Juicy Planet was trolling around the alleys of Edgewater on a balmy summer night when we saw what appeared to be a black mask, rolling like tumbleweed in front of us, the yellow glow from the arches of McDonald’s helping it to be true. Sadly, upon closer inspection, it turned out to be a chunk of fabric, with foam stuff underneath, from the armrest of a Subaru. The image of the black mask remained, and we couldn’t think of anything else but the Lone Ranger, his face, is horse, his cornflower blue outfit, and Tonto too. Turns out, we were standing in the middle of Saint Gertrudes parking lot at this point, where Clayton Moore, who grew up to be the Lone Ranger on television, used to hang out and go ice skating. The nuns used to flood the ground with water in the winter so Clayton and his pals could skate…those nuns would’ve gotten a TV show today!
We were told by a neighbor, who asked not to be identified, that Clayton Moore was born and raised at 6254 N. Glenwood. Clayton once met Hollywood’s original Tarzan, Johnny Weissmuller, at a Chicago swimming pool, while Johnny was training for the 1928 Olympics, where he was a gold medal swimmer. Clayton had been an athlete and flying trapeze artist, performing in the 1933 World’s Fair in Chicago, before heading to New York and Hollywood, starring in dozens of B movies before having the pleasure, in 1949, of becoming famous for hiding his identity behind a black mask, helping people out and taking off, with flair. Touched by the knowledge of his early bravery in pursuit of fame as well as his general loveliness, we ordered a hot fudge sundae with extra nuts and ate it on Clayton’s front steps.
Filed under: every day, lost and found, pop cultures | Tagged: 1933, American dream, B movie, chicago, clayton moore, Edgewater, flying trapeze, heroes, hidden identity, juicy planet, Lone Ranger, masked man, nuns, Tarzan, television, Tonto, Worlds Fair | 1 Comment »