The 60s Official Site

 

 

 Eva's Retro 60s Flashbacks

Wholesome & Winsome Widowed TV Dads of the Sixties

 

TV DadsWholesome and winsome TV dads of the Sixties were primarily well-to-do widowers with live-in help. S-o-o-o many contenders in the “grandest-of-all” arena for female divorcees and widows in the neighborhood to walk over their pot luck dinners in the hope of winning a man’s heart through his stomach.   Take, ranch dude, Ben Cartwright, how unlucky can a guy get? Each of his three wives died in childbirth. Yet, he raised three sons with distinctly different temperaments on the Ponderosa, taught them to care for one another, their neighbors, and just causes. They may have gotten into an occasional barroom brawl, but boys will be boys. (Bonanza 1959-1973).   

 

The intact family as we knew it began to fray in the Sixties. Issues pertaining to class, race, and gender caused their own turbulence. Television didn’t necessarily keep up with the Joneses’ reality, let alone the real struggles single parents face. For instance, Bentley Gregg, a wealthy bachelor attorney from  Beverly Hills assumes guardianship of his niece for 150 episodes of Bachelor Father (1957-1962). Between Bentley’s successful law practice, and his social life with beautiful women, how did he juggle the added responsibility of raising a teenage girl? Easy! Peter, the Oriental houseboy practically ran the household. While winsome, this bachelor is hardly a candidate for father of the year. 

 

Homesteader, Lucas McCain aka The Rifleman (1958–1963), takes single parenting quite seriously, and instills a sense of independence and honor in his son, Mark. Though a rifle was McCain’s constant companion, he didn’t always fire it. By setting good examples, he teaches his son about fair play, neighborliness, equal rights, and perpetrating violence as a last resort. “A man doesn't run from a fight, but that doesn't mean you go looking to run to one.” 

 

Mayberry’s Sheriff Andy Taylor deserves a badge for his outstanding job as a single parent. In nearly every episode of The Andy Griffith Show (1960–1968), the Sheriff taught his son Opie valuable lessons during their hear-to-heart talks—namely, to do the right thing. He also spent quality time taking his son fishing and emphasizing the importance of school.  No wonder Aunt Bee enjoyed serving up a platter of fried chicken with all the trimmings for her wholesome fellas.  Just don’t bite into her “kerosene cucumbers”.  

 

For twelve years, we sat ringside, privy to the single parenting style of Steven Douglas, an aeronautical engineer raising three sons with stand-in mom, Uncle Charley (My Three Sons, 1960–1972). Talk about the empty nest syndrome—his three sons move out, go to college, and get married. Even dad ties the knot.  Though Mr. Douglas deserves accolades for his superior parenting job, his ratings plummeted against the likes of bigoted and curmudgeonly Archie Bunker who had his hands full with the Dingbat, Gloria, and the Meathead as he grappled with issues like menopause, infidelity, divorce, alcoholism, impotence,  and depression. Those were the days!   

 

Porter Ricks, Miami’s Chief Warden at Coral Key Park and Marine Preserve, wasn’t exactly a dad social workers flipped for (Flipper, 1964–1967).  His sons Sandy and Bud may have kept company with a school of fish, but there was never any indication they attended a school to learn academics.    

 

The moral instructions Frances Elizabeth Lawrence received from her dad were short-lived (Gidget, 1966-1967). Despite Gidget’s zany adventures in school, home, and on the beaches—it was “Toodles!”  After all, even well-meaning parental lectures given by a UCLA professor can be quite dry.  

 

Well-to-do civil engineer and bachelor, Bill Davis, living the charmed life in his Park Avenue apartment in Manhattan, suddenly finds his world turned upside down when his two nieces and nephew move in. Saddled in the wake of an automobile accident which took the lives of his brother and sister-in-law because no other relatives would take on the responsibility, he steps up to the plate.  Somehow, he makes it work under the auspices of his valet, Mr. French, who, at first quite mortified by the daunting prospects, in effect becomes the children’s nanny and Bill’s parenting coach (Family Affair, 1966-1971).  

 

A recently widowed, handsome, thirtyish magazine publisher should have no trouble getting remarried, right?  Tom Corbett’s son Eddie often manipulated his father in his attempts to get him to the altar. While the two of them engaged in frequent talks about major lessons learned and pondered their significance, the burdens of single parenthood were lifted by Mrs. Livingston. Their indispensable, Japanese housekeeper offered wise advice while looking after Eddie for “Mr. Eddie’s Father” (The Courtship of Eddie’s Father, 1969-1972).      

 

As front row voyeurs, we got an eyeful of how a blended family learns to adjust in becoming a unit despite sibling rivalries and family squabbles (The Brady Bunch, 1969-1974). Mike Brady, a widowed architect with sons of his own, takes on a new wife and her daughters. No reference was ever made as to whether Carol was widowed or whatever because the network didn’t think prime time viewers could handle the handle of “divorced.” How fortunate for Mike and Carol to agree to keep his live-in housekeeper, Alice.  At any rate, the proof is in the pudding about Mr. Brady being a great dad.  He won “Father of the Year” on the show after Marcia submitted an essay extolling his virtues to a newspaper.  

 

Wholesome, winsome, widowed TV dads of the Sixties did the best they could with the cards they were dealt with—in their case, a script.  Even at that, Bill Bixby who portrayed Eddie’s father, walked out due to creative differences as later episodes placed less emphasis on the courtship of father and son. As family affairs have a tendency to exact their toll, two months after the suicide of his own daughter, Brian Keith committed suicide.  In real life, where deadbeat dads are part of our frayed society, there are plenty of winsome and wholesome dads who are divorced and struggling to make ends meet to pay child support, hang onto their job, and make the car payments. Wouldn’t it be fine and dandy if they had a live-in maid or houseboy who could be counted on to pick up the slack?   

 

 

Underlying Notes by Eva Pasco    An E. Quiche by Eva Pasco

 

 

 Signed copies of the Paperback, 40 % off suggested retail, may be acquired at the Authors Den Signed Bookstore via Eva’s web page: http://www.authorsden.com/evapasco

 

 

 

Your Daily Oldies Fix

CQHams

An Enlightening Quiche, a novel by Eva Pasco

 

Hullabaloo! Dave Hull

 

My Summer on Haight Street by Robert Rice Jr.

 

Inside Songs of the Sixties by Brian Forsythe 

Culinary Tributeto the Beatles 

 

The 60s - Carl - 1968 - Vietnam

 Vietnam -1968

The 60s - Webmaster - 2006

 Today

 

HollywoodMegaStore.com

Altamont AugieEva Pasco's Book

 

Somewhere in the Distance by David Soulsby 

The Isla Vista Crucible

 

Read my Blog

 Franchise Trees

40th Anniversary of Woodstock

Vibration of a Nation Video 

Sign the Guestbook 

 

Jukeboxes

Go to The 60s Official Site Jukebox

 

 

 

 

 

Home
Updates and New Content
My Home Town - Circleville Ohio
Cruisin'
My Jade East Adventure
The 60s Tradition of Eating Together as a Family
The Blown Perfect Game
The Great Pumpkin Caper
The Haunted Bridge Near Yellowbud
Union Street Beat
Union Street Peeping Toms
What Ever Happened to The Cool Jocks?
Top Ten Countdown
The Sixties With Eva Pasco
David Soulsby Reflections
Ask Big Dog
Things You Just Don't Hear Anymore
1960s Candy
60s Articles - Baby Boomers
60s Fads & Fashions
60s Music A Decade of Great Music
60s Songs That Peaked on the Charts in 1970
Grammy Award Winners
Our Music, Our Times, Remember When?
The 60s Craziest Songs
The Top 100 Recording Artists of the 50s and 60s Era
Webmaster's Pick of the Top 100 Songs of the Decade
60s Rock 'N Roll Headline News
A Story of Life - A Thousand Marbles
60s Slang- Do You Remember These?
A Tribute to Elvis
Elvis Presley's Top Recordings
Stories About Elvis Presley
Baby Boomer Cities
British Music Invasion
British Top Hits of the 1960s
Chickenman
Chickenman Has Been Identified
Class Reunion Tips
Dance Crazes of the 60s
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream Speech"
Drive-In Theater Memories
Flashback Time Capsule High School Years
Great TV Commercial Jingles
Living in Black and White
Moms Cookbook
Movies of the 60s
Quotes of the Baby Boomer Generation
Remembering Valentine's Day
Previous Spotlighted Artists
Vikki Carr
Bob Dylan
Lovin' Spoonful
Rhythm and Blues Music of the 1960s
Rock 'N Roll Hall of Fame
Route 66 - The Mother Road
Summer of Love
Television in the 60s
The Economy and Prices
The Headlines and Key Facts of the 1960s
The Pickle Jar
The Top Ten Songs on this Day
The Vietnam War - The War that Changed a Generation
Medal of Honor Soldiers
Music Favorites from 'Nam
My Tour Pics of Vietnam
Pictures From The Vietnam War
Tet Offensive - An Explanation
Vietnam War Myths
Vietnam War Time Line
Today in Baby Boomer History
Top DJs of the 60s
Toys and Games
Whatever Happened to
Woodstock Rock Festival

 Your Daily Oldies Fix

CQHams

 My Blog

 

Go to The 60s Official Site Jukebox

Sign the Guestbook