Meeting William Boyd

by Brian T. - February 2016


Hi, I am Brian T. from Derbyshire, England. I have been married (60 years), worked as a project engineer and generally enjoy life gardening, writing, and watching my favourite soccer team Derby County, known as the Rams, oh and by the way my favourite football team is Chicago Bears, I still remember that man mountain, The Refrigerator (William Perry) running on field in 1987.

I was in Ireland on holiday in 1953 and one sunny afternoon who should walk by me dressed in a light blue cowboy suit was the man himself, my boyhood favourite cowboy Hoppy (William Boyd).

To help tourism, holidays were spread over three months during summer and in my area (Derbyshire) holidays were always taken on the 3rd and 4th weeks of July so I can say with certainty I met Hoppy in the 3rd week of July 1953.

In delight and surprise I put out my hand and he shook it with a warm and friendly smile and a few quick words. Apparently he was escorting a party of under privileged American children on a tour of Europe, and he told me his charges were staying at a holiday village in County Meath, Eire.

I think his most striking feature were those startlingly brilliant blue eyes of his and the biggest surprise was his height, tall in the saddle he may have been but that tall Stetson hat of his just about reached my ear lobe.

At that time William Boyd was fronting a UK wide advertising campaign for candies and if I tell you they were called Spangles I guess you will know the reason they chose Hoppy.

I gave a light hearted reference to these candies and his blank look told me this was a deal closed by his agent because he knew nothing about the treats even if the UK national newspapers were printing quarter page ads with a delighted Hoppy eagerly popping one in his mouth. Ah well, never trust those Mad Men.

One of my delights was Saturday afternoon movies watching Hoppy, Lucky, and the grizzled old guy.

The only time I missed a Saturday cowboy movie was when Roy Rogers starred, maybe because I liked my heroes macho and not musical. Oh well at 82 some memories stay with you forever because your brain stores them as important and discards the unimportant.

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