American Original: A Life of Will Rogers

By Ray Robinson | Go to book overview

14

The Ranch

Despite his busy schedule, Will tried to be there when other people needed help. It was second nature to him, the only way he knew how to act. Eddie Cantor once said that he had learned the value of common sense and a love of America from Will. That love was best expressed by Will's activities on behalf of those people who had been hurt by the inequities and vagaries of life.

This side of Will was clearly demonstrated in the spring of 1927, when the Mississippi Valley was hit by the most tempestuous floods in its history. Thousands of people were left homeless, hundreds died, and damage ran into the millions, but the Coolidge administration was reluctant to summon federal help to salve the massive wounds: The president left it up to private agencies, including the American Red Cross, to provide aid. Will was distressed by this inaction, and he felt that a single rowboat could do more good for those caught in the floods than all the senators in Washington gabbing endlessly about the emergency.

Angrily, Will put his own talents and energy to work. He gave several benefits, while constantly urging his newspaper readers to open up their

-189-

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American Original: A Life of Will Rogers
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • American Original - A Life of Will Ragers *
  • Contents *
  • Acknowledgments *
  • American Original *
  • Introduction 3
  • 1 - The Indian "Problem" 7
  • 2 - Civil War 14
  • 3 - Childhood 21
  • 4 - Roamin' Free 33
  • 5 - A New Century 47
  • 6 - Home Again—for a Minute 62
  • 7 - Vaudeville Days 74
  • 8 - Will Marries Betty 87
  • 9 - Best Pal 104
  • 10 - Mr. Ziegfeld 115
  • 11 - The Celluloid Coast 128
  • 12 - Kidding the Famous 143
  • 13 - Travelin' Man 161
  • 14 - The Ranch 189
  • 15 - "I Was Never Sorry Movies Started to Talk" 202
  • 16 - Political Adventures 229
  • 17 - The Last Flight 243
  • Appendix A - Postmortems 261
  • Appendix B - More Wit and Wisdom 265
  • Index 271
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