Buffalo Bulletin, Buffalo, Wyoming
Sometimes it’s difficult to be famous
Published: Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012
(Permission to use requested.)
How about the members of Buffalo Downtown Association, the Buffalo Chamber of Commerce and Johnson County Arts and Humanities Council?
They had their “creative side” working full blast when they came up with the idea of featuring a “Longmire Day” in Buffalo later this month (July 21 to be exact).
Most of the Bench Sitters are hooked on the TV series “Longmire” and are avid readers of Craig Johnson’s books.
You may know the star of A&E’s featured series who plays Walt Longmire is an Australian actor by the name of Robert Taylor.
What you might not know is that a famous actor by the name of Robert Taylor once spent many of his summers here in Johnson County.
Check it out.
That Robert Taylor was one of Hollywood’s top stars in the 1940s and 50s.
He usually played the fearless hero in Westerns and always ended up with the pretty girl. In real life, he was married to Barbara Stanwyck and later to German-born actress Ursula Thiess.
The earlier Robert Taylor was a friend of the people who owned the UM Ranch at that time, and he had a cabin (summer home) on what is now part of the Bud Love Wildlife Management Area.
Taylor liked to come into Buffalo with his faded Levi pants, Western shirt, boots and worn-out Stetson. He enjoyed having an ice cream “float” at Seney’s Drug and picked up his mail at the post office two or three times a week.
He told a friend here that he liked Buffalo because no one made a fuss about him, asked for his autograph or wanted a photo taken with him.
Truth was, he may have looked familiar to some locals, but the idea that a famous movie star was among us – well, it just didn’t seem possible.
Early one summer the movie star walked into Washut’s Propane to order the tank at his place filled up. Bart Green was working there at the time.
The handsome movie star thumbed his cowboy hat back and said, “I’d like a load of propane delivered to my place out near the UM.”
“Ok,” says Bart. “What’s the name?
The actor smiled and said, “I’m Robert Taylor.” – knowing that for once it would be just fine for someone to realize they were talking to a movie star.
“Uh huh” … Bart said as he scribbled on the order form.
“Will that be cash or charge?”
“I’ll need to charge it,” smiled Taylor.
“OK,” retorts Bart. “But I don’t know you for sure. Are you related to the Taylors down at Kaycee? How about Orange Taylor? Is he a cousin?”
The movie actor didn’t say anything more. He just pulled his checkbook out and took care of the bill.
Sometimes it’s harder to be famous than you might think.
Take care and we’ll write again next week.
Robert Taylor stayed on the UM during the time it was owned by Clarence and Mildred Tarbet. Mr. Tarbet had become friends with Taylor after providing vehicles and transportation for him in Hollywood.
Right. As I understand it, after Mr. Tarbet’s death, they were asked to leave. Do you know if this is true? Thanks for writing.
My mother met Robert Taylor and his wife in the old Safeway store in Sheridan, Wyoming. Mom was thrilled! I was a little boy with mama. Also Robert Taylor often visited the Busy Bee cafe in Buffalo for he loved their home made pies, and a lot more. I am sure he ordered from them to take to his cabin. And the owners of the cafe; Hollis and Helen Voiles. Helen was my mom’s sister, my aunt. I have always loved the old Hollywood when movies were rated G. I met Marlene Dietrich in Chicago in 1964 when I was a solder in the US Army. It is quite a story! When I arrived at my post in Indianapolis, I went AWOL to see Miss Dietrich performing on the stage of the Butler University. I was invited back stage, she was very nice, signed her autograph to the brochure that night! I thought I was to be an actor when a young fella in wyoming. But that was not my calling: Jesus saved me, gave me a Lyric Tenor Opera voice — I am a PERFORMER under the Anointing Power of the Holy Spirit in Boise Idaho until doors open. God bless everybody! In His Love, I am Robert Bateman. nametabbob@gmail,.com 208-342-4889
Thank you for these anecdotes about Robert Taylor. One of the things I like about him is that he was unpretentious and lived like normal people. I’m so glad your found your voice and have been able to use it for the Lord. Judith