Tag Archives: Little House on the Prairie

Top ten list of things gone by the wayside part 2

Greetings, readers. Today’s top ten list is a continuation of a previous entry of things gone by the wayside. It has been quite a while since the first part came out on February 1, 2013 and Rebecca and I have managed to come up with ten more. So here they are in no particular order.

10. Older aircraft. [Oh, the days of the DC3s, the Boeing 727s, and the DC10s. As most of you know, I am a flight sim buff and I’ve always enjoyed the older aircraft for their nostalgia. If I had a bucket list, one of the things I would do would be to fly on a DC3. They were manufactured in the 1940s, and according to the internet, there still are a handful of them still in service.]

9. Wholesome television shows. [When I was little, The Waltons and Little House on the Prairie were two huge hits for CBS and NBC. I always loved watching the Walton and Ingalls families go through their daily lives, whether it would be fun times or hardships. There was never really any violence in those shows and even if something bad happened, the goodness of the people in the community came to the aid of the people in need.]

8. Children’s lemonade stands. [These might not be 100% gone, but I’ve heard that in some states parents actually need to get a permit, and one poor child’s lemonade stand was shut down by the police for lack of said permit. I remember having a lemonade stand when I was 9 or 10, and later in life, if I was driving around town in my car and saw one, I would make it a point to stop and have two cups. Those kids deserved the extra quarter.]

7. Typewriters. [Oh, yes, the days of Wite-Out. I remember vividly writing my early writing career stories on a typewriter. As I’ve mentioned before, my favorite key is the backspace key; the old typewriters did not have that, hence my favorite product was Wite-Out. One college professor, I recall, did not allow Wite-Out and on one tough term paper it took me three tries to type the final page. When I was done, and I knew the term paper was just so, I threw the typewriter down the cellar steps. Mom laughed for an hour, saying, “I told you that one letter stuck, but you wouldn’t believe me.”]

6. The United States Football League – founded in ’82, ceased in ’86. [It took nearly a year to set up before playing began. The United States Football League, the spring time competition to the NFL, lasted just 3 seasons, ’83 through ’85. There were many factors to why it failed: #1, It expanded too quickly. #2. It paid humongous salaries with money it didn’t have yet. And #3. When Donald Trump, then owner of the New Jersey Generals, decided it would be a great idea to move to fall football and compete directly with the NFL, it was the beginning of the end. President Trump, you did not make the USFL great again, you killed it.]

5. Mom and Pop stores. [This one was going to be hardware stores, but Ace Hardware is still going strong so we changed to the Mom and Pop variety stores. You know the kind I mean, they sell a little bit of everything. State College had one such store, O.W. Houts & Sons, but when Wal-Mart came in, I knew it was only a matter of time before the Houts family would either sell or retire. I miss that store tremendously, it was part of my childhood. My mom shopped there every Saturday and sometimes I would go with her.]

4. Manners. [Quite recently, I was working the cash register at my job, when a mother and her two children walked up. The daughter, approximately age 10, gave me her order and said, “May I please have …” before everything she wanted. It was truly a wonderful thing to see; young children with perfect manners. I actually complimented their mom.]

3. Goodyear Blimp. [When I was a pre-teen, the Goodyear Blimp would always come to State College, Pennsylvania for one big Penn State home game. It would arrive on a Wednesday or Thursday, fly around at night advertising, and leave after the game. Over time, it began to only come the morning of the game and would be gone right afterwards. Now the Goodyear Blimp doesn’t come at all. We’ve had other blimps come and cover the games, but to me if just isn’t the same. Many an evening my mom and I would sit on the front porch in the fall and watch the blimp fly overhead and advertise their latest tire offers. Oh, if only to hear that low-pitched droning sound of its engines one more time. That sound is truly unique.]

2. Television variety shows. [Gone are the days of the Carol Burnett Show, the Sonny & Cher Show, and other such weekly variety series’. TV has evolved into mostly reality shows of a different sort now, mostly sleazy and sex related. And the one attempt at an old-fashioned variety show a couple of years ago was canceled after a few episodes. Take it from me, bigwigs of the major networks, the TV variety series is dead and gone. R.I.P.]

1. Handwritten letters. [This one holds a special place in my heart, for not that many years ago, I would write letters, and more importantly, Christmas cards. Yes, you can still buy Christmas cards and send them, but I’ve heard from retailers that sales decline every year. And why shouldn’t they, you can go on the internet and send any kind of e-card that you want for free on most websites. The fancier ones might only cost ninety-nine cents. That is still a much cheaper option then driving to Hallmark, finding that pretty card, bringing it home, putting a stamp on it, and taking it to the mailbox. I don’t know if writing letters will ever come back and replace email; I highly doubt it. I know it won’t for me. I have a dear friend in Romania and relatives in Holland, how easy and convenient it is to type an email, have the program spellcheck it for me, and after I hit send, the email the is half-way around the world within a minute. A letter would take a week or more.]

Well, there you have it, part 2 of things gone by the wayside. Tomorrow will be a personal day for me, and I’ve asked Rebecca to put up a blog entry for me. I’m sure she will do her usual good job. So until next Wednesday when we both return, I bid you a good week, take care and happy reading.

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Top ten list of places I want to visit or revisit

Greetings, readers. Something this morning made me think about all the places I’ve been and all the places I still wish to see before I die. I thought to myself, wow, there is a top ten list to work on today. Probably only the top three will be in order. So, without further ado, here we go.

#10. Walnut Grove, Minnesota. I would love to see the town made famous on Little House on the Prairie and visit the Laura Ingalls Wilder museum.

#9. Take a trip to Holland to visit the relatives.

#8. Catalina Island, California. I was there with my ex-wife Georgia once and it was beautiful.

#7. Los Angeles, California. Georgia and I did the tourist attraction bus tours. That was such fun. I would love to do it again.

#6. Wilmington, North Carolina. My friend David’s daughter is going to college there and she just loves it. It is about ten minutes away from the beach. If all goes well, I will see Wilmington at Emily’s graduation.

#5. Gottlieben, Switzerland and the Drakensberg castle, which I remember as a hotel. Gottlieben is a little town, and I do mean little, on the Rhine river. Back in the day, you could take boat rides to various points along the river.

#4. London, England. I would love to hop aboard a British Airways 747, fly to Heathrow airport, get on a double-decker tour bus and see the sights of London, including Big Ben and 65 Eaton Place.

#3. I would dearly love to cruise on Royal Caribbean’s Voyager of the Seas. Georgia and I had a wonderful ten-day cruise and it was one of the highlights of my life.

#2. While we are on the topic of cruising, two more ships come to mind. Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 (my parents and I traveled on Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth 2 when I was a child. I was too young to realize what a wonderful experience it was.) Also I would love to go aboard the Princess cruise line’s Pacific Princess, aka the Love Boat.

#1. To continue to go to Bear Spring Camps in Maine for as many years as I can. It is my favorite place in the world.

There you have it; an easy peasey top ten list for a Friday. Take care, have a great weekend, and happy reading.

Top ten list of my favorite television show finales

Greetings, readers. The other day I began to think of all the TV shows I have watched and loved over the years. When I was younger, I was really into television. Here’s a top ten list of my favorite show finales. Please chime in with yours via comment if you would like to.

#10. Little House on the Prairie [It was wonderful that the population of Walnut Grove stood up for what they believed in and did not let someone else take over their town.]

#9. Futurama [I always knew that Leela and Fry would fall in love. I just wish they would have fallen in love earlier. It was a heart warming ending to the series.]

#8. Everybody Loves Raymond [Sweet ending, and to me it proves that even a family who fights a lot knows that they really do love one another.]

#7. M*A*S*H final movie [Even though everything that could go wrong did go wrong, the final scene where everyone was saying their good-byes made that film one of the best that I’ve seen in a long time. We must remember that a forest fire in California is what caused the re-write to explain the compound being destroyed.]

#6. Full House [Excellent series. I watched every episode. Michelle getting amnesia after falling off the horse was an eerie but likable twist to the series ending.]

#5. Cagney and Lacey [To me this show was left open as Lieutenant Samuels told Cagney and Lacey to go paint the ladies’ room. If the show came back for another season, they would have a freshly painted washroom. The series did not come back, so we were left knowing that the two characters went to the major cases squad.]

#4. Star Trek: The Next Generation [Probably one of the best series finales I’ve ever seen. The jumping through time wasn’t difficult to follow at all and I enjoyed the scene where Picard was shuttled to the Enterprise for the first time. Denise Crosby came back to play Lieutenant Yar, and Marina Sirtis was back in her original uniform and hair style. OMG.]

#3. Cheers [An definite closing scene, wonderfully done by Ted Danson. As he walked around the bar for a final time, and after getting a knock on the door, he simply said, “Sorry, we’re closed,” and waved. The scene was simple yet powerful.]

#2. Star Trek: Voyager [I always hoped that at the end of the series Voyager would get home. When Voyager shot through the vortex and Earth was in front of them, I must admit I had to hold back tears. Very well done and emotional scene. The acting was excellent. A great ender.]

#1. The Mary Tyler Moore Show [Not only were these characters saying good-bye to one another in the news room at WJM, but these actors and actresses were saying good-bye at the same time. To me, that is what makes that scene the best closer of any series I’ve ever watched. Bravo, and five stars.]

Honorable Mention:

The third season finale: The M*A*S*H episode where Henry Blake died. [Although this is not a series finale episode, it was for poor Henry. The character thought he was going home, but of course war is hell and not everybody gets to go home. I still remember watching this episode first run and cried at the end. I was around the age of ten. Sad, but extremely well done.]

Well, there you have it. Again, as mentioned at the top, chime in with comments or a list. Until next week, have a wonderful weekend, take care and happy reading.

Top ten list of my favorite TV theme songs

Greetings, readers. Here is a top ten list of my favorite TV theme songs. I am such a TV fan that I couldn’t just stop at ten; I have included two honorable mentions. Ready, set, go.

#10. Batman. [From the 1966 TV series. One word was never so catchy.]

#9. Barnaby Jones. [Buddy Ebsen went from being a Beverly Hillbilly to being a private detective.]

#8. The original Star Trek series.

#7. Murder, She Wrote. [Angela Lansbury was a class act in every episode.]

#6. Futurama. [Bouncy and so catchy.]

#5. Little House on the Prairie. [One of my personal favorites.]

#4. Cagney & Lacey. [Also bouncy and catchy, which was a little unusual for a TV detective series.]

#3. Hawaii Five-O. [Circa 1968-1980]

#2. M*A*S*H* [The song,” Suicide is Painless” fits so appropriately.]

#1. Star Trek: The Next Generation. [Taken from the original motion picture score in 1979.]

Honorable Mentions:

#2. Gilligan’s Island. [Seasons 2 and 3.]

#1. The Twilight Zone. [From the 1960s.]

Well, there you go. As always, people are encouraged to leave a comment. Have a great weekend and happy reading.

Top ten long running television shows

Shows that have endured the test of time with at least seven or more seasons, not necessarily in my least-to-favorite order.

10. Full House [ From Danny’s obsession with cleaning to Jessie’s perfect hair to Michelle’s “Auscream” and “You got it, dude!”, this show had the right mixture of family love and comedy. Great job, Warner Brothers, Miller/Boyett Productions, and a host of others.]

  9. Star Trek: The Next Generation [ The gamble to redo a classic paid off. TNG ran for seven seasons]

  8. The Love Boat [ My love of cruising, plus a great theme song, made this highly enjoyable for me.]

  7. Little House on the Prairie [ This show plus my # 6 selection centered on good old-fashioned family values.]

  6. The Waltons

  5. Happy Days [ Another family values sit-com from the 1970s… set in the 1950s.  😉  ]

  4. Bonanza [ As a child, I only have a few memories of watching episodes with my grandmother. She loved it.]

  3. The original series of Hawaii Five-O [ Book ‘em, Danno]

  2. Gunsmoke [Until the Simpsons, this show was #1 in longevity]

  1. M*A*S*H [Top notch series. I own all the DVDs.]

Honorable mention: Charlie’s Angels [1076 – 1981. This is my all time favorite show and it gets the HM only because it ran five seasons. Sorry ladies.]

There are a few shows that I did not put in, such as the Simpsons and Saturday Night Live. They are still on the air, and I don’t know how many seasons they will continue to run.

Well, there you have it. Let the debates begin and chime in with a comment if you wish to. Until next week, have a great weekend, and take care.