Old Yeller Day

Old Yeller Day

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Perhaps no different fictional story has taught generations of kids extra in regards to the loyal coronary heart of  a canine, and the ache of dropping a four-legged good friend, than Old Yeller. Decades after the story was unleashed in e-book kind, canine fanatics are nonetheless vicariously visiting the Coates household and their canine companion not solely via the pages of the Fred Gipson novel or by watching the traditional Disney film, but additionally by making a pilgrimage to the creator’s hometown–Mason, Texas– for Old Yeller Day.

An annual tribute to Fred Gipson and the beloved characters he created, Old Yeller Day takes place every September in Mason, a comfortable group set within the Texas Hill Country. 

Old Yeller statue in front of Mason libraryOld Yeller statue in front of Mason library

The occasion features a screening of the Disney traditional, a pet parade, Travis and  Old Yeller look-alike contests, adoptable canines from a neighborhood shelter, a 10K run, and, as an homage to the brave canine, a free rabies clinic. 

In 2021 Old Yeller Day takes place on September twenty fifth, with among the occasion’s standard actions (such because the canine parade–this yr a virtual Old Yeller photo contest) revised as a consequence of present circumstances.

Fun Facts About Old Yeller

In celebration of this pet holiday, we’ve fetched a couple of attention-grabbing info about Old Yeller so you possibly can rejoice this timeless story of canine devotion regardless of the place you reside:

Old Yeller book coverOld Yeller book cover

What sort of canine was Old Yeller? There’s been some discuss that Fred Gipson was influenced by the Blue Lacy breed–developed by the Lacy brothers in the identical county the place Gipson lived–now the Official State Dog Breed of Texas. And whereas Blue Lacy canines will be crimson, most individuals imagine Old Yeller was a Black Mouth Cur.

We known as him Old Yeller. The identify had a kind of double that means. One half meant that his brief hair was a dingy yellow, a coloration that we known as “yeller” in these days. The different meant that when he opened his head, the sound he set free got here nearer to being a yell than a bark.

― Fred Gipson, Old Yeller

Old Yeller is a piece of fiction, however a real story instructed to Gipson by his grandfather a few canine named Rattler served as inspiration for the story.   

A former shelter canine named Spike portrayed Old Yeller within the Disney film. He was found by animal coach Frank Weatherwax, who– by paying a $3 adoption payment– gave the Labrador Retriever/Mastiff combine a brand new lease on life.

Hollywood animal coach Frank Weatherwax not solely taught Spike the skills he wanted to step into the position of Old Yeller, he additionally skilled the canine who portrayed Asta from The Thin Man movie franchise. Fun Fact:  Frank Weatherwax’s brother Rudd Weatherwax skilled Pal, the unique Lassie.

In 1957 Old Yeller’s creator Fred Gipson was the recipient of the coveted Newberry Medal, which is introduced yearly to one of the best youngsters’s literature printed within the earlier yr.

Fred Gipson headstone Texas State Cemetery, AustinFred Gipson headstone Texas State Cemetery, Austin

Fred Gipson is buried within the Texas State Cemetery in Austin. It is just not uncommon for guests to depart a canine deal with on his gravestone.

What I imply is, issues like that occur. They could appear would possibly merciless and unfair, however that’s how life is part of the time. But that isn’t the one method life is. Part of the time, it’s mighty good. And a person can’t afford to waste all the great half, worrying in regards to the dangerous elements. That makes all of it dangerous.

― Fred Gipson, Old Yeller

Fans of the enduring novel and its Disney adaptation can study extra in regards to the author who introduced Old Yeller to life in his house city, the place a statue of the devoted canine and his favourite human stands guard outdoors of the Mason County M. Beven Eckert Memorial Library. The constructing homes an exhibit in regards to the lifetime of the creator which consists of previous film posters, photographs and clothes that belonged to the creator, and objects that deliver to mild Gipson’s different literary choices, from novels to articles written throughout his days as a journalist.  

Old Yeller DayOld Yeller Day

Lubbock, Texas-based sculptor Garland Weeks captured the essence of Travis and his trustworthy canine companion within the Old Yeller statue in entrance of the library. The following phase of Texas Country Reporter provides a glance again on the unveiling of the Old Yeller statue:

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If you ever go to Mason, make sure to cease by the library for a not-to-be missed photograph alternative!

Irie in front of Old Yeller Statue, MasonIrie in front of Old Yeller Statue, Mason
photo opportunity in front of Mason Texas library Old Yellerphoto opportunity in front of Mason Texas library Old Yeller
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