Auburn resident Wendy Thomas lost a little piece of her childhood last week with the news that Rex Trailer, the popular cowboy star of TV’s “Boomtown,” died Jan. 9.
“I used to get up on Saturday morning and ride on the arm of the rocking chair like it was a horse,” Thomas said, “while singing, ‘Boom, Boom, Boomtown!’”
So, too, did thousands of other area residents, who grew up watching the show on Boston station WBZ-TV from 1956 to 1974.
Trailer, 84, died at his home in Florida.
“Boomtown” entertained millions of children for three hours every Saturday and Sunday.
Maureen Heard of Derry was one of those children.
“I always watched the show,” she said last week. “I always thought the kids that got on the show were the luckiest in the whole world. It brings back sweet memories of a simpler time.”
There were more than 1,000 episodes of the show and more than 250,000 children appeared on it.
Londonderry High School musical director Andy Soucy got close enough to see the set.
Soucy, who grew up in Nashua, sang on “Community Auditions” at WBZ.
“We went to WBZ studios for the broadcast and, at one point, saw the ‘Boomtown’ set in another room aside from where we were performing,” Soucy said. “I know it’s silly, but I became really excited and I found myself gazing at all the different items. So I guess looking back, he touched a lot of us.”
Long after the show went off the air, Trailer continued to entertain local fans.
He appeared in several Labor Day parades in Derry and entertained the crowd at Derryfest in 2005.
Barb Ellingwood led the Derryfest Committee for many years. She said Trailer made many people happy that day in MacGregor Park.
The TV icon invited adults who had watched him as a child to share the stage with him.