November 2, 2016
I grew up watching black and white television shows. The shows I loved would probably not be regarded as politically correct today but “it is what it is.” I watched “The Little Rascals,” “The Life of Riley,” “The Real McCoys,” “Dragnet,” “The Honeymooners” and “I Love Lucy” (Ricky Ricardo’s English was better than my own mother’s English). How can I forget “The Lone Ranger”,” Bonanza,” “Have Gun Will Travel,” “The Rifleman” and “Roy Rogers” plus Audie Murphy but my all-time favorite was the “Amos and Andy Show.”
I watched these shows with intensity and tried to emulate the characters. It seems like there was always some sort of crisis in every show, but the crisis was never the same from one show to the next. In each show there was a good guy, a bad guy (villain) or bad situation (the challenge), the pretty girl and the moral dilemma regarding doing the right thing for the right reasons. There was always a lesson to be learned and the characters would take ownership of their poor decisions and learn from their mistakes.
As I reflect back on countless 1950’s-1960’s television friends, I count my blessings and am thankful for all of my character influencing mentors inside of that square box that died around midnight each night. I am lucky to have known people like Lucille Esmeralda McGillicuddy, Bob-a-Loo, Spanky, Buckwheat, Alfalfa, Tonto, Kemosabe, Clem Kadiddlehopper, Amos, Andy, Kingfish, Sapphire, Hoss, Lucas, Rochester, Jose Jimenez and so many others and am thankful for their lessons in life.
I long for the days when it was okay to laugh at yourself and each other. Forgiveness was demonstrated in most episodes. It was okay to enjoy the “interesting” side of each other’s heritage and uniqueness. I think these now politically incorrect shows probably influenced who I am and my appreciation for a wide range of people. As I look back, I think I am like the people in those shows. I’m proud to be the melting pot of a wide range of backgrounds but with the same principles and values portrayed on those long ago television shows. To be honest, I am blessed that I didn’t have any of the current reality shows to influence my life. Who knows? I might have turned out totally different.
The shows I lived through and the characters I emulated looked past racial imagery and dialect and demonstrated true friendship, perseverance, strong work ethics, great imaginations and service of others greater than self. It was about doing the right things for the right reasons and holding each other to common accountability standards. In almost all cases, there were lessons on how to use available resources to move forward in a fair and honest manner. These shows made us laugh and feel good. It’s my opinion there is a greater need to restore laughter now than in the “old days” when people talked to each other instead of communicating with machines and took the time to live and be present in the moment in a kind and respectful society. I am so very thankful and blessed and indebted to all of those people on those shows who helped me become who I am today!
Written by KING AEROSPACE Founder, Jerry Allan King-Echevarria.