Throwback Thursday: Ben and Hoss Cartwright… - Wyoming Medical Center

Throwback Thursday: Ben and Hoss Cartwright create 'Bonanza' in children's ward - Aug. 4, 1961

By Kristy Bleizeffer Aug 12, 2021

Morning Star, Aug. 5, 1961

In August 1961, the Central Wyoming Fair and Nite Rodeo scored two of the biggest television stars of the time: Lorne Greene and Dan Blocker.

Casper Tribune Herald photo

The pair, who starred as Ben and Hoss Cartwright in the hit show "Bonanza," entertained crowds nightly in front of the fair grandstands. On Aug. 4, they stopped by the children's ward of Natrona County Memorial Hospital.

We have several questions about this amazing photo from the Morning Star:

  • First: What the heck happened to the left eyes of both of these boys? Was it a coincidence? Do they know each other? Were they in the same accident?
  • Second: Are the stars showing off real revolvers in a hospital children's ward? To boys who, for all we know, shot their own eyes out with Red Ryder BB guns? Either way, we love it - especially now in an era when anyone can get strip searched for trying to take a pocket knife on an airplane.
  • Third: Is this the best cutline in Throwback Thursday history? "These youngsters, with an eye apiece going for them, put the single eyes to the work of four as they drank in every moment of the TV stars' visit." Wow, Morning Star: Way to throw sand in the eyes these boys have left!​

The Casper-Tribune Herald also covered the actors' visit, snapping this photo of Lorne Greene placing his hat on little Carol Ann McGee. Precious!

Throwback Thursday

Throwback Thursday looks back on Wyoming Medical Center’s long, rich history in Natrona County. Special thanks to the Casper College Western History Center, which archives our vast collection of newspaper articles, photographs and other memorabilia; and to "Wyoming Medical Center: A Centennial History," by Rebecca A. Hunt, Ph.D. Information is also collected from a collection of Hi-Lites, Wyoming Medical Center's employee newsletter, dating from 1982-1996.