Memories of Hoppy

by Mike Newton
(Hamilton, Ohio)

I didn't have a television set in the early years when Hoppy was on TV. You would see his photo on cookie boxes, bread labels, and various merchandise. Even though I was a devout Roy Rogers fan, I did have a Hoppy pocket knife. My father told me that I should never run with the blade open and that I should cut away from myself. I was trying to split a twig in half and the blade slipped and I cut my finger. It didn't hurt but bled a little. I was more concerned that Dad would find out and take the knife away. I did listen to the Hoppy radio program on Saturday nights. It was sponsored by Grape Nuts Flakes. Andy Clyde as "California" would say: "If you want to be like Hoppy, you gotta eat like Hoppy." Years later, I found a pack of bubble gum trading cards with pictures of Hoppy still in the original rubber band. I was taking it back to Ohio where my dad had an antique collection. When I got into the taxi to go to the airport, there was a newspaper on the back seat. That's when I read of Hoppy's death. The date was Sept 12 1972.

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