Saturday, August 23, 2014

I wanna hang with these guys

When I was housebound with a cold, I rediscovered Bonanza. My affection/appreciation grows with each episode I watch. Part of it is nostalgia -- when I was a kid, every adult in my life loved the show.* Part of it is quality -- it's well written. Part of it is novelty -- there aren't many westerns anymore.

Part of it is the Cartwright men. They were pretty neat. There's crazy successful patriarch Ben, who built the biggest ranch in Nevada, the Ponderosa. Fair and wise and sensitive. And wildly unlucky in love. His first wife died in childbirth. His second wife died in an Indian attack. His third wife was thrown from a horse. This accounts for two things: 1) since his three sons had different mothers, they can't be expected to look too much alike and 2) why no other woman ever got serious about this sterling man. On the one hand, he must have looked like a catch. On the other hand, I mean really! Marrying Ben Cartwright must be hazardous to your health.

Then there's Adam. Well read and almost always in black. He appreciated art, architecture, and messing with his kid brothers. I have a crush on Adam. Followed by Hoss, the gentle giant who is as strong as he is tender. And passionate Joe, who every now and again can be caught looking at the camera as if to say, "Can you believe how handsome I am?" And he has a point. My mother used to tell me that when I was a very little girl, maybe 4, I loved Little Joe and used to cry when he got punched or shot.

And the Ponderosa. It's a beautiful farmhouse. Living room, dining room and at least seven bedrooms. Of course there was no bathrooms in those days. But so many books! Adam and Ben loved their books and I love their built-in book cases.

Does your cable company carry the Me-Too channel? If so, you can watch Bonanza every day. You might want to give it a peek.

*It was in the Top 10 for 10 of its 14 seasons, and #1 for three years in a row. But my dad liked it because it was always in color. In 1959, it was the only network show in color, when few people had color sets. We were among the first in our neighborhood to have one, and so my dad insisted we watch Bonanza.

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