Saturday, January 30, 2010
ANOTHER OHIO BOY
Roy Rogers, the King of the Cowboys, was actually born in the city. It was in Cincinnati, Ohio, on November 5, 1911, that Leonard Slye (later to be known as Roy Rogers) was born to Mattie and Andy Slye. Years later, the building where he was born was torn down to make way for Riverfront Stadium (recently renamed Cinergy Field), the home of the Cincinnati Reds baseball team. Roy liked to say that he was born right where second base is now located. But the Slye family was never cut out for city life, so a few months after Roy was born, Andy Slye moved his family to Portsmouth, Ohio (a hundred miles east of Cincinnati), where they lived on the houseboat that he and Roy's uncle built. When Roy was seven years old his father decided it was time they settled on solid ground, so he bought a small farm in nearby Duck Run. Living on a farm meant long hours and hard work, but no matter how hard they worked the land there was little money to be made. Roy often said that about all they could raise on their farm were rocks. Eventually Andy Slye realized that he'd have to return to his old factory job at the United States Shoe Company in Cincinnati if he was going to be able to support his family. Since his father would be able to return home only on weekends, this meant that even more of the responsibilities for farm chores fell onto Roy's young shoulders.