It was with great sadness early today that we found out that Rex Trailer has passed away in Florida. He was renowned throughout New England for his love for children and the special place in his heart he had for children with disabilities. In the 1950s and 1960s there was no larger television star in New England than Rex Trailer. His weekend show Boomtown was must family viewing. For those of you unfamiliar with his name, his bio on Wikipedia will give you a glimpse of his greatness.
I am proud to say that Rex was a personal friend. We also had the opportunity to work together after he retired from his TV show and opened his production studio in Waltham. It never failed that when we went out to lunch together that female fans would come over to confirm that he was indeed the Rex Trailer they grew up with. Of course, they would break out into the familiar Boom-Boom-Boomtown theme song sung as part of every show.
Rex was quick to bring children with disabilities to his show and led a Massachusetts-wide wagon train across Massachusetts in 1959 to raise awareness of children with disabilities.
He was quick to share his vast knowledge of television and TV production with the young and often commented on the amount of joy it brought him to teach a class at Emerson College.
In his memory, I would like to share two Rex Trailer moments with you. The first demonstrates his love for all life; the second his sense of humor.
Rex was driving home one evening when he saw a collie in the road that had been hit by a car. While others passed quickly, Rex stopped and went into the road to pick up the dog. He placed it in the back seat of his car and took it to a nearby veterinarian. He told them to do what they could for the dog and he would be responsible for the charges.
To set the stage for the second vignette, you have to know that Rex always wore cowboy gear. His shirts were Western style and he always wore boots and a Stetson. One Halloween, Rex was invited to a party and everyone was told them must come in costume. When Rex showed up in a business suit, it brought down the house.
We have lost a great person today. May he be in heaven now, reunited with his beloved horse Gold Rush.