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'Guns to Guitars'

January 15, 1988

I read "How the West Was Won, Round 2" about the Gene Autry Museum (by Bob Sipchen, Dec. 20) with personal interest, as Gene Autry influenced the course of my life.

Because of him I switched from "guns to guitars" as a youngster. My mother always detested the "shootouts" with toy guns that later would lead to real guns and real dying among young people emulating gun-totin' cowboys. These were "accidents," of course, but the real causes were the gun-slinging movie heroes.

Gene Autry's guitar strumming and singing started a new trend; singing cowboys sprang up all over the world. Perhaps, unknowingly, he was sparing young lives by the thousands. To me the museum will symbolize a monument that a singing cowboy gave to the City of Angels.

Parents can get Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer to deliver guitars instead of guns to their little cowboys.

This museum could save lives as well as record history. We need both.

JACK PATTON

Palm Springs

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