Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Ozzie and Harriet

While browsing through my personal blog looking for something else, I ran across a post I made almost two and a half years ago. It was a rather short post about the death of David Nelson, older son of Ozzie and Harriet, who played themselves in the very popular sitcom that lasted for as long as any tv show I can remember. It ran for fourteen years, from 1952 to 1966. That fact alone is rather amazing to me, as is the fact that people actually watched and enjoyed a real life family going through the everyday experiences that real life families go through. Nothing outstanding at all, just a family being just that: a family. Actually, the everyday occurrences of life can be rather amusing when you think about it; we could get chuckles from things that come up with ordinary folks like us, and so it was with the Nelsons. David was the last of the four to pass away, so it really was the end of O and H.

Well, reading that post wet my appetite to watch a little bit of the show this evening. We have loads of episodes on dvd’s and often enjoy a particular one as much the fifth of sixth time watching it as the first. However, I ended up on Netflix and saw one that for some reason, I don’t remember at all. It’s title is “David’s Birthday” and it’s all about when he turned seventeen, at which time he wanted to appear older because of his crush on a girl who he heard was only interested in older guys. Well, there were the usual humorous moments, particularly with younger Ricky, but true to form with entertainment in past days, we had some good advice from a father (advice which was sought, btw) and a “trick” played by a wise mama. I found it totally enjoyable, but then it’s par for the course that I would.

Now, you know how I like to watch old tv shows and movies and talk about them. It’s one of my greatest pleasures, in fact. It’s refreshing and calming if that makes sense. Just watching is uplifting and writing about the experience makes it seem more than a relaxing passing of the time. How pleasant to watch a family, real or not, calmly and cheerfully engaging with their teenage son. Shows like these have teen guys  talking about being taken with this or that girl, about going on dates and all that went with it, and not once is there anything said or done that would cause you or I to hesitate letting our younger child or teen watch the whole thing with us. And that, of course, includes the commercials. There was a time it was actually like that, and it makes me feel a wee bit better to remember. And also, it’s a reminder to all of us that we can be thankful for dvd’s and even computer services like Netflix where we can take our children and grandchildren  back to a time when things were different.

Oh, for the return of some measure of that which was! No, it wasn’t perfect then. Yes, there was sin in the lives of these people and everyone else from that era. Agreed, there were some things they did which I wouldn’t do in my own family and with my own children. But, still, as someone quoted about the death of David Nelson: one more person from a “gentler, kinder past” has gone on. And I certainly do agree with that definition of that time period for television.


  1. Yes, times have changed Maxine. I too love watching family shows and reminiscing about the good ol' days. I pray that this gentle reminder will encourage others to model families of 'gentler, kinder past' and be an example to others now.

  2. Thanks for the comment, Kim. Nice to know there are like minds out there. May the Lord help us all to be examples indeed.