This morning I happened to view Matt Lauer’s TODAY SHOW interview/reunion with the actors portraying the family from THE WALTONS. It was refreshing and uplifting to see these familiar, albeit, older faces. I found myself smiling throughout the interview as though the seven children and Mama Walton were seated right before me.
What a wonderful gift they offered this morning.
As I strolled through my well-rehearsed morning events of letting dogs out to potty, feeding dogs, giving a dog an insulin shot, pouring my coffee, reading my emails, etc., I kept thinking about THE WALTONS. When I was a child there were two to three television programs on every night that I could not wait to see. Forty years later, I generally find myself eager to watch ONCE UPON A TIME on Sunday evenings, and THE MIDDLE and MODERN FAMILY on Wednesdays. That is it. Nothing else really appeals to me. Grant it, that allows more time to spend with my son doing homework, or other time-quality items, but I am still a little sad that my son cannot enjoy television the way I did in my youth.
What is more, we watched these television programs as a family. This is how we do it in The Haasienda, as well. As noted this morning by Matt Lauer to the WALTONS actors, “You sat down to dinner together.” And yes, we sit down to dinner together in this house.
My mother did it that way, as did her parents.
Ma & Pa Ingalls did it that way.
Mama & Daddy Walton did it that way.
Mom & Dad Brady did it that way (but, damned if they didn’t have a maid serving their dinners!)
What was good enough for Mother, the Ingalls, the Waltons, the Bradys and countless other TV families is good enough for my family!
The families of the 1970’s had their own share of dysfunction, but it was all about the way they minimaliszed their dysfunction rather than highlighting it. Grant it, there were those wonderful sitcoms, ALL IN THE FAMILY and THE JEFFERSONS, along with others, that highlighted their dysfunction, but in the end, their values always surfaced. They also primed their dysfunction to be the comedic focus for each episode. With the hideous reality programs, which I deplore, there is little resolution but plenty of notification that more sophomoric drama is to come.
I feel blessed to have grown up in an era where television was more value-centered, and less dysfunction-driven. Those episodes, scenes, characters and theme songs are still with me today.
Why else would I take the time to blog about them when I should be cleaning the bathroom, doing laundry, mopping puppy-tracked floors, etc.?