photo credit: David Childers“I believe if you take good stock of yourself, examine all your possibilities, then try your best, you can discover what to do to make this time of your life “a very good one indeed.”
Gene Autry (September 29, 1907 – October 2, 1998) an American performer, known as “The Singing Cowboy” began his career during The Great Depression.
On the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Gene Autry is the only celebrity to have five stars, one in each of the five categories radio, motion pictures, recording, television and live theater.
His story, in his own words:
These days–when a lot of people are out of work and jobs are scarce–I’m reminded of the time when I let the Oklahoma ranch where I grew up. I got a job as a telegraph operator for the railroad in the little town of Chelsea, Oklahoma. I worked the late shift, four in the afternoon till midnight, which was pretty slow, so I kept my guitar with me.
When there wasn’t much doing, I’d pull it out and do some singing. I needed something to pass the time and also to cheer me up. The Great Depression had begun and the railroads then, as now, were in bad shape. They were laying off workers, and it looked as if I’d soon be among the unemployed.
One night I was playing and singing when a man I didn’t know, a fellow who was in town visiting his sister, walked through the door to send a telegram. “Don’t stop,” he said. “Keep going.” So I did a couple of songs for him.
“Son,” he said “you ought to get yourself a job on the radio. You’re good.” Then he wrote out his telegram and handed it to me. It was signed ”Will Rogers.” I’d sure heard of him, because he wrote a syndicated newspaper column and was famous on Broadway, but I didn’t recognize him because he hadn’t made it big in moving pictures yet.
Besides, even if he had, there weren’t any movie houses in Chelsea. After he left I thought, If Will Rogers things I’m good enough, I’m good enough.”
That gave me the gumption to go out and look for a radio station that would give me a chance to sing my cowboy songs. I found one in Tulsa.
The radio news was full of reports on the bad times in our country, and it didn’t seem like my prospects were very good for taking my singing career beyond Oklahoma. But one day I came across theis Ralph Emerson quotation: “This time, like all times, is a very good one, if we but know what to do with it.”
“Isn’t that the truth!” I said to myself. I thought hard about those words, and finally I decided to go to New York and try my luck with the record companies. Eventually, I made a western record that became a hit. And not long after that, I was out in Hollywood making movies as a singing cowboy.
So I belive if you take good stock of yourself, examine all your possibilities, then try your best, you can discover what to do to make this time of your life “a very good one” indeed.
So what are you doing to make this time of your life “a very good one” indeed? Will you share so we can all inspire each other?
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