Romer Zane Grey
||This article contains weasel words: vague phrasing that often accompanies biased or unverifiable information. (November 2010)|
Romer Zane Grey was the elder son of one of the most famous Western novelists of all time, the legendary Zane Grey. Romer was born October 1, 1909 at Lackawaxen, Penn. Zane and Dolly Grey had three children: Romer, Betty, and Loren. Romer was named after an uncle Romer Carl Grey, known as Reddy Grey. In his youth Romer was very much "a chip off the old block." He went on a number of his father's expeditions in to the wild areas and also on many of his fishing trips. Romer was very much into hunting, shooting, and fishing. See for example, Zane Grey's "Book of Camps and Trails" and Romer's own two fishing books listed below.
It was Romer who suggested to his father the idea for the novel Western Union, and it was Romer who did much of the research that went into the book. In addition, it was Romer who wrote the so-called "Big Little Books," although they bore his father's name. He also developed the hero "Tex Thorne". The WWA dedicated the January, 1972 issue of The Roundup as a "Zane Grey Centennial Issue" and printed an article by Romer Grey about his dad's methods of research and writing.
Romer Zane Grey spent the year of 1930-31 pursuing the career of an animator. His would-be star character, Binko the Bear Cub, never came to fruition. Four films are generally reported as having been in production:
- Arabian Nightmare
- Hot-Toe Mollie
- Sand Witches
- Binko the Toreador
Many years later, a discovery in a basement yielded the remnants of the Grey animation studio; one that hired many "A-list" animators at the time from the studios of Disney and Looney Tunes. Despite many sketches, cels, and drawings in the basement find, there was not a foot of film that was intact. Records indicated that Arabian Nightmare and Hot-Toe Mollie were, however, ready to be filmed before the studio shut down.
In 2013, a 35mm print of Hot-Toe Mollie surfaced elsewhere, showing that at least one short made it to film.
Romer married his first wife Dorothy Chasen, when she was aged nineteen years, in 1930. They had one child but divorced a few years later. He had three subsequent marriages. Romer Zane Grey was a pilot in the Pacific during World War II, and was president of Zane Grey, Inc., a business which he operated out of his home on El Nido St. in Pasadena, Calif. He was the author of two books on fishing (his father's favourite sport), and he wrote numerous short stories and articles. His article, "From Purple Ink to Purple Sage," was a highlight of a special "Zane Grey Centennial Issue" of The Roundup in January, 1972. An article in the September, 1976 issue of The Roundup relates the findings of a story in the Pasadena News that Romer Grey was a virtual recluse and that he always found it hard to live in the shadow of his famous father. Despite his father’s lifelong aversion to alcohol, Romer became an alcoholic as was a brother of Zane’s; (Ellsworth Grey.) Even after Romer's death, the family declined to release pictures of him. Romer Zane Grey suffered a stroke on February 23 and was admitted to the Huntington Hospital in Pasadena, Calif., where he died on March 8, 1976, at the age of 65. He was survived by a younger brother, Loren Grey, a professor of psychology at Valley State College in California; and by a sister, Betty Zane Grosso.
Romer wrote a number of western novels and in some cases re-used the characters created by his father.
Last Stand at Indigo Flats
The Rider of Distant Trails
Gun Trouble in Tonto Basin
High Valley River
King of the Range
Siege at Forlorn River
Three Deaths for Buck Duane
King of the Outlaw Horde
The Lawless Land
Buck Duane: King of the Range
The Other Side of the Canyon
Beyond the Mogollon Rim
Buck Duane: Rider of Distant Trails
Nevada Jim Lacy: Beyond the Mongolian Rim
Yacqui: Siege at Forlorn River
"The Cruise of 'The Fisherman'." “The Fisherman” was a large boat owed by Zane Grey in which he cruised to many parts of the world for fishing.
“ 'The Fisherman' Under the Southern Cross." The trip to New Zealand
"Dolly and Zane Grey - Letters From a Marriage" Candace Kant, 2008