Rex Trailer's "Boomtown Years"


Bill O'Brien, who played Sgt. Billy, was the sidekick who lasted the longest, literally growing up on Rex's show. Billy joined the crew at 15 with Lou Ciarfella in the standard entry level Boomtown slot—pooper scooper. He appeared with both Pablo and Cactus Pete, working continuously on the show from 1967 on. "Terry and I became comrades because we were the two village buffoons. We played off each other and had a great time doing the show," recalled Bill.

He and Rex met for the first time at Pleasure Island, where Bill was working with Lou as an Indian attacking the train before Rex came to rescue the passengers and wrestle the Indians.

Bill learned how to play a guitar when he was young. Eventually, he went to Berklee College of Music. "Terry encouraged me to go and learn how to write and arrange music," said Bill.

As with all live performances, mishaps were inevitable. A number of Rex's personal appearances took place at Pleasure Island, Wakefield, Massachusetts' version of Disneyland. Rex was in the middle of the lake where the boat nde was, performing in his amphicar (an automobile that could go on land and water). "There was this metal whale in the lake that would spout water and rise out of the water once in a while. This thing comes up underneath the amphicar and starts tipping it over," recalled Dallas. "It was Rex's big encounter with Moby Dick that we never let him forget."

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