pinkie the horse
On November 1, 1969, Bill and Dorla Sorrell moved "The Western Shop" from 1 S Main St to this location, the former Plaza Theatre. They renamed their business Sor-rell's. Under their ownership, this store became one of the leading businesses of its kind in America. Their sons Doug, Dave and Steve worked alongside them in this family endeavour.
Atop the marquee stood this full sized fibreglass
horse. Bill and Dorla named him Pinkie in honour of Bill's Palomino in the Antioch Shrine Mounted Patrol.
Pinkie got his name from Lorne Greene, the actor
who portrayed Pa Cartwright in the TV series Bonanza.
The Antioch Mounted Patrol appeared in the Rose Bowl parade on January 1, 1969. When Bill's horse grew his winter coat it was no longer the desired golden Palomino. Now it was "off white". In an attempt to dye the hair coat to a golden color, something went amiss. The result was a horse of a different color, but not quite Palomino. The horse actually had a pinkish cast.
In the very early morning hours of January 1st on the streets of Pasadena, Dayton's Shrine troop found themselves across the street from the Stars of TV westerns. Most only a few hours earlier had been celebrating the New Year.
As Lorne Greene gazed across the street, in an elevated voice he proclaimed to Dan Blocker,
"Hoss, I need to cut back on my drinking. That horse is Pink !"
The name stuck.
Over the decades as Pinkie watched over Main St, Montgomery County added this "landmark" to their Historical Inventory.
Pinkie appeared as a picture in many papers on multiple occasions when a winter horse blanket would be placed on him.
Pinkie remained atop the marquee as an advertising symbol for over 30 years.
During his tenure he was painted as a leopard Appaloosa and as a sorrel (red horse).
During 2016 Miamisburg native Virgil Neal painstakingly restored Pinkie pro bono to the original Palomino color.
Pinkie is on loan from owners Doug and Diana Sorrell.