Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Thursday, August 4, 2022


 Here's one I have never heard of.  Ranger Bill was a long-running Christian radio program from the Moody Bible Institute.  It aired from 1950 to 1964, moving in 1956 from a 15-minute program to a half hour.   The program has been syndicated and is supposed still running somewhere.

Ranger Bill Jefferson (Miron Canaday)is the chief forest ranger in the small town of Knotty Pine, somewhere alone the edge of the Rockies.  He lives with his mother.  Ranger Bill is "a well-built leader capable of accomplishing nearly anything."  Bill works with "Stumpy" Jenkins (also Miron Canaday), "the Old Timer," who is an ace marksman prone to telling jokes. Another forest ranger is Gray Wolf (Ed Ronne, Sr.), a Dakota Indian who speaks broken English; Gray Wolf serves as a bridge between modern forestry practices and the traditional ways of his people.   Henry Scott is Bill's teenage ward who helps out with many of the ranger's tasks.

In this undated episode, Bill gets secret orders to escort Hal Dever to the Army Proving grounds to test a bomb timing device.  Hal has been ignoring his son Jim.  Jim takes the timer, accidently setting it off.  Tick, tick, tick...

A Confession:  I just stumbled across this on YouTube and have not listened to the episode.  I probably never will.  (Back when I was a little lad, I saw one episode of Davey and Goliath and have never recovered.  Brrr.)  In case you are braver than I, here's the link:


  1. Thanks! I'm always impressed by the "alternate" sorts of radio and other drama which have flourished over the years...I would listen to episodes of UNSHACKLED from time to time when none of the other radio stations during a car trip had anything of interest, and while I never was convinced by them in their "instructional"/evangelical attempts, I did find their attempts to put that kind of bald recruitment in the form of not quite parables interesting. On tv, INSIGHT had a slightly better batting average, probably because they had some better writing talent working on that series...D&G were never exactly dealing with a light touch. There was an Adult Swim cable series that was a savage parody of the boy and his dog series...

    1. Todd, looking back on this post, I wonder how the Moody Bible people would have felt years later that a "Ranger Bill "namesake", WILLIAM JEFFERSON Clinton, had reached the top of the pile by becoming president, bringing with him all of his sexual peccadilloes.
      And then there's the whole teenage boy as a "ward" thing...

    2. A whole lot of that last, trying to...groom, I mean attract...a young audience, that no doubt drew another audience through the decades (one, sadly, which overlaps too heavily with various clergy).. Meanwhile, Clinton did frustrate a lot of the cultural as well as political Right in our country for, as our first neoliberal pres, touching on all the moves of the former and "stealing" a whole lot of the heartlessness of the latter. Abetted by Perot taking out his resentment of GHW Bush, and letting vanity help sway him into running again, probably hurting Dole more than Clinton...