Where Are They Now?
I was lounging in the swing under the pergola on the patio the other day drinking a glass of iced tea while pondering about some of life's imponderables. Somewhat like Stephen Hawking I was letting my mind span the universe trying to answer questions that plague humans. Some of the greatest minds have striven to answer the questions that I was entertaining that day. For example,
Our first TV was a black and white Muntz. My brother and I used to watch a program that featured a rancher who flew a two engine airplane he called the Songbird and solved mysteries and fought crime. His somewhat na*ve niece accompanied him. What was her name? I wonder Sky King ever encountered Snoopy in his Sopwith Camel?
On the radio I heard, "Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts and minds of men?"
We went to the Saturday matinee to watch the western movies. All of the heroes had a sidekick with names like Smiley Burnett, Frog Millhouse, Gabby Hayes, Pancho, Pat Buttram and Jingles (Andy Divine.) These were the ones I most remember and they seemed to be the most famous. I often wondered, "Why were they called sidekicks. I never saw anyone kick them in the side and they never kicked anyone in the side.
In the 1950s Your Hit Parade was sponsored by Lucky Strike Cigarettes. The top three songs were presented by some rather hokey skits. It became a Herculean task to write new skits when songs such as "How Much Is That Doggy In The Window" were on several weeks. Some of the singers I remember were Snooky Lansing, Russell Arms, Giesele McKenzie, Dorothy Collins, Jill Corey, Johnny Desmond and Chuck Woolery of quiz show fame. I wonder where they are now. It might be interesting to hear them do some rap songs.
How many of you remember the Old Ranger who hosted the show Death Valley Days sponsored by 20 Mule Team Borax? The first host was Stanley Andrews. His successor was a future president named Ronald Reagan and then Robert Taylor and Dale Robertson. The scenery in Death Valley always made me thirsty. It was drier than a 200 page paper on how an 1879 barn door hinge worked.
The stirring sounds of the William Tell Overture heralded the program about The Lone Ranger a masked rider of the plains riding his loyal steed Silver and Tonto his faithful companion riding Scout. They rode the plains fighting for truth, justice and the American Way. Clayton Moore played the Ranger and Jay Silverheels played Tonto who nursed him back to health from severe gun shot wounds. They could probably solve the drug problem in the Southwest today. Where are they now?
I know it is not politically correct to say this but I was an avid fan of the radio version of Amos and Andy played by Freeman Gosdon and Charles Correl. How about Lum and Abner and the Jotteem Down store in Pine Ridge, Arkansas? We need some great laughs today and they could provide them.
Where are they now?
(Mark Misher wrote me about some fantastic mushroom finds in his past. Very impressive.)
Larry Vandeventer grew up north of Calvertville on a farm and graduated from Worthington High School. He lives in Plainfield and can be reached at Goosecrick@aol.com or (317) 839-7656. Write him at Larry Vandeventer 6860 Sunrise Drive, Plainfield, Ind., 46168. He has written five books.