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The rest of the story

Just about all of us have at one time or another listened to Paul Harvey’s whimsical, offbeat and out-of-the-ordinary stories delivered in his uniquely resonant and paternal voice. Many people think of Harvey is as much folklorist as journalist. His “Rest of the Story” narratives frequently straddle that thin line between fact and urban legend.I thought it might be fun to engage in a bit of whimsical and not-so-whimsical elucidation right here in the Vail Daily, and the first explication is about John Reid. So who was John Reid? Well, John Reid was the real name of the fictional character known as The Lone Ranger. We all know how the Lone Ranger came to be known as “lone,” right? As first broadcast on Detroit radio in 1933, six Texas Rangers hot on the trail of the infamous Cavendish Gang were ambushed by the bad guys. All of John Reid’s comrades were killed, including his brother Dan, and the Lone Ranger himself was left for dead.John Reid, the “lone” surviving Texas Ranger, was lying on the ground when his soon to be ever-faithful companion Tonto came upon him and nursed him back to health – all the rest, including the subsequent Cheerios TV commercials, is history, right?Well, why would an Indian warrior spend the rest of his days as the Lone Ranger’s trusty sidekick. Why did the Lone Ranger wear a mask? Why did he use silver bullets. And speaking of silver, how did a dying ranger come to own such a magnificent horse? Well, here’s “the rest of the story.”Many moons before the Cavendish Gang ambushed the six rangers, when John Reid and Tonto were children the young John Reid saved Tonto’s life. In a show of gratitude, Tonto gave young John a necklace, which of course he always wore. It was that necklace Tonto found around Ranger Reid’s neck after the ambush, and Tonto returned the favor by saving the ranger’s life.With his health restored, John Reid vowed to wreak havoc upon the Cavendish Gang and “make the West a decent place to live.” Reid and Tonto then dug six graves at the ambush site to make everyone believe that Reid had perished with the other rangers. Then to hide his identity, Reid made a black mask from the vest his brother Dan was wearing at the massacre. Only Tonto was privy to the Lone Ranger’s secret.Reid again ran into good luck when he and Tonto stumbled upon a white stallion being gored by a buffalo. Together they saved the horse and nursed the animal back to health. After regaining its strength, the duo set the steed free, but the pallid charger followed them and eventually came to be known as the Lone Ranger’s trusty mount, Silver.But the story doesn’t end here. Remember the silver bullets? I don’t know about you, but even as a kid I always wondered just how the Lone Ranger managed to be the only man in the Old West to have his own munitions supplier. Once again, a fortuitous coincidence gives us the answer. The Cavendish Gang attempted to frame a vagrant for the ambush and murders of the rangers. But upon hearing of the vagrant’s plight and with knowledge of his innocence, John Reid took the man to the silver mine that he and his deceased brother owned and turned the mine into a “silver bullet” factory. Truth about KyotoAnother chronicle that needs a bit of elucidation is the one that is retold by those who feel that any time our government doesn’t bow to the will of “international community,” we are displaying American arrogance. This particular canard has reached the status of urban legend and it goes something like this: President Bush further alienated the international community by pulling out of the Kyoto treaty.But the reality is that in June 2001, Colin Powell made clear that the administration considered the 1997 Kyoto pact a “dead letter.” Environmental groups at home and abroad condemned the administration and accused the United States of being despoilers and polluters who pulled out of the treaty. These stories were picked up by the press and were taken at face value by the uninformed. In this particular case, what the press failed to reveal was that the U.S. Senate must ratify any proposed treaty by a two-thirds majority before it becomes binding. In the matter of the Kyoto treaty, the Senate had voted 95 to 0 in opposition to its terms because of the devastation they felt it would wreak upon our economy. Six months after the vote on the terms of the treaty, then Vice President Al Gore signed the pact in Kyoto, Japan. Why Vice President Gore signed the accords is subject to speculation, making “the fact” that the United States was a “signatory” to the treaty pure pretense. The reality is that the Clinton administration never even sent the treaty to the Senate for a vote. President Clinton understood that the treaty would never pass because, according to his Energy Department, its terms (which had already been reviewed and dismissed by the Senate) would have placed greater restrictions upon us than it would have placed upon other nations. If followed, adherence to the Kyoto treaty would have reduced our GDP by 4 percent, increased gas prices by 66 percent and increased the cost of electricity by 86 percent. In a nutshell, the Kyoto treaty was a bad deal for the U.S., and both Bill Clinton and George Bush acted in the best interests of the American economy.Now you know “the rest of the story.”Butch Mazzuca of Singletree, a Realtor, writes a weekly column for the Daily. He can be reached at bmazz68@earthlink.netVail, Colorado


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