gunsmoke

Western Adventure

Anytime I think of treasure, I often think of treasure out west, that is the American West.  Many of my favorite treasure books tell stories of lost treasure on the western frontier.  Even if it is not treasure, I still like stories about the wild west.  I love the adventure, the romance, the gun play, the good guys versus the bad guy theme.  I grew up watching many westerns:  Gunsmoke, Bonanza, The Wild Wild West.  One of the situation cards for Treasure Trove gives a player a chance to draw from one of the six decks of situation cards included in the game.  Of all the hundreds of westerns I have seen, the closing scene in Shane is still probably my favorite, the one where Alan Ladd takes out Jack Palance.  The quickest to draw.

Bonanza

 

     I like westerns. Some of the best movies ever made in my opinion were Westerns such as Shane starring Alan Ladd.  The cast of the Magnificent Seven included stars such as Charles Bronson, Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen, Robert Vaughn, and James Coburn.  How about Paul Newman and Robert Redford in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid?  As for TV, I can remember dozens of westerns.  On Saturday mornings as a kid I watched Roy Rodgers and a show called Sky King.  The afternoons had The Lone Ranger.  The evenings had guys such as Paladin who was a classy gunslinger, and The Rifleman which had a cool theme song. Gunsmoke was a stalwart running for years.  And then there was Sunday night, that is, Bonanza.

          As a family we were not always able to be together in the evenings as my older brothers got into high school, but from what I remember we were often together on Sunday night watching Bonanza.  When we finally got a color TV I recall how beautiful the colors were on Bonanza.  It also had a good theme song.  Because it showed for many years it creating a bond with its viewers.  I also recall Sunday evenings after church was snack night and we got to eat in front of the TV.  All other nights was at the dinner table.  One of my brothers often made tuna salad while I often heated up a can of ravioli.  The only thing bad about Bonanza was in the back of my brain a voice whispering, “tomorrow is school.”

    I do not submit for extended cable coverage but if I did I would want to receive the Western channel.  Whenever I do watch a Western I still for the most part enjoy them although in more recent years they are too violent and getting a little bit unrealistic such as one man taking on fifty.  

          Westerns bring back a bunch(bonanza) of good memories.  They may be too simplistic for many viewers but I enjoy a theme that has the good and bad element to it as well as a moral to the story.  Toss in a little action, some romance while the good guys lasso the outlaws, and I still think they make for an enjoyable adventure.  When I’m channel surfing I sometimes catch a Western and it seems to make me feel better.  I’m never going to be as tough or as cool as the men depicted in the shows, but I have always thought being a Western action hero was much more plausible than being a Spiderman or Batman.  The rugged individual has always had an allure to me. 

         A board game that entails adventure as well as striking it rich is Treasure Trove.  Lots of bonanzas to be discovered including diamonds, gold, pearls, coins, rare minerals and oil.  Please visit our website at www.treasuretrovegame.com

Route 66

       

   The TV show, “Gunsmoke,” started at 8 P.M. on Saturday nights in the 1960’s.  My brothers and I would quick draw the opening scene and always enjoyed tumbling to the floor because Matt Dillon got the best of us.   We enjoyed one more hour of TV with mom and dad before it was time to, “hit the sack,” as dad would say.  Once the show ended it was off to bed, no questions asked, and I mean pronto. 

          My younger brother and I were banished to the bedroom while my two older brothers got to stay up for one more hour of TV.  I must have been a fairly compliant child because I don’t recall myself putting up too much of a fuss.  It would not have made any difference anyway; that was just the rule and we had to do it.  However, it was the music theme of the show that has been embedded in my brain the rest of my life.  I do not know the name of the song but I can easily recognize the theme song to the TV show, “Route 66.”  I heard it every Saturday night for years as I begrudgingly crawled into bed.  It just seems to be one of those songs that is easily identifiable.  I occasionally hear it when oldies are played on the radio and I’m immediately transported back in time.

          I believe the “Route 66” series started airing in 1960, but I’m not sure how many years the show ran.  In the late 80’s I caught a few reruns but I only saw one or two episodes.  My kids were little then and I was busy with them during the evenings.  Recently, however, I purchased the 1st season’s episodes and found myself thoroughly enjoying them.  It was about two young men traveling cross country in a cool corvette taking odd jobs.  I don’t know the color of the car, as the show was filmed in black and white.  They were in a different town or city each week and the drama of oridinary peoples everyday lives.  I guess in my midlife I’m winding down as I find myself on the couch and on the back porch more.

          My grown daughter was with us one weekend when we watched several episodes.  She is doing graduate work in psychology, I asked her why was I enjoying these 50 year old shows so much. Here is her response:

“I think that a lot of the reason you enjoy your older TV shows and movies is that you attribute a lot of you fondest memories to entertainment during your growing up years. You told me about going to the drive-in during the early 1960’s and playing on the playground in front of the large screen.  You mentioned seeing movies like the “Alamo”and “Sparticus” at the drive-in, as well as “Ben Hur,” “The Great Escape” and “The Longest Day” at the big screen theaters.  You also were able to often go to the show by yourself and meet your friends there.  Something kids are no longer able to do in today’s society.  “Bonanza” was a family thing on Sunday nights as well as fun shows like “Gilligan’s Island.”  Those classic movies and TV shows had a positive influence on you. You once told me about remembering your dad would read the Bible on Saturday nights while you watched “Flipper.” You were supposed to have your Sunday school lesson before watching Flipper.  Good movies, good times, good memories.  Movies and shows back then had less action and more character to them.  Even the westerns had the good and bad guy element.  I think it’s that character thing you like and it was fun.”

          Route 66 is one of the more famous highways in America especially before the interstate highways were built. For me Route 66 brings back memories of a treasured time in my life.  It’s a little after nine and guess what?  Time for me to “hit the sack,” and someday I’d like to “hit the road,” on Route 66.

Factoids:  

1.”(Get Your Kicks On) Route 66″, often rendered simply as “Route 66″, is a popular song and rythym and blues standard, composed in 1946 by American songwriter Bobby Troup.

2. “Route 66” was first recorded in 1946 by Nat King Cole, whose rendition became a classic. 

3. “One of the original federal routes, US 66 was established on November 11, 1926, though signs did not go up until the following year.[2] It originally ran from Chicago, Illinois, through Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California, before ending at Los Angeles for a total of 2,448 miles[3] (3,940 km).”

4. The only road with a Pulitzer Prize to it’s credit.

5. Route 66 was the first highway of such length to be paved from one end to the other. Earlier there were long stretches of dirt, or planks floating on sand. The road brought the nation to California – twice. Once in the 1930′s and again after World War II.

6. Route 66 is one of the most famous, if not THE most famous road in the United States.

7. Disney made the movie “Cars”, although Radiator Springs is a fictional town, the movie itself is centered around Route 66.

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