BE TRUE TO YOUR AGE
I’m bahhhck! Sorry if you kept tuning in and finding the same oh, same oh, each time. Important stuff loomed and I had to take care of it. One of the things I did was read a book by Bob Green titled, Be True To Your School. The book was recommended to me by my good friend, famous TV comedy writer, producer, director and baseball announcer, Ken Levine.
Be True To Your School is an actual diary of a high school student during the entire year of 1964. I found it fascinating because that was the year The Lloyd Thaxton Show was really zapping along. The kids in this book were the same kids that were on my show and it really took me back into a wonderful time.
Bob Green lived just outside Columbus, Ohio and he mentions hearing the Beatles for the first time on the Ed Sullivan Show, listening to The Beach Boys and all the other great music groups of that year. Here is this teen-ager, way across the country from me, and he mentions watching The Lloyd Thaxton Show. Wow! Unreal! That really hit me. He was, like most of you who bother to read this blog, one of my fans. It was almost like being there, again.
It was also a reminder of how much times have changed. Oh, how your grandchildren would have loved to have lived in those times. Remember when your mother told you to go out and have fun, “but be back before the streetlights come on?” How you cruised in your car with your friends and if you got into trouble, the police told you to go home?
When I was directing segments for America’s Funniest People on ABC, I was in Detroit with a black cameraman sighting locations for a shoot. He was a teen-ager in Detroit in the 60s and he told how he lived in this great middle class neighborhood (his father worked for the Ford Motor Company). He and his friends would jump on their bikes in the morning, ride all the way into the city. They didn’t return home until just before dark (before-the-street-lights-come-on). I remember how he lamented the fact that all those middle class families were now gone. No more middle class jobs did everybody in.
It was amazing. I grew up in a white neighborhood not 40 miles away in Toledo, Ohio. It was like he was telling my story.
There was an article in the LA Times a couple of days ago that lamented the fact that the ratings for this season’s “American Idol” were dropping fast. The problem, according to the article, “children and young adults are the first to bail on a show that’s getting crow’s feet.” They mentioned how difficult it is just to keep their treasured 18 to 49 year old audience on board.
Nowhere in the article, do they mention anyone over 49. Don’t they know that you are the most loyal audience out there? When you were running things, the airplanes ran on time, you’re kids could go out alone, people had middle class jobs that put their kids through college without student loans, and … and … well, the list is too long to list here. I’m sure you can add to it.
You baby boomers were the greatest. Yet no body seems to want your advice on what is wrong with the world today. But, you can be thankful that you were there and done that. No one can take that away. You can be proud that you ran a good ship. Hopefully, the young people of the world will wake up and be true to their age, as much as you are being true to yours. You are still the greatest.