My Favorite Martian vs My Favorite Russian

When I was a kid, one of my favorite television shows was “My Favorite Martian” with Bill Bixby and Ray Walston. This was a spoof of what might happen if a Martian actually crashed on earth and tried to live among us. It was a lot of special effect humor from Walston’s Martian combined with the goofy antics of Bixby’s character. The premise was that Walston was Bixby’s Uncle Martin.

In this era, the world was fascinated by evil men from outer space and The Russians. They hype concerning both was almost equal. If the space invaders didn’t attack us, the Russians would. People watched the skies for both possibilities.

In 1982, E.T. finally convinced us that not all aliens were evil and give the right bicycle, we could fly across the moon. In 1987, I finally met my first Russian. I was working near Washington D.C. selling software and many of the embassy personnel liked to frequent my store, including the Russians. I will not use his name, but I can tell you he was roughly mid 30’s with a wife and a couple of kids. I never met his wife, but I did meet his kids. Barring the accent, you’d never know they were not a typical  American Family. Over the months, I got to know them and realized that they were more like me than different from me. Thanks to this fine gentleman, I got to partake in a tasting of Russian Crackers and Beluga Caviar. That was my Christmas Gift for helping him route a journey to Niagara Falls through wine country for their 10th anniversary.

Now, lately we have been assailed with the Russians again. They helped rig the election so Trump would win. If this is true all I want to say is THANK YOU!  Way to go Putin! The last thing this country needed in the White House was Hillary Clinton. If it turns out to be true, every American should send a thank you note to Vladimir.

Now, back to the other kind of aliens, I’ve been to Roswell; Weather Balloon my foot!  I’ve also been to Devil’s Tower where they filmed parts of “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.”  If I was an alien, I would choose to land there, if only to get some of the best fried chicken I have ever eaten. The “Devil’s Tower View” restaurant is within a few miles of the tower at 476 State Highway 24.

Aliens of all types scare people, especially folks who thrive on religious theology. How sad they miss out on the fun and intrigue of meeting Mr Spock some day. Or enjoying the company of a Tribble. How cool would it be to “Go where no man has gone before” Hopefully Trump will help restart NASA with a vengeance. We need to continue to explore the universe.

Tis’ the Season

“Black Friday” has come and gone and the whole country is now ramping up into the Christmas Season. You notice I DID NOT say Holiday Season. I am not Politically Correct and I don’t celebrate anything but Christmas and even that I keep to a minimum any more. The family is scattered and many of them have died off. There are no great gatherings at Grandma’s house, so no more going over the Mahoning River or through the woods of Mill Creek Park. Home was a suburb of Youngstown, Ohio and Grandma’s House was on the East Side of Youngstown, just above the valley and the Steel Mills.

I do try to keep traditions alive. I eat some sort of Turkey Dinner, I always watch “The Christmas Story” and “The Home Coming” and if I can help it I never miss watching, “White Christmas.” One the other side, I watch “Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer,” “Frosty The Snowman” and “It’s a Charlie Brown Christmas.” Linus fixing up that crappy little Christmas Tree brings tears to my eyes year after year.

Music is another major part of Christmas for me. There’s nothing Cooler than Manheim Steamroller’s first Christmas Album. Spin that followed buy some Burl Ives, “Holly Jolly Christmas” and finish out the set with the Grasshoppers singing, “The Christmas Song.” “Christmas, Christmas Time is Here, Time for Joy and Time for Cheer, We’ve been Good but We can’t Last, Hurry Christmas Hurry Fast”…… I like a lot of the Church oriented favorites too, “Joy to the World,” “Silent Night” in both English and German and if I really want to get the blood stirring, I throw on The Mormons singing, “The Hallelujah Chorus” and turn the volume way up! Some of the best music has been produced for Christmas, not Kwanzaa and certainly not Hanukkah. Though I suppose there are some Jewish Favorites available if you are looking for such fare.

Gift Giving is another Holliday Tradition. Like anyone, I get a kick out of getting things and I also like to give things. Do you have someone you don’t know what to give them?  How about a website? Or maybe a customized family picture. A year worth of Genealogy help and research, These are all things available at Doug’s Country. Don’t miss the Store Page! I’ve got a really cool picture of the Space Shuttle there and a very nice John Wayne Print.

Have a Merry Christmas!  For the rest of you, I hope what ever you celebrate turns out nice too!

Mrs. Brady is Dead!

It’s a story of a Lovely Lady, well at least cute, who was bringing up three very Lovely Girls…two cute one, Marsha. Jan was always my favorite, thank you Eve Plumb. Like the casts of many of our late boomer Sitcoms, the Brady Family and supporting friends are starting to disappear.

We all know, Tiger the Dog disappeared during filming. He got run over by a truck. Robert Reed was the first actor from the show to go, he died of AIDS. I guess the next casualty was Alan Melvin, he played Sam the Butcher. Not too long ago, Ann B. Davis who played Alice, fell down a flight of stairs at her home and died. It makes one wonder if her last words were, ”I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!.” And this week we lost Florence Henderson, age 82.  No longer will we hear her off tune singing, her bitching about Robert Reed or her commercials for Wesson Oil. The catch phrase, “And I Helped!” will have to find a new home.

Last I heard, all the Brady kids are still alive. Barry Williams (Greg) is living in Branson and performing a stage show. I got to see him in 2014 and talked to him briefly. He is still carrying the “Johnny Bravo” ego. Maureen McCormick (Marsha), is still acting and writing books. She also recently did a stint on “Dancing with the Stars”, though I don’t know how anyone could classify her as a “star.” I followed her Twitter Account for a while and finally un-followed her.   Christopher Knight, (Peter) is hocking Furniture and can be found on Twitter too. Eve Plumb (Jan), is an artist now and has been doing some acting. I found her on Twitter and Tweeted a few things back and forth. I haven’t kept up on Mike Lookinland (Bobby), but he was in the business and did a brief cameo appearance, in the Barry Williams “Growing Up Brady” movie. I also found Susan Olson, (Cindy) on Twitter and quickly un-followed her. Her rants reminded me of scenes from “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest.” I even asked her “who put the bug up her Brady Butt.”

Yes late Boomers, we are getting old. All of our favorites from the days of silly sitcoms are fading away and many of the classic dramas too. “The Waltons,” “Little House on The Prairie,” and others have all lost key cast members now. So, as we shed a very brief tear for Mrs. Brady, we are glad to see the reruns continue, even though none of the cast members are making a dime off of them.

And that’s the way we all became the Brady Bunch!