Westerns don't always make grade for TV

A version of "Westerns don't always make grade for TV" - by Gail Pennington, ran in The Star Ledger's Today section yesterday. (Monday to you, actually, under the headline: TV fans aren't going West anymore.)

The story reminded me how much I loved to watch the Ponderosa map burn at the open and close of Bonanza. And I could almost remember the words to the Rawhide theme song.

Oddly enough, the anti-hero Paladin was my hero. Go figure. So was the cowboy in Marty Robbins' song 'El Paso'.

Roy Rogers always seemed to be the best. But I suppose I was weaned on the Saturday morning reruns of the prime time show. After all, I watched him in the early 60s and the show aired in the early 50s.

TV in those days was black & white. Once in a while you'd be visiting someone with a color TV on Sunday night and watch the fireworks on the Wonderful World of Disney.

The Westerns gave over to war shows like Combat and The Gallant Men. Those gave over to detective shows and, what? How could we watch drama, and movies, with commercials?

Until people started to pay for TV - via cable - there were only a few TV channels (and nothing on. ha ha) We had ABC, CBS, NBC WNEW WOR WPIX PBS and some fuzzy Spanish channels on UHF. Only Dick Tracy talked into a wrist phone and spacemen had TV screens. (My jetpack is on backorder.)

We've come a long way, baby, from those simpler times. Simple, at least on TV.

I can't believe you've read all the way down here and I haven't made my point yet.

Well, here it is, in a previously unpublished poem:


All I ever wanted
was to be a cowboy.
When I dreamed,
I dreamed of horses
in our one-family
house’s garage
in Belleville, New Jersey.
Alas, the only horses
I’d ever seen
were at the 6th Street
pony rides across from
the Newark City Subway
where we caught
the trolley
to shop
at Bamberger’s
department store
in downtown
Newark, New Jersey,
on Saturday mornings.

(by Anthony Buccino)
Copyright © 2008 by Anthony Buccino, all rights reserved. Photos and content may not be used for commercial purposes without written permission.

1 comment:

Anthony Buccino said...

Tutto quello che ho mai voluto
è stato quello di essere un cow-boy.
Quando ho sognato,
Ho sognato di cavalli
uno nella nostra famiglia -
casa del garage
a Belleville, New Jersey.
Purtroppo, l'unica cavalli
Avevo mai visto
sono stati nel corso del 6 ° Street
gite a pony da tutta
Newark la città metropolitana
dove abbiamo catturato
al negozio
a Bamberger della
grande magazzino
nel centro di
Newark, New Jersey,
il Sabato mattina.