Singing Star and Cowboy Legend Roy Rogers Boats into Alexandria, Stays at Hotel Bentley
I remember this day well, probably in 1957, out on the Red River with Jay Ellington and his father, J. Moody Ellington at the helm, in one of 20 local "outboard motor" boats from Alexandria greeting singing star and cowboy legend Roy Rogers.
Roy was riding in a Yellow Jacket Charger, built by the Yellow Jacket Boat Works of Denison, Texas. Roy apparently had some ownership in the company, and was a spokesperson and endorsing celebrity.
The trip was planned months earlier by Roy's good friend R.A. "Mac" McDerby, President of the Yellow Jacket company. The company was in business between 1949 to 1959 and was a very popular molded plywood boat known for speed and ruggedness.
This trip started at Denison Dam, in Texas, and included stops, among other places, at Fulton, Arkansas, and Natchitoches, Louisiana.
The photo below from the Town Talk shows local newsboy Doug Rylee handing Roy Rogers a copy of the Alexandria Town Talk at mid-stream of the Red River.
The next morning, after a stay in a suite in the Hotel Bentley, Roy and his crew headed downriver, for the Mississippi River and New Orleans.