Rex Trailer Had Strong Ties To Wakefield
Rex Trailer died Thursday at the age of 84. Former TV personality had considerable connections to Wakefield.
As noted in this article earlier this week on Patch.com, former Boston area TV personality Rex Trailer died Thursday at the age of 84.
Many know Trailer as the host of "Boomtown," which ran on WBZ for nearly two decades. In Wakefield however, local historian and author Bob McLaughlin cited several longstanding connections Trailer had to the town.
According to McLaughlin, Bill O'Brien, who played Sergeant Billy on the TV show, was a Wakefielder. Many of the musicians who Trailer hired for the show back in the '50s were from the town as well. Many of the musicians reportedly started off working at the Pleasure Island Amusement Park in Wakefield, which Trailer would appear at regularly.
Another anecdote found online at this link says that when Trailer performed at Pleasure Island, at least sometimes he was in an "amphicar" (ambibious car) out on the lake where the legendary Moby Dick white whale was kept. Trailer's amphicar was reportedly in the wrong place at the wrong time one day and found itself starting to upend as Moby Dick rose to the surface.
Part of Trailer's gig at Pleasure Island also apparently involved rescuing train riders (park guests) from marauding "Indians."
Over the years, McLaughlin said that Trailer continued to maintain his close ties to Wakefield, riding his horse in the annual July 4th parade until fairly recently and also helping to welcome Trailer to a 50th anniversary event at the Galvin Middle School in 2009. McLaughlin also provided most of the images of Trailer that are included with this article.
Trailer was also just one of many celebrities to appear at the Pleasure Island amusement park in its heyday. McLaughlin's Friends of Pleasure Island website has a page that talks about some of the others, including the Three Stooges and Ricky Nelson, who reportedly made his first New England appearance at the park.
Elsewhere, a separate website has a picture of Trailer on horseback during Wakefield's 2008 July 4th parade.
For more about Rex Trailer, visit his official website here, check out his Wikipedia page, or check out the embedded Youtube clip from "Boomtown" showing a wacky classic skit. Trailer's Associated Press obituary can be viewed at this link. Numerous other Rex Trailer clips can be found on Youtube.
For an interview that Bob McLaughlin did with Patch.com last year about the history of Pleasure Island, click here.