They (finally) did.

Potpourri today, folks. I took a hot yoga class during today’s blogging time, and my chakras are too aligned to work up much of a head of steam over anything. Besides, we have some good stuff here, starting with…

Jim Nabors, out of the closet at 82. Well, good for him. It’s not like the whole world hasn’t known this for a while. It reminded me of when I first heard the rumor that Gomer Pyle was a ‘mo, as the nomenclature went among grade-schoolers, which I believe I was. The rumor mill said that Gomer had married Rock Hudson in a weekend ceremony.

How would that rumor have traveled in 1968 or so? It was before the internet. A long-distance call required a parental ruling, and certainly wasn’t so you could discuss Hollywood gossip with a distant cousin. There were showbiz scandal sheets, to be sure, but even then they stuck to language like “confirmed bachelor,” which would have flown over the heads of kids. No, it just arrived one day, entire, at the city pool: Gomer Pyle had married Rock Hudson.

Nearly half a century later, he married someone named Stan Cadwallader, in Seattle. Well, congratulations, gentlemen. Better to live in truth, however late in the game it comes.

And speaking of living in truth, may I just say I am growing quite weary of Downton Abbey? I can tolerate a whole damn lot from a TV show, but these soap-opera personality transplants are getting on my last nerve. In the first season, one reasonable criticism of the show was that Lord Grantham was too nice; a man of his station wouldn’t have had personal conversations with his footmen, any more than he would chat with his bedroom furniture. But it was tolerable, because otherwise? Not much of a show. So you can take that liberty, but you can’t decide, in season three, that the lord of the manner has to be a prick, so that we can set into motion plots 7 through 12. Stories flow from character. When the characters aren’t real? Lousy stories.

Also, either shank Mr. Bates in prison or spring him. This Nancy Drew stuff is the worst.

Two stories with a religious angle, one better than the other. The inferior one: Brooklyn and Saudi Arabia have something in common. Modesty police, only these are Jewish.

In the close-knit world of ultra-Orthodox Judaism, community members know the modesty rules as well as Wall Street bankers who show up for work in a Brooks Brothers suit. Women wear long skirts and long-sleeved, high-necked blouses on the street; men do not wear Bermuda shorts in summer. Schools prescribe the color and thickness of girls’ stockings.

The rules are spoken and unspoken, enforced by social pressure but also, in ways that some find increasingly disturbing, by the modesty committees. Their power is evident in the fact that of the half dozen women’s clothing stores along Lee Avenue, only one features mannequins, and those are relatively shapeless, fully clothed torsos.

I really don’t like this sort of thing. Really. The other story is far more interesting, and you may have seen it making the rounds: How in 1978, a Soviet scientific party stumbled upon a family living in squalid conditions, deep in Siberia, in full retreat from the world. Why? To protect their faith from Commies and Peter the Great, among other things. A great, fascinating read.

Enough potpourri for one day? It better be, because I’m about out of gas for the night.

Posted at 12:30 am in Current events, Popculch, Television |

100 responses to “They (finally) did.”

  1. ROGirl said on January 31, 2013 at 6:31 am

    When I saw the news about Jim Nabors the first thing I thought of was that old rumor about him and Rock Hudson. At some point I read that it was started by a gay activist “prankster” group in Los Angeles, but how DID it spread all over the country?

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  2. coozledad said on January 31, 2013 at 7:10 am

    RO Girl: All I could think of was the Kung Fu parody Jim and Harvey Korman did for the Carol Burnett Show, with Jim as Kwai Chang Caine. Nabors was pretty good playing against type.

    There’s another rumor that Nabors has a monster schlong that looks like a cyanotic infant. Guy can’t catch a break.

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  3. Connie said on January 31, 2013 at 7:17 am

    My first thought about the Jim Nabors news was: all those years singing “Back home again” at the Indy 500. And no one knew. Was that a big joke on Indiana?

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  4. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on January 31, 2013 at 7:32 am

    No one knew? I thought today’s point was we all knew, and actually were pretty much fine with it.

    Lord Grantham’s deference to expertise, even when it’s running his estate into the ground or killing his daughters, doesn’t seem like a personality shift to me. He’s a nice, fairly clueless guy who doesn’t even realize where his assumed entitlement is taking him, made all the more willful by the self-knowledge of his niceness. How could I do the wrong thing? The question now is, how will he come to terms with the inescapable knowledge that he did.

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  5. Suzanne said on January 31, 2013 at 7:40 am

    I had completely forgotten about the Jim Nabors/Rock Hudson connection. I read the news and thought “Goooolly!” and pictured Aunt Bea’s shocked face!

    Jeff (TMMO) I agree about Lord Grantham. He’s of that mindset that the uppercrust is uppercrust because God wants them to be so. They are, after all, better and wiser people. It is kind of hard to watch his world falling apart under his feet.

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  6. Deborah said on January 31, 2013 at 7:53 am

    At the airport, our 7:30 flight to NY has been delayed until 9:45. I could have slept a couple of extra hours. So no breakfast in Soho now it’s lunch at The Mercer.

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  7. Julie Robinson said on January 31, 2013 at 8:27 am

    Connie, my first thought was that he’ll never be invited back to the Speedway. He wasn’t in good enough health last year anyway, or so the story goes. I’m happy for them both, and glad that his partner will now be able to imherit.

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  8. brian stouder said on January 31, 2013 at 8:31 am

    Aunt Bea would have known all along; but this would put Clara in a spin.

    It reminds me of the old old joke: Rock Hudson didn’t have many friends, but he had Nabors up the wazoo.

    As far as that goes, it was always odd (even at the time) that Andy’s show left a gaping black hole where Opie’s mom is concerned; I don’t think they ever addressed it.

    By way of saying, it reinforced the ideal of plainly seeing something, but never talking about it

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  9. coozledad said on January 31, 2013 at 8:42 am

    Opie’s mom took up with a fast talking Jew and they moved to Mount Pilot, a hotbed of miscegenation. Last they heard of her, she was knitting headgear for the paramilitary wing of the SDS.
    Andy just tells Opie she died of a smoking related illness.

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  10. LAMary said on January 31, 2013 at 9:45 am

    I think Gomer had something going on with Floyd the barber.

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  11. Julie Robinson said on January 31, 2013 at 9:51 am

    Actually, to clarify, Nabors was able to pre-record Back Home Again but was too ill to attend the race in person, so they showed the video.

    And now, please allow me to rant about the paper where our Proprietess used to work, or as I’ve begun calling it, the paper formerly known as a paper, and this column:

    In which the author suggests that a “calm, Christian state of mind” will prevent us from getting the flu. She’s a Christian scientist of course, but does anyone else find this incredibly irresponsible journalism? There’s a disclaimer, but if I wrote a column advocating killing police officers, wouldn’t the paper still have a responsibility to spike it?

    I’m been fuming about this since last night. I believe God gave us the brains that developed medicine and immunizations, and he expects us to use them.

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  12. Dorothy said on January 31, 2013 at 9:57 am

    I don’t think Lord Grantham was a prick about the gynecologist situation as much as he was anxious to “save face” with someone who worked in royal and privileged circles. He made the grievous error of assuming that schmuck had all the answers because he was so connected with the upper crust. Notice that both doctors seemed to be approximately the same age so it could not have been a generational issue. (A younger doctor might have been exposed to newer theories and methods in medical school.) This all falls in with Robert appearing to be a “nice guy” in the first season, when all he really wants to do is save face and follow the pack. On top of THAT, his wife is an American and even in the early 1900’s there was a difference in the way he and his wife’s attitudes. Plus, the world was changing rapidly in this time frame and he wasn’t willing to keep up. Compare his attitude to Ethel’s desire to write for the paper vs. his son-in-laws’ attitudes. I don’t think the writing for the show is top flight, but it mostly makes sense if you consider all the angles. To me anyway.

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  13. Dorothy said on January 31, 2013 at 9:59 am

    ooops… I meant to say there were some differences between Robert and Cora’s attitudes since they were brought up in different countries.

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  14. nancy said on January 31, 2013 at 10:11 am

    In season one, Lord Grantham is the sort of guy who takes a personal interest in people far below his station. In season three, he’s a prissy aristocratic prig who flinches at the word “urine” (this is a country estate, mind you, and he grew up riding to hounds — surely he’s seen enough urine, and birthing, to take the sting off that one). He also undermines, and publicly insults, his family’s doctor, whom he has seen over the years is a) no fool (remember the cardiac edema episode); and b) something of a near-peer, having toiled beside him during the years DA was a war hospital.

    I can buy him having Sir Prig McStuffington, M.D., brought in to attend Sybil’s birthing. But I can’t see him treating the local talent as shabbily as he did. It doesn’t fit with what we know about him already.

    That’s why I’m calling this the ol’ soap opera personality swap-out. He needs to be a jerk so they can advance the bad-at-business arc, as well as the trouble-in-marriage story. Disappointing.

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  15. DellaDash said on January 31, 2013 at 10:18 am

    I always perk up when I see Tim Pigott-Smith on screen…especially at Downton as the insufferably smug physician-to-the-uppercrust. He was such a delicious scarfaced, captain hook, latent-gay, Raj-aristocrat-wannabe monster in ‘The Jewel in the Crown’, one of my all-time favorite miniseries.

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  16. brian stouder said on January 31, 2013 at 10:25 am

    Julie – that article is like a time-released annoyance; it becomes gradually more irksome after you’ve read it!

    Had to love when she went on about how her whole family – except her mom and her – got sick at one time, and despite that they worked and cared for them all – they never got the crud…

    and apparently she thinks it’s because God favors her way of thinking?!

    I say – what the hell did she put in the stew-pot?!

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  17. Heather said on January 31, 2013 at 10:36 am

    I don’t really get the flu either (knock on wood) and I wouldn’t say I have a “Christian state of mind.” I chalk it up to something lucky with my immune system and hope it works for other things too.

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  18. alex said on January 31, 2013 at 10:49 am

    I know a woman who’s a Christian Scientist, and she used to write the same kind of crap and got it published in the very same paper. It’s probably what held together her lousy marriage with her abusive husband for more than a half century — suffering that raging, bibulous ass probably made influenza a relative cakewalk, if she wasn’t completely numb to it — but it didn’t prevent the debilitating strokes that eventually landed her in a nursing home. She doesn’t turn down medical care anymore because she’s no longer in a position to do so.

    Re: Mayberry and confirmed bachelors, the show had one, Howard Sprague. I remember in college in the ’80s that “he’s a Howard Sprague” is how people would refer to suspected old poofters.

    Don’t know how I ever missed that story about the off-the-grid Russian family. Incredible. I used to devour National Geographic and surely such a thing would have been reported therein, no?

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  19. Peter said on January 31, 2013 at 10:50 am

    LA Mary, that Floyd angle didn’t occur to me – I figured if it was anyone it would have been Howard Sprague.

    And if you thought Clara would have flipped, God knows what Barney would’ve done. Or the Darlings.

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  20. adrianne said on January 31, 2013 at 11:04 am

    The modesty police, AKA yeshiva thugs, are alive and well and terrorizing people in the weird little village of Kiryas Joel, in Orange County, NY. These guys are unbelievable.

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  21. Bob (not Greene) said on January 31, 2013 at 11:04 am

    Come to think of it the entire town of Mayberry was crawling with bachelors. Andy, Barney, Floyd, Gomer, Goober, Howard, old Ben Weaver the crabby shop owner, all of the Darling sons, Rafe Hollister the moonshiner, Ernest T. Bass. Sure many of them went on “dates,” with women, but none ever sealed the deal, did they?

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  22. Bob (not Greene) said on January 31, 2013 at 11:10 am

    Actually, this is what I’m bummed out about today. End of an era.

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  23. nancy said on January 31, 2013 at 11:14 am

    If I had a dollar for every lunatic medical story that appeared in my old paper — and most of all the others in the world — I’d be blogging from Pier 62, Barbados. I’ve argued, to no avail, that these things are irresponsible to publish, but been overruled on the grounds that we can’t make these judgments, that people have a right to their stupid medical opinions, etc.

    To me, it only goes to show what one dedicated nutcase can bring into the world. We had a wire editor who was a vegetarian, and was always throwing that Physicians for Responsible Medicine crap onto Page One. Everybody liked him, so he got away with it.

    I think Christian Science lady benefits from the little-discussed medical fact that, left untreated, more than 80 percent of ailments will go away on their own, eventually.

    Leaving for lunch in a whiteout, so I’m doubling my travel time. There’s already a mile-long fatal accident on one freeway; let’s see if I can avoid another one.

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  24. MaryRC said on January 31, 2013 at 11:20 am

    Re Downton Abbey, I agree that the writing is poor and that Bates’s scenes seem to be there to provide the equivalent of commercial breaks, so you can go to the kitchen and get a snack without missing anything. I watch it for scenes like the one where Alfred wrecks and then saves the Hollandaise in order to give Ivy a break from Daisy, who’s turning into Mrs. Patmore before our eyes. Or for discussions like the one I had with a friend about Moseley (whom we both think is hilarious) and his sad-sack dismay over having to stay at Crawley House with Cousin Isobel when he clearly wants to be at the Abbey. When else would you have a conversation about whether it’s higher status to be a butler to someone without a title or a valet to a future Earl?

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  25. MaryRC said on January 31, 2013 at 11:28 am

    Andy and Barney both had girlfriends, it’s true, but I don’t remember Andy and Helen doing anything but sitting on the porch swing. And Thelma Lou was in the same choir as Barney, wasn’t that right? That was about as close as they ever got. In fact there was something sad about Helen, like the poor frantic schoolteacher played by Rosalind Russell in Picnic who was strung along by her beau for years.

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  26. Tim said on January 31, 2013 at 11:29 am

    The Christian Scientist’s piece is just her opinion, well-reasoned or not. I don’t think it necessarily speaks to the quality of the News-Sentinel’s journalism. If she were advocating something illegal, like murder, of course they’d be obligated not to print it.
    The article on the Russian family is fascinating. Reminds me in a way of part of the movie “Everything is Illuminated,” in which a woman living by herself has saved memories of a Jewish community wiped out by the Germans.

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  27. mark said on January 31, 2013 at 11:37 am

    The suggestion that a positive, calm and charitable (Christian? gasp!) attitude might poitively influence physical health or the function of the immune system is irresponsible and should be outlawed. We don’t want people making a habit out of being pleasant based upon such foolishness.

    Anything new on the swiftboat front?

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  28. brian stouder said on January 31, 2013 at 11:46 am

    Mark – she’s fine up to the point you delineate; but the issue is the almost-frankly stated corollary:

    and if you’re sick, it’s because you’re not as positively Godly as me.

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  29. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on January 31, 2013 at 11:54 am

    I’m in an argumentative mood, I guess, so I’m probably about to get a very un-Christian cold!

    Nancy, he wasn’t wincing about “urine,” but about saying the word in front of women, which is both in character, and gave Violet/Maggie another chance for an immortal line. And as for his appalling reaction to his quondam local peer, the whole point is “but he’s not a peer.” And the way that came out felt right to me, and (perhaps a bit ham-handedly, I’ll admit) perfectly in line with the parallel plot of how he’s running the estate into the ground, probably through maintaining inefficient practices of a bygone era.

    Meanwhile, Matthew Weiner is hinting that the closing “Are you alone?” to Don Draper at the end of the last “Mad Men” is going to be a major set-up for the first hour of the new series in April — what, you think Don is going to maybe go have another affair? I don’t know if I hope he will revert to type, or find a startling new tack . . . nor am I sure which approach is more true to life.

    But I strongly suspect that what Weiner says is the final scene which he’s had in mind from the start isn’t Draper exiting a high rise window himself, but of a heavily made-up Jon Hamm by a pool at The Villages, complaining about Obama and kids on the internets to a Botoxed woman in a 60-ish appropriate one piece, looking at the water while Draper in shades and a straw hat sits on a chaise wearing Bermuda shorts with dark socks.

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  30. LAMary said on January 31, 2013 at 11:57 am

    Now I can watch Andy Griffith with a whole new angle. Nearly all the men are single or widowers. I think even the weak attempt at a spin-off, Mayberry RFD had a single guy as the main character. Interesting.

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  31. Prospero said on January 31, 2013 at 11:59 am

    I had a friend and co-worker who was a Christian Scientist whose child died for lack of medical care. God made MDs, same as She made climatologists. Denying actual science and human achievement in the name of God is basically sacrilegious and incredibly stupid.

    Mary RC: There was always a dreadnought guitar between Andy and Helen.

    Tim, if you liked the movie, read the book. It is superb.

    Didn’t Jim Nabors’ awesome baritone sprout around the time the Gomer/Rock story became common knowledge? He was all over early pm TeeVee with other graying poofters like Mike Douglas and Merv “the Swerve” Griffin singing show tunes. Back in the Pete Barbutti days:

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  32. LAMary said on January 31, 2013 at 12:02 pm

    Another weird thing on TV that my son pointed out to me. The music in the Sam Adams beer commercial. The singer sounds like Mitt Romney. I guess that’s his new gig.

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  33. Bitter Scribe said on January 31, 2013 at 12:04 pm

    I’ll never forget a photo I saw of Christian Science parents who were on trial for letting their daughter die of an easily treatable infection. The mother was wearing glasses. Guess she didn’t trust God to fix her vision.

    Christian “Scientists” use the annoying same line over and over: “Don’t judge us by our failures.” Hello—here in the real world, everyone gets judged by failures, as well as successes. If we were all judged only by our successes, every batter would hit 1.000 and every pitcher would have an ERA of 0.00.

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  34. Dexter said on January 31, 2013 at 12:30 pm

    beb, nance, anyone else who possibly might be driving on I-75 today, ABORT ABORT ABORT ! There has been a massive multi-vehicle crash with at least four fatalities on and about the River Rouge bridge,and traffic both ways is stopped , perhaps through the evening rush hour. That is all. Continue blogging…. one man in a sedan was caught in the middle of the carnage and drove out the entire mess without even a ding in a fender. Amazing feat of driving.

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  35. Maggie Jochild said on January 31, 2013 at 12:37 pm

    The Mayberry spin-off featured a lead actor who was well-known (among us queers) as a gay man himself.

    As I recall it, living in California circa 1980, the Jim Nabors-Rock Hudson wedding rumor was launched by some fabulous Hollywood gay party wherein, as a gag, two people dressed as the actors had a pretend nuptials. It spread like wildfire as allegedly the real thing. Rock Hudson supposedly totally freaked about it, as it hit right around the time he had his own tragic personal reasons for denying his sexuality — he was convinced, rightly so, he’d never work again. Jim Nabors, on the other hand, is said to have laughed it off, except for the strain it put on Rock and subsequently their friendship.

    I myself have known more dykes and fags who come from towns like Mayberry than urban areas: Nothing breeds homosexuality like the traditional nuke-fam.

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  36. Jeff Borden said on January 31, 2013 at 12:52 pm

    The history of television is rife with single fathers in both comedies and dramas. It didn’t seem that jarring in the Westerns –though, Christ, how many wives did old Ben Cartwright have to produce three very different sons?– because it could be argued that disease claimed many a person. It just seemed weird in shows set in current times.

    The single father element gave writers a lot of leeway they would not enjoy if the main character were married. (I do remember my younger sister joking about how the most dangerous profession in the Old West was being engaged to one of the Cartwright boys. Any woman who took that path inevitably wound up dead.)

    The gay issue is now, I think, well and truly settled. When the Boy Scouts of America are ready to embrace gay scouts, well, it’s all over but the crying and yowling of the homophobes like Tony Perkins. Now. . .when will Lindsey Graham come out?

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  37. 4dbirds said on January 31, 2013 at 12:55 pm

    Why when Sybil was dying such an awful death and the family was pleading for help, did not one of the medical team, to include the nurse come over and touch her to give her comfort?

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  38. 4dbirds said on January 31, 2013 at 12:56 pm

    Little Joe did get married and was incredibly happy until, she died, of course.

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  39. adrianne said on January 31, 2013 at 1:03 pm

    Nance, sounds like I-75 is a deadly mess today:

    12:08 PM ET
    Detroit traffic pileup kills 2, injures 15-20
    A chain-reaction accident Thursday on Interstate 75 killed at least two people and injured 15-20 others in Detroit, state police said.

    The accident started shortly before 9 a.m. over the Rouge River Bridge, said Robert Morosi of the Michigan Department of Transportation. At least 30 cars were involved in the pileup, he said.

    Snow was falling at the time of the crash, Morosi said, describing conditions as a “typical Michigan winter morning.”

    The jaws of life were used to pull people out of three vehicles, State Police Lt. Michael Shaw said.

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  40. alex said on January 31, 2013 at 1:10 pm

    How about a trip in the wayback machine?

    Here’s one of Nance’s takedowns of Tim Goeglein which was writtent before she busted him plagiarizing in 2008:

    nancy said on February 27, 2008 at 11:53 pm

    Ah-yup. Only a certain type of conservative could write this…

    Friendship, I think, can have a spiritual nature. Perhaps that is what Aristotle meant when he said the highest kind of friendship is rooted in virtue, a kind of moral excellence where a person loves his friend for his own sake, wishing him well because of who he is and not with any expectation that something is wanted in return. This attitude is reciprocal, a love of benevolence.

    …but still frown on the idea that a person might want to have sex outside of a religiously sanctioned marriage.

    Reading Tim talk about his spiritual friendships makes me think of a tent in the woods, two schoolboys, the furtive rustling of a sleeping bag, and then…moral excellence!

    The reason this came to mind today was this startling admission of moral excellence from our favorite moral scold at Nance’s old newspaper.

    As regards the title of the piece, no, I sure as hell don’t. Anybody else?

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  41. Jeff Borden said on January 31, 2013 at 1:11 pm

    Thanks, 4db. I had forgotten that Lil Joe actually tied the knot, but she died by the end of the episode, correct?

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  42. alex said on January 31, 2013 at 1:13 pm

    How I long for the old edit button. the …but still sentence is Nance’s and should have been italicized.

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  43. coozledad said on January 31, 2013 at 1:14 pm

    Weird. This guy went to the same school as Jim Nabors.

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  44. Connie said on January 31, 2013 at 1:17 pm

    Amazing pictures of the I-75 crash in the Detroit News. Click on the front page pic to go to the slide show.

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  45. John (not McCain) said on January 31, 2013 at 2:19 pm

    “Jim Nabors, on the other hand, is said to have laughed it off, except for the strain it put on Rock and subsequently their friendship.”

    I remember hearing that not only could they never be seen in public together, they had to be careful about being at the same private parties or just hanging out together. Pretty sad, especially considering that they had no interest in being anything other than friends.

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  46. Dorothy said on January 31, 2013 at 2:38 pm

    You put that very well @ 36, Jeff Borden. I was thinking that if they had too many married characters on sitcoms in the 60’s their storylines and plots would dry up too fast. No hanky-panky was tolerated on the boob tube back then unless it was a skit in the Carol Burnett Show (70’s) or Laugh In – you get my point.

    I’m not being argumentative but I’m also leaning towards what Jeff TMMO has opined about DA. I think a lot of it is up to the interpretation of the viewer. Yes it’s a soap opera and yes the plots get contrived and twisted and out of whack. If they didn’t no one would watch.

    I was at PT this morning when I saw the story on my phone about the traffic pile up near Detroit. I did think of you immediately, Nancy. We had a couple of nasty pile ups last week in Ohio with fatalities. One was a 12 year old girl who got out of her mom’s wrecked vehicle (BIG pile up north of Cincinnati). In a freak development, someone hit the median guide wires, one of which snapped and killed the girl. Stay safe out there, friends, in this wicked weather.

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  47. Michael said on January 31, 2013 at 2:39 pm

    My ax to grind on Downton is the fact that cousin Matthew inherited not one but two fortunes because of the timely (from Matthew’s point of view) deaths of multiple heirs in line in front of him. I may be too literal because I write wills for a living. But this has to be the equivalent of winning the maga millions lotto twice.

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  48. brian stouder said on January 31, 2013 at 2:42 pm

    I nominate Michael’s sentence –

    I may be too literal because I write wills for a living.

    for Sentence of the Month, for January!

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  49. Sherri said on January 31, 2013 at 2:49 pm

    I agree with Jeff(tmmo). Lord Grantham’s behavior isn’t out of line with his character. He knows he’s a failure, but he doesn’t know what to do about it, and he just wishes things would stay the same and he could rely on what he believes (or wishes) to be true: that the aristocracy is better than everybody else, men are better than women, and English nobility is the best of all.

    Printing anti-vax drivel and “letting the people decide” is how we’ve come to the point where we had a whooping cough epidemic last winter here in Washington.

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  50. MaryRC said on January 31, 2013 at 2:52 pm

    I’m haunted by the sentence in the Detroit News article that Connie linked to, that said “A third child with severe trauma to the face was initially reported dead Thursday morning but has since been determined by authorities to be alive.” Something to strike a chill to the heart… What horrific injuries has that child suffered, to make them think at first that he or she was dead?

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  51. Jakash said on January 31, 2013 at 2:53 pm

    Bob (not Greene) writes “Come to think of it the entire town of Mayberry was crawling with bachelors.” Yes, but look at a character who WAS married — Otis. Not exactly the role model for wedded bliss that those bachelors would have been encouraged by.

    MaryRC: “I don’t remember Andy and Helen doing anything but sitting on the porch swing.” Yes, I always wondered why there wasn’t more nudity on that show. ; )

    I’m gonna have to agree with Jeff (tmmo), rather than our proprietress, regarding Lord Grantham, especially with regard to the urine issue. But man, the ole Earl is having a rough season.

    I would just note that, even if they had tried taking Sybil to the hospital, there’s certainly no guarantee that the outcome would have been different, given the transportation and the times.

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  52. brian stouder said on January 31, 2013 at 3:20 pm

    Well, Andy and Barney would take Thelma Lou and Helen ‘up to Meyers Lake’ from time to time…not clear what would then happen in the old Ford Galaxy squad car, amidst the dark shadows of the trees

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  53. Jolene said on January 31, 2013 at 3:29 pm

    But I can’t see him treating the local talent as shabbily as he did.

    This bothered me too, and it seemed unnecessary. Given his ties to tradition and local custom, it’s somewhat surprising that he would have the fancier practitioner there at all, but, even having chosen that, I’d think the Lord Grantham we knew would have found a way to be more respectful to the local doc. Re why nobody went to Sybil as she was dying, something I read (Was it Tom & Lorenzo? Can’t remember.) noted that it was the American (Cora) and the Irishman (Tom) who went to her and who cried out against her death. All the English aristocracy stood around being useless.

    But speaking of useless, I’ve been watching the Senate confirmation hearings for Chuck Hagel today. What a load of garbage. First of all, as if Texas didn’t have enough to be embarrassed about already, they now have Ted Cruz as one of their senators. What a colossal asshole. As for the hearing, I have rarely heard such an example of dead horse beating, self-aggrandizing posturing, willful misinterpretation of past statements, and other failures of logic, common sense, and human decency. Just an outrage.

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  54. Jeff Borden said on January 31, 2013 at 3:29 pm


    While Andy, Barney, Thelma Lou and Helen might’ve made whoopee in the back of the cruiser, it would have been a Ford Custom, not the upscale Galaxy. Ford furnished all the vehicles to the series, otherwise Andy might’ve piloted a Chevy Biscayne or a Plymouth Fury I. . .both stripped down large-body sedans.


    My obsession with old police cars goes way back.

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  55. Brandon said on January 31, 2013 at 3:30 pm

    Jim Nabors is also a long-time resident of Hawaii and has never badmouthed our state, as far as I know, unlike a certain Dan-O 2.0 (who’s used to that frenetic Entourage pace).

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  56. Dorothy said on January 31, 2013 at 3:32 pm

    Someone in this group (COOZ????) should take these Mayberry comments and run with them – come up with a whole new, hip, happenin’ reality show for fall of 2013. I’m smiling just thinking of what he could come up with!

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  57. Jolene said on January 31, 2013 at 3:35 pm

    Wow! Am so impressed by these detailed recollections of The Andy Griffith Show. My own memories are vague: There was Andy, Opie, Barney, and, Aunt Bea. I couldn’t a single episode, the names of girlfriends, or the model of the cop car to save my soul. I wonder if I’m the wrong age to have been paying attention (didn’t watch much TV in college, for instance) or if I was just watching something else.

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  58. Brandon said on January 31, 2013 at 3:36 pm

    And Nancy, check out Dr. Phil today and tomorrow, for the two-part interview with Ronaiah Tuiasosopo.

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  59. brian stouder said on January 31, 2013 at 3:48 pm

    Jolene, my mom LOVED that show; and in later years, even before cable/satellite – you could watch the re-runs every day (just like Gilligan’s Island)

    Another of her major faves was the old Dick Van Dyke show – which has held up quite well over the decades – other than Rob and Laura sleeping in separate beds(!).

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  60. brian stouder said on January 31, 2013 at 3:50 pm

    Forgot to say – and Dick Van Dyke is getting a lifetime achievement award at the upcoming…whatzit?

    The awards that precede the Oscars…

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  61. Jolene said on January 31, 2013 at 3:53 pm

    During part of the time I was grad school, reruns of The Dick Van Dyke Show were a thing for me. It came on just after dinner, so my roommate and I would have coffee and relax w/ Dick, Laura and the gang before hitting the books.

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  62. Suzanne said on January 31, 2013 at 3:54 pm

    Agree, Jakash. Back in that era, the hospital was seen as somewhere you went to die, so I didn’t think it unlikely at all that they would not have taken Sybil there. I can’t imagine there would have been any decent sized hospital near Downton, either, so she likely would have died en route. The signs of pre-eclampsia would probably never been noticed because I doubt pre-natal care was the norm.

    Lord Grantham isn’t a jerk, I don’t think. He’s just living by his father’s rules which no longer work. He’s discovering that the hard way.

    Mayberry, the domain of single men. So Pa and the boys from the Ponderosa would have been right a home, there. I always did wonder what exactly Hop Sing’s role was other than cooking…

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  63. Dorothy said on January 31, 2013 at 3:54 pm

    Brian that happened already, last Sunday at the SAG awards.

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  64. Brandon said on January 31, 2013 at 4:05 pm

    In other television news, the last episode of Victorious airs Saturday. Ask your children or hip young friends about the show if you’ve never heard about it.

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  65. Dorothy said on January 31, 2013 at 4:16 pm

    Another pile up, this time near Indianapolis, due to a white out. For crying out loud!! All the Indiana folks must chime in here for roll count.

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  66. alex said on January 31, 2013 at 4:19 pm

    Jeff B, I seem to recall Plymouths and Dodges on the Andy Griffith Show, and on Gomer Pyle as well. I believe Andy, Barney, Thelma Lou and Helen would have been boinkin’ in a Belvedere or a Fury I most likely.

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  67. brian stouder said on January 31, 2013 at 4:22 pm

    Jeff Borden – pop-quiz on tv police cars.

    Easy question: What did Steve McGarret drive?

    harder: What did Joe Friday/Lou Gannon ride around in?

    Extra credit: name three different makes that Pete Malloy and Jim Reed rode around in (as Adam-12)

    I know the first, and think I know the second – but the third I’m at sea on

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  68. brian stouder said on January 31, 2013 at 4:24 pm

    Alex – you could be right on the earliest Andy Griffith shows, but I remember the ’65(?) Ford – which had the same lines as my dad’s Galaxy

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  69. coozledad said on January 31, 2013 at 4:47 pm

    Andy and Helen must have a troubled relationship- both doms. Their leather dungeon experiences are restricted to the jail on the nights Otis isn’t there, because they’re afraid what might happen if the boy and Bee found out. Bee has been pen pals with Elizabeth Bishop ever since they spent a weekend fishing for pompano on the outer banks in 1947. Thelma Lou and Barney? late pre-orgasmic oddities working out a genuine horror of penetration through secretive and guilt filled indulgence in watersports.

    Goober and Gomer supplement their meager incomes from the gas station whoring in Raleigh. Otis is a philosophy professor at Duke.

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  70. Sherri said on January 31, 2013 at 4:51 pm

    A quick googling finds the – the Internet Movie Car Database! Pictures galore from the Andy Griffith show featuring cars:

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  71. coozledad said on January 31, 2013 at 4:52 pm

    Bea, dammit.

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  72. Peter said on January 31, 2013 at 5:02 pm

    I always wondered about why the Cartwright sons were so different, but last year I saw the pilot episode of Bonanza and they showed Ben’s three wives – what can I say, guess he liked variety.

    You know all this talk about Andy Griffith has me thinking that you could do quite the parody – even better than SCTV’s version of Floyd.

    Call me unsophisticated, but I just couldn’t take Dick van Dyke – I always thought Jerry was funnier. And when it first came on TV I was way too young to appreciate Mrs. Petrie.

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  73. MaryRC said on January 31, 2013 at 5:08 pm

    Did Elizabeth Bishop write One Art about Bea? Now there was a disaster.

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  74. Peter said on January 31, 2013 at 5:09 pm

    And how about that episode where Barbara Eden worked in Floyd’s as a manicurist?

    What a gold mine of material.

    And wasn’t Don Rickles in an episode? I don’t think you can make an adult parody out of that episode. At least I hope not.

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  75. ROGirl said on January 31, 2013 at 5:19 pm

    I think Lord Grantham’s obtuseness and insistence on doing things the “proper” way are a slam on the aristocracy, their inability to wake up and join the 20th century. The Americans and the Irish aren’t bogged down in generations of tradition and a legacy that has to be kept up for the sake of God, the monarchy and country. Or maybe Fellowes just decided to set him up for one disaster after another this season. Will he continue to make more bad decisions and bring on even more troubles for his family?

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  76. ROGirl said on January 31, 2013 at 5:23 pm

    RE: Laura Petrie. Ohhhhhhh Robbbbbbb.

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  77. coozledad said on January 31, 2013 at 5:39 pm

    MaryRC: The real disaster was the savage, brief love triangle between Otis, Bea and Liz. It was a kind of salvation for Bea, though. Coming out of the wreckage, she kicked her lonely Southern Comfort habit for good.

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  78. Joe K said on January 31, 2013 at 5:45 pm

    The dick van show when Laura came sliding out of the closet on the walnuts, a classic!
    Pilot Joe

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  79. Kirk said on January 31, 2013 at 5:48 pm

    I always thought that Thelma Lou seemed pretty much ready to go. She probably moved to Raleigh.

    And don’t forget that Jack Nicholson was in two Andy Griffith episodes, including the one in which Aunt Bea was the only woman and only holdout on a jury that was trying to railroad him.

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  80. brian stouder said on January 31, 2013 at 5:49 pm

    Cooz – you’re killin me!

    I’d say Ernest T is now retired from the US Senate – and heading up a conservative think tank (Latest monograph titled “The Tragedy of Makers Throwing Bricks to Hold the Takers at Bay”)…..and in the update/parody, don’t forget “The Fun Girls” that Barney got tangled up with; definitely worth a sex scandal or two!

    I recall one Andy Griffith where Jack Nicholson came into the Courthouse (and he had hair!)

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  81. brian stouder said on January 31, 2013 at 5:52 pm

    Kirk – in the one I recall, Nicholson had abandoned his baby on the sidewalk…and I seem to recall that Andy let him off with a talking-to(!!)

    Good God!! Imagine explaining that one to the inquest, when they find a small skeleton up in Raleigh.

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  82. Kirk said on January 31, 2013 at 6:05 pm

    Yes, he was in two. Played a young dad in one, as I recall. That’s probably the one you refer to. The one in which he was on trial, I think it was a theft charge; not sure. Aunt Bea knew he was innocent; she could just tell.

    It was really a great show. Don Knotts was one of the funniest guys on TV. A friend of mine’s dad knew him when they both were at West Virginia University. Said he was a pretty regular guy.

    There also was an episode in which Barney was wtahcing a farmer who was working his fields at night. Turned out to be for a legitimate reason, but interesting to hear Barney tell Andy, “I think he’s growin’ marijuana out there!”

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  83. Kirk said on January 31, 2013 at 6:30 pm

    About 15 or 18 years ago, the sports desk often adjourned to the Olde Mohawk after we put the paper to bed. It’s in German Village, home of rich folks, home of gay folks (some overlapping there).

    We were in there one night when, lo and behold, Jim Nabors walked in. As I recall, he wasn’t performing in town. He sat at the bar by himself. We didn’t pay him much mind after he entered. He stayed about an hour and, as he walked past our table, we had to say hi. “Howdy, fellers,” he said, with a smile. We watched him walk down the sidewalk after he left and it was so funny: He walked just like Gomer.

    As an auto-racing fan, I greatly appreciate all the pageantry of the Indy 500. A good friend of mine always jas a big party for the 500. I always have to time it so that I see Nabors singing “Back Home In Indiana.”

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  84. alex said on January 31, 2013 at 6:36 pm


    Brian, you were right. The Andy Griffith Show was quite Ford-centric.

    As for Steve McGarrett, a 1968 Mercury Marquis coupe, which he kept on driving right into the 1970s.

    Joe Friday I’m not so sure about. I’m thinking ’63 Fury or Polara or Coronet.

    Pete Malloy and Jim Reed drove a Plymouth Satellite (faster than the speed of light) in ’68-’69. 😉 That one I can say with certainty. Earlier than that I’m thinking it was a Belvedere.

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  85. Prospero said on January 31, 2013 at 7:26 pm

    200th anniversary of Pride and Prejudice.

    My memories of Don Knotts go way back to the Steve Allen Show man on the street interviews–the “nervous guy”:

    And Joe is correct about the walnut episode of Dick van Dyke. Hilarious show.

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  86. Prospero said on January 31, 2013 at 7:31 pm

    Peter@72: They all died. Coincidence? I think not. It’s like Jessica Fletcher. People just tend to get murdered when she’s around. And Adam’s ma was refined, Hoss’s was a big strong Swedish gal, and Little Joe’s was a hot-to-trot Acadian mama.

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  87. Prospero said on January 31, 2013 at 7:34 pm

    News on the $Palin front.

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  88. Kim said on January 31, 2013 at 8:11 pm

    Alex@40 and all others who are subjected to that nut’s opinion, it was amusing to read his column and see the flash ad beside it was for “Boudoir Noir,” a “fantasy and romance superstore.” Of course. I wonder if they carry satin sleeping bags. In camouflage print, natch.

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  89. MarkH said on January 31, 2013 at 8:57 pm

    Alex, Brian —

    For the entire run of the later Dragnet (’67-’70), Friday and Gannon drove a light green 1967 Ford Fairlane 4-door. Gannon (Harry Morgan) always drove. Several cars were used in Adam-12, MOPARs at first, but at the end of the run they used AMC sedans. The cars of Adam-12 (from IMDB):

    The patrol cars in the series were not real LAPD cruisers, but were purchased by Universal Studios from Chrysler Corporation and American Motors, and outfitted by the prop department to LAPD cruiser specs. In order, the cars were:
    •1: 1967 Plymouth Belvedere 383 V8 (“pilot” only)
    •2: 1968 Plymouth Belvedere 383 V8 (season one)
    •3: 1969 Plymouth Belvedere 383 V8 (season two)
    •4: 1971 Plymouth Satellite 383 V8 (season three)
    •5: 1972 and 1973 AMC Matador 401 V8 (seasons four and on)

    Further trivia you’re all just dying for: Pete Malloy (Martin Milner) had a girlfriend named Judy that was talked about by rarely seen. When she did appear, she was played by…Aneta Corsaut, aka Andy Taylor’s Helen.

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  90. MarkH said on January 31, 2013 at 9:04 pm

    The unmarried cowpokes-on-the-big-spread-still-living-with-rich-unmarried-parent was rampant in the ’60s. Not just Bonanza, but Lancer and The Virginian. Well, sort of with Judge Garth’s niece and nephew.

    And DON’T get Nancy started again about The Big Valley!

    Peter, I’d venture that, aside from his work on “Coach”, you’re the only person alive that thinks Jerry is near as funny as Dick.

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  91. MarkH said on January 31, 2013 at 9:10 pm

    Prospero – Steve Allen’s show was irreplacable. Don Knotts, Tom Poston and Louis Nye.

    Hi-ho, Steverino!!

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  92. MaryRC said on January 31, 2013 at 9:29 pm

    Cooz, re Aunt Bea’s drinking habits, I couldn’t help wondering what made her pickles and marmalade taste so toxic to everyone else while she thought they were delicious. I suspect they played the same role that “Papa’s recipe” did in the Waltons.

    I loved The Big Valley but like Bonanza, getting involved with the younger generation was a death sentence. One of the brothers actually got married but his wife was gunned down during the wedding if I’m not mistaken. Talk about not surviving the episode, she didn’t last the first 15 minutes.

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  93. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on January 31, 2013 at 9:32 pm

    Wait, what have I missed about “The Big Valley,” starring “Miss Barbara Stanwyck”?

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  94. alex said on January 31, 2013 at 9:47 pm

    Holeee shit. I never thought about it before, but ’60s TV is like totally homoerotic.

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  95. MarkH said on January 31, 2013 at 10:24 pm

    Perhaps you weren’t paying attention, Jeff. Neither was I.

    I think Nancy agrees with Alex and maybe she’ll rerun her post from years ago about the Big Valley parties she and her friends used to have.

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  96. MarkH said on January 31, 2013 at 10:38 pm

    MaryRC – actually two Barkleys got married during the run. Jarrod, in the episode you describe and Nick married a single mom with a son who took him in when he left the ranch as he thought he had rabies. She got shot and he married her on her deathbed, so she was history, too. Ron Howard played her son. Sheesh, TMI.

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  97. basset said on January 31, 2013 at 10:48 pm

    A truly obsessive fan would find a trashed old Mercury in a warehouse and get it all fixed up just on the chance McGarrett’s butt might have graced that seat:

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  98. MaryRC said on January 31, 2013 at 10:52 pm

    MarkH, I remembered the woman who helped Nick dying, but not that he had married her … thereby sealing her fate, I guess. Of course, Audra’s many beaus were rarely killed off, they just all turned out to be shady … anywhere from unscrupulous businessmen to crazed serial killers. She sure knew how to pick them.

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  99. MarkH said on January 31, 2013 at 11:20 pm

    Holy shit, basset, great find. James MacArthur, RIP.

    Mary, the Chinaman who ran the laundry where she worked turned out to be a holyman as well, and Nick talked him into marrying them as she always wanted to be an honest woman. Wasn’t a real marriage, of course, just spiritual. But didn’t that make them all feel better? BTW, Nick didn’t have rabies, but sure had all the symptoms to keep the episode going.

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  100. crazycatlady said on January 31, 2013 at 11:43 pm

    I remember years ago (in the 70’s) a gay friend told me Johnny Mathis was gay and when he was in Detroit he frequented a certain bathhouse. He said his friend saw him there and I did not believe it. Turns out it is true. I had wondered how it was he never got married. Hope he has the choice some day in his home in California. But there is always New York!!!!

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