Tuesday, January 26, 2010

There Goes The Ponderosa

Pernell Roberts, the last of "Bonanza's" Cartwright family, died Sunday at his home in California.

Hoss (Dan Blocker) rode off into the sunset in 1972.  "Ben/Pa" (Lorne Greene) went off the Ponderosa in 1987.  "Little Joe" (Michael Landon) bought the farm in 1991.

Now, I mean no disrespect by referring to their deaths this way.  I just think that's how real cowboys would want it.  Except maybe "Adam" (Pernell Roberts).

Adam was the odd one of the bunch.  Remember, I was a child when "Bonanza" was in its heyday.  Sunday nights, after church, we'd catch "The Ed Sullivan Show" and "Bonanza".

Ah, the memories.

Daddy would "adjust" the horizontal/vertical hold on our black-and-white Zenith and, if all else failed, hit it on the side at just the right spot using the palm of his hand.  Worked every time.  That Roscoe, he of the Magic Tuning Hand.  Anyway...

There they'd come, the Cartwrights, riding into our living room through a burning map of the Ponderosa, all decked out in their cowboy garb.  Except for Adam.  He was always dressed in black.  I wondered why.

He was the coolest Cartwright.

I have a question.  Why would three grown men still live with their Pa when they could have been married with Ponderosas and little Cartwrights of their own?  Hoss and his Little Hoss's or Hossettes, piles of little Little Joes or Little Josephines, and Adam...I got nothing.

Apparently Adam wasn't real happy living out on the ranch with Pa and his brothers.  He left the series, according to Pa, by just "moving away."  Uh-huh.  I'da been moving away too.

Perhaps he moved back home to Waycross Valdosta, Georgia.  Lowndes County.  Home of another great cowboy, my father-in-law, Raymond Coppage.  Most folks from Lowndes County say they're from Valdosta, but they're usually from the county:  Clyattville, Dasher, Naylor, Remerton, or that metropolis Hahira.  I'm betting Adam was from one of those.

No matter.  The point is he's ridden off into the sunset.  To meet Pa, Hoss, and Little Joe.  And the Duke, Roy and Dale, and Tex.

I bet he wore black.

BUSTED:  My good former friend Mike Ruffin the Convictor pointed out that in order to see Ed Sullivan I would have had to skip church on Sunday night.  Unbeknownst to him we had the pre-production DVR that wouldn't be available to others for decades.  That's my story and I'm stickin' to it.

BUSTED II:  Again, my ex-former-good-friend Mike Ruffin the Navigator pointed out that Waycross, Georgia, is in Ware County, not Lowndes.  I'm taken aback (and afront) by the number of times he must have read this one post.  While people were in need of ministry.  It's good to know someone's watching for mistakes.  Now if he'll just give someone else a turn.  As for his smart-ass comment about the Allmans...I forgive him.  It's just my gracious nature.


Michael Ruffin said...

Great post.

But you lie.

There is no way...I repeat, no way...that you watched Ed Sullivan after church at Midway on Sunday night. Church was at 7:00 or 7:30, depending on the time of the year, and Sullivan was off by the time we got home.

I know this because I saw Sullivan exactly once a year and that was on Homecoming Sunday when we didn't have Sunday night church.

So, like a good cowboy, you gotta 'fess up, boy. Those Sunday nights you watched Ed Sullivan you were skipping church.

Michael Ruffin said...

Waycross is in Ware County.


Your former friend Mike Ruffin

P.S. I guess your Allman Brothers playmates got you the pre-DVR.

Michael Ruffin said...

I love you, man.

And as for reading and re-reading your posts--I'm always on the lookout for sermon material.