Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Live and in Color

I am a member of the TV dinner generation. Bonding time in my house consisted of Swanson and CBS. I considered Archie, Edith, Gloria and the Meathead among my family members. Florida and J.J. were like cousins to me. When Sherman Helmsley moved on up, I went with him, and I didn’t separate my own experiences from those lived through these characters on television. Perhaps growing up in a world where there was always a punch line and a happy ending has skewed my expectations for adulthood. In my adult reality I don’t have the luxury of being the zany, scheming housewife who is always forgiven by her handsome Cuban-American husband. I’m not the wise-cracking wife of a bus driver who always finds a way to love her stubborn, chubby husband in spite of his many faults. Real living is much more complex than the 30 minutes of family life I saw on the screen, but I still hold fast to my childhood TV family.

Carol O’Connor, Jack Lord, Jackie Gleason, Lucille Ball, Redd Foxx, Gene Rayburn, Tony Randall, Jack Soo, Fred 'Rerun' Berry, and Flip Wilson - so many of the faces of my childhood are no longer with us. I worry about some of the aging icons. Alan Alda, sexy, witty, sensitive and wise, Carol Burnett, the crazy aunt we all wish we had, Chevy Chase, the goofy uncle, touchy-feely Richard Dawson, and Bob Barker, the icon of calm in a sea of excitement: just to name a few. As time goes by I think about my pseudo-ancestors, and I wonder how they’re getting by in their twilight years out of the spotlight. Though they don’t know me, and I really don’t know them, they helped to shape the person became.


LJ said...

Bill Cosby is SEVENTY

DiaBelo said...

My grandfather was Archie and Meathead could have been any one of my sister's boyfriends. "Those were the days."

MJ said...

I guess I was watching a different channel. Magnum P.I. was my show although I watched my share of Good Times, What's Happenin', Facts of Life, Charles in Charge, Different Strokes, Dukes of Hazzard. Don't forget the Muppet Show and Dance Fever with Denny Terio! (Ooh, Solid Gold , too.)

LJ is standing over my shoulder singing everyone of these theme songs correctly.

Cora Spondence said...

One of my prized possessions is a note written to me by Carol Burnett. I wrote a letter to her a while back the network aired The Best of the Carol Burnett Show which featured all the best bits from her show. I remember laughing so hard I peed a little in my pants, no lie. Especially, the Gone With the Wind sketch. I sat down the next day and wrote to her saying how much I missed laughing like that. A couple of months later, I received a lovely reply. She's such a class act.