Friday, April 30, 2010

Reader Contribution From Magdalena

The Mountain Mail publication of the Oral History of Dave Farr generated many positive responses, including this story sent to the newspaper by Dolly Dawson of Magdalena.

This happened in the 1920’s. There was a small plane piloted by Roscoe Turner. He was having trouble with his plane and was forced to set down on George and Edith Farr’s ranch. Inside of this plane he had a cargo that needed to be attended to, because it was alive. It was a male, African lion. He had this lion on a leash all the time.
The next morning when he tried to take off with this lion on the plane it was a really hot day and there was so much density the plane wouldn’t lift off the ground with this lion in it. Roscoe Turner had Mr. and Mrs. Farr take the lion into Albuquerque to the Franciscan Hotel (which is now gone), and he would meet them there in the lobby.
The Farr’s used to tell this story many times over the years. The lion rode in the back seat of the car and kept his head on Mrs. Farr’s shoulder while riding, looking right down the road all the way to Albuquerque. When they stopped at a light, and as people walked by and looked in the car they would jump back when they saw this lion in the car.
When they led the lion into the Franciscan Hotel lobby, the people scattered, and cleared the lobby. It is said this lion is the one that became famous as MGM roaring lion logo.

Editor’s note – The lion Turner had with him was provided by one of his sponsors, the Gilmore Oil Company (later Mobil Oil), as a publicity stunt on his barnstorming tours.

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