There used to be the occasional nights when The Old Man was home early from work. The entire family was in the family room. There was me, of course, and then there was Mom, The Old Man, and there was my brother Dave.
There used to be this thing they called sitcoms on television. There were shows like Three’s Company, or All in the Family.
All in the Family was the best.
Then there was Cheers, there was Too Close for Comfort and One Day at a Time was pretty good too.
There would be nights when everyone was in the den. We’d all be in the room, laughing at the television, but more importantly, we were all together.
I never thought much about how valuable these times were. I suppose this is why people say you don’t know what you have until it’s gone.
And it’s true.
Did I ever tell you that The Old Man was secretly a professional wrestling fan? It’s a true story.
I remember The Old Man would make fun of professional wrestling shows whenever he would come in the den and find me watching them, which was usually on Saturday mornings.
He’d make fun of the wrestlers and call it fake. I didn’t argue or defend the wrestlers because even though I was young, it was clear to me that everything was scripted. I mean, who gets hit in the head with a steal chair and gets back up to win the match?
One day I walked into the den and found The Old Man sitting on the couch. And what was he watching?
He was watching professional wrestling.
The funny part is he quickly switched the channel so I wouldn’t see.
The Old Man was caught and he knew it. He laughed a little more and switched back to the show, He did this so the two of us could watch it together. The funny part is The Old Man knew more about the wrestlers than I thought.
I was never much of a history buff; however, now that I mention this it would only be fair to mention that I learned more about American History by watching old Bugs Bunny Cartoons than I ever did in a classroom.
What I am about to say is something I say often.
No wonder why kids today are all screwed up. Look at their cartoons.
I will give SpongeBob SquarePants a pass but only because of the connection it created between me and my youngest child.
And now here we are. The world is under a “Stay at home,” order and I am wondering about a few ideas.
If could have anyone from my past come over, who would it be?
Well. I think aside from the obvious ones being Mom and The Old Man, I think I’d have my Grandmother come over.
I think I’d try to find a television show called Marcus Welby, M.D.
The final episode was run on July 29, 1976. I was about four years old at the time.
My Grandmother (or Gram as we called her) was staying at our house for a while because she wasn’t well. I remember there was a special bed in the spare bedroom for gram.
I’d come down early and watch the sun come up with my Grandmother. And we’d watch a show, which was too much for me to understand but either way, I was fine. And of course, I was fine. I was watching a show with my Grandma. How could I not be fine?
In my teens, I spent an entire Sunday playing cards at a friend’s house while watching a marathon of Leave It to Beaver.
Then of course, who could ever forget The Honeymooners?
There were a few HBO specials that I’d like to see again.
Red Skelton’s Christmas Special with Freddie the Freeloader was funny, which is not to say that I understood the humor at the time.
I was too young. But it was good enough to see The Old Man laugh out loud. And I say this because this was long before we lived in today’s L.O.L world.
It would be remiss of me to mention Freddie the Freeloader and not mention Rich Little’s Christmas Carol, in which all of the characters were performed by Rich, himself, and done as impersonation of the other actors that were around long before my time. He impersonated people like W.C. Fields, Paul Lynde and Johnny Carson, and all the names that were big at the time.
I loved that show.
I wonder though.
I wonder of anyone remembers shows like Alice or The Facts of Life, or Different Strokes, or what about Webster?
We could bring up other shows that were like a fizzle in the pan, like Punky Brewster or Alf.
I also loved the show Taxi
Does anyone even remember these shows anymore?
There was Laverne and Shirley, Happy Days, and then there was White Shadow—I remember White Shadow. I’m not sure of no one else does but I do. And The Carol Burnett Show with Harvey Korman and Tim Conway; does anyone remember them?
I do. They were on the television in my den all the time.
There was no such thing as the internet back then. There was no YouTube either, there’s no Blu-ray and hell, and at best we had a huge box of a television in the den that was nothing in comparison to the televisions of today
I’m not sure if this change is good or bad but then again, the idea of anything being good or bad is only relative. As for the moment, how this relates to me is I am sitting in my loft where I do my daily journaling. There is the sun coming up over the old Chapel across from my home on Sunday, April 12, 2020 Easter morning.
The town is quiet. Then again, the entire world is mostly quiet, except for the hospitals of course. We are in the middle of a pandemic that seems to be leaving us all in a state of confusion. I’m hoping everyone stays safe, Then again, if other people stay safe it makes it a lot easier for me to stay safe too.
There’s no Church today. There’s no contact. There’s a necessary need for social distancing. Thankfully, we do live in an age of modern technology, which means I can find all of the old shows I used to like.
I can watch Good Times, or What’s Happening. I can find reruns of Welcome Back Kotter, Gilligan’s Island, or hell, I could go back to the early 80’s and watch Dallas and see if I could figure out “Who shot J.R.?”
As a matter of fact, as I type, I already have a few episodes of M.A.S.H. cued up on my YouTube suggestions. Maybe I could watch the episode when Corporal Radar O’reilly left Korea to come back home.
Or, do you want to know the biggest tear-jerker ever to grace the set of a sitcom?
It was the episode when Edith died from All in the Family.
Archie Bunker sat on the bed where he slept with his wife.
He said, “You had no right to leave me that way without giving me one more chance to say I love you.”
Maybe I could watch episodes of The A-Team, or better yet, maybe I could find a few good episodes of MacGyver.
The one best thing about the television shows from my younger years is they always seemed to fix the problem within a half hours’ time.
Just a half hour . . .
Wouldn’t that be nice?