Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Thursday Thirteen #228


I admit I have become obsessed with classic television shows. I watch them, I study them, and now I'm blogging about them. Me-TV is my #1 go-to station these days. Part of it is nostalgia. Part of it is me giving props to the biggest cultural juggernaut to hit during my lifetime.

So it's with great affection that I look back on Nielsen's top-rated shows for the 1964-1965 TV season. I admit I'm old enough to remember all of them, though my parents wouldn't let me watch Peyton Place and Combat! really didn't hold my attention for long. Looking over this list, I could do a whole other post about what it tells us about women in the early-mid 1960s, but that's another TT for another time.

1) Bonanza. NBC. Season 6. Ben Cartwright and his three sons ride herd over their ranch, The Ponderosa.

2) Bewitched. ABC. Season 1. Samantha is a witch who, though married to an ordinary mortal, cannot resist using her magic powers.

3) Gomer Pyle, USMC. CBS. Season 1. Misadventures of Mayberry's Gomer in the Marine Corps.

4) The Andy Griffith Show. CBS. Season 5. Sheriff Andy Taylor keeps the peace in a sleepy Southern town called Mayberry.

5) The Fugitive. ABC. Season 2. Dr. Richard Kimble, unjustly convicted of killing his wife, runs from Lt. Gerrard and death chamber.

6) The Red Skelton Hour. CBS. Season 14.  A musical-variety show starring comedian Red Skelton.

7) The Dick Van Dyke Show. CBS. Season 4. Rob Petrie's life as a comedy writer for the fictional Alan Brady Show, and suburban husband and father.

8) The Lucy Show. CBS. Season 3. The misadventures of widow Lucy Carmichael, secretary to stuffy banker Mr. Theodore Mooney.

9) Peyton Place. ABC. Season 1. The continuing story of love and scandal in a small New England town.

10) Combat! ABC. Season 3. The story of an American infantry squad fighting in Europe during WWII.

11) Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color. NBC. Season 11. An anthology series for the whole family, hosted by Walt Disney.

12) The Beverly Hillbillies. CBS. Season 3. The rural Clampetts strike it rich and find themselves living "in the Hills of Beverly."

13) My Three Sons. ABC. Season 5. Widower Steve Douglas raises his sons with the help of Uncle Charlie.

Please join us for The NEW THURSDAY THIRTEEN. Click here to play along, and to see other interesting compilations of 13 things.


This meme is no more. And yet I persist in answering the three questions it asked each week. Stubborn, ain't I?

• What are you currently reading? The Cracker Factory by Joyce Rebeta-Burditt. I first read this novel more than a decade ago, and I literally stumbled upon it when going through a carton of stuff in my bedroom. I'm enjoying it. Cassie is an alcoholic who keeps finding herself in a sanitarium, or "Cracker Factory." She's funny, but not that funny. In a way, that makes the book more credible. When characters crack too wise, are too clever, they seem more like refugees from a Neil Simon play than real people. Cassie's struggles seem kind of dated now, but women had a more limited view of themselves and their options in the 1970s, when this book is set. It's sobering (pardon the pun) to remember what the women who went a bit before me faced.

On a side note, the well worn paperback has claw marks on the cover. I suspect my late, lamented girlcat Charlotte "autographed" it for me. I like carrying that reminder of her around in my purse.
• What did you recently finish reading? Man on the Run: Paul McCartney in the 1970s by Tom Doyle. As one who reads obsessively about Sir Paul, I was surprised to learn anything I didn't know, and yet this was filled with much I didn't know. For example, this detailed how he got out of that Japanese prison, explaining how desperately the authorities wanted his drug bust to go away. If you, or anyone on your gift list, is a Beatle fan, I recommend this one.

• What will you read next? I dunno.

I am happy

It occurred to me this evening as I was walking home from the train that I am, suddenly, happy.

I had stomach trouble Sunday and Monday, so bad that I was housebound. I have felt stressed about all the craziness at work. I've fallen far off my resolution track (except for finances; I'm doing OK in that regard).

Today I was back at work and my boss seemed ... OK. Perhaps his loooove fever has broken. Then after work, I went to a going away party for The Chocolate Covered Spider and Blondie McBlonderson. I stayed about an hour. Didn't drink but did take advantage of the free food. (Bad for my weight, good for my budget.)

I didn't stay long. I don't like Blondie or Spidey and didn't like being a hypocrite. But it did seem to make them happy that I bothered to show up. Really. Blondie and I chatted a bit and Spidey actually hugged me and said, "This must be a big deal if the Gal showed up!"

It made me happy to make them happy. I may not like them, but they are people. And if such a small thing as sharing a couple glasses of ginger ale and three pieces of flatbread pizza can make them happy, then I was happy to do it. It literally cost me nothing. And doing good can be its own reward.