator Michael Barrett, Democrat of Waltham, is hoping to name Trailer the official cowboy of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. And his bill is picking up steam — it just passed the Senate Monday and is headed for the House of Representatives.
Though Barrett said he enjoyed watching Trailer’s children show “Boomtown” as a kid in the 1950s, that is not the reason for the proposed legislation.
“He was also a certifiably good person,” said Barrett in a telephone interview Tuesday afternoon. “He had kids in wheelchairs, with Down syndrome, and other disabilities on his show. That was unheard of.”
In his lifetime, Trailer was an advocate for educationally appropriate children’s television and inclusion. He frequently hosted a diverse group of young guests on his show.
“Long before PBS he was engaging kids in valuable ways. And long before The Americans with Disabilities Act he was determined to make his youthful audience inclusive,” said Barrett, the Senate chair of the committee on children, families and persons with disabilities, in a statement.
Trailer, who died in January 2013, was a fixture in Barrett’s district. He lived in Sudbury and owned a television studio in Waltham.
“I have a constituency to listen to,” said Barrett. “And they are really pulling for this.”
The bill was originally proposed by Barrett’s predecessor, Susan Fargo, in 2011, but he took it over when he claimed her seat.
Along with CC Carole, a Chelmsford woman and Trailer’s former publicist, Barrett testified before the Committee on Tourism, Arts, and Cultural Development in September. In December, that committee and the Committee on Ethics and Rules voted favorably.
The bill will now head to the House for consideration.
“We’re hoping they think this is as important as we do,” said Barrett.Jacqueline Tempera can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on twitter @jacktemp.