Rex Trailer, New England legend, rides off into the sunset
January 10, 2013 8:39 AM   Subscribe

New England legend Rex Trailer, host of Boomtown from 1956 to 1974, has died at 84.

New Englanders might remember Rex's commercials for Crimson Travel, which were a staple of afternoons on UHF. Rex was also a pilot and would often make local appearances in one of his helicopters. Rex will be missed.
posted by bondcliff (12 comments total)
posted by Smart Dalek at 8:42 AM on January 10, 2013

On a personal note, Rex was a constant presence in my town's 4th of July parade. As a kid, I never quite understood who he was, he was just some cowboy who rode his horse down Main St. every year. We didn't really have cowboys in New England, but we had Rex. I remember my dad going up to talk to him and Rex being warm and friendly. He was the first celebrity I ever knew, even if I had no idea at the time what he was famous for.

At some point in the 1970s I got to watch Rex and Santa land in a helicopter at our local shopping center. Total high point of my childhood.

So long, Rex. I'm not looking forward to the empty horse next July 4th.

posted by bondcliff at 8:45 AM on January 10, 2013


As a child of the 70s I remember him from those Crimson Travel commercials you mentioned.
posted by Rock Steady at 9:07 AM on January 10, 2013

bondcliff, he also rode in my town's Fourth of July parade at least a couple of times within the last ten or so years (that would be Franklin, Massachusetts). Not having grown up in New England, I had no idea who he was (the Oklahoma equivalent was Foreman Scotty), but he was a very nice guy.
posted by Curious Artificer at 9:15 AM on January 10, 2013


I remember him coming to our town's stadium as a kid. He was a big draw! It was the first time I made the teevee-reallife connection. He seemed very cool.
posted by drowsy at 9:31 AM on January 10, 2013

My early childhood years were in the 60s, so I was the primary audience for Rex Trailer and "Boomtown". When I was five, he was the biggest hero I could possibly imagine. My little brother and I got up early every weekend to watch the show, and I would have given anything to be one of the kids in the parade. I also longed to go on his annual trip to California.

We got to see Rex in person one time -- he arrived in his helicopter in the parking lot of some department store and some teenage kid ran out from behind the cordons to ask how to get to be on "Boomtown" and Rex replied "You don't do it by being on the wrong side of the line, kid!"
posted by briank at 10:00 AM on January 10, 2013 [1 favorite]

It's too bad that local kids shows didn't become viable economically. Quite a short mid 60's period where any region that had a local studio made space in the AM for kids. There must have been something incredibly special about getting to visit the set of a person that you've gotten to know well. It was probably a good training ground for performers.
posted by sammyo at 10:14 AM on January 10, 2013 [1 favorite]

I never saw Rex in person or TV (maybe on youtube), moved to Boston way too late, but I did notice Trailer studios on Comm ave when I drove by.
posted by sammyo at 10:16 AM on January 10, 2013


He and Major Mudd were the first TV characters I ever knew by name.
posted by xingcat at 10:27 AM on January 10, 2013 [1 favorite]

Oh, sad news. He was such a kind man and did a lot for charity.
posted by Sidhedevil at 11:18 AM on January 10, 2013

posted by kuujjuarapik at 11:39 AM on January 10, 2013

Quite a short mid 60's period where any region that had a local studio made space in the AM for kids.

In the late 80s the CBS affiliate in Boston (Channel 7, if I remember) produced a kids-focused morning chat show to compete against Today and GMA (I don't think CBS had a national morning show at the time) called Ready To Go. It wasn't around very long and doesn't seem to have any appreciable Internet presence to link to. I only remember it because I was on the first 5-time repeating champion team on "The Seven Perils of Togo" -- the little Double Dare-esque game show they had as one of their segments.
posted by Rock Steady at 11:49 AM on January 10, 2013

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