The Wild West adventures of Ben Cartwright and his sons as they run and defend their Nevada ranch while helping the surrounding community.The Wild West adventures of Ben Cartwright and his sons as they run and defend their Nevada ranch while helping the surrounding community.The Wild West adventures of Ben Cartwright and his sons as they run and defend their Nevada ranch while helping the surrounding community.
I can remember when it was the only color show on television in the 1960s, and sometimes there would be a little "Sunday Night Party" with friends to watch this on NBC on one of the few color televisions.
I really enjoy history not so much for the names and dates but how it influences us today and how so much can be so profound based on the most inconsequential actions of the time. Case in point: Virginia City, Nevada, which became one of the richest cities in the world because of the silver, got its name from a character named "Old Virginny", who, in the town's early days, stumbled out of a saloon, fell and broke his whiskey bottle.
Old Virginny didn't want to waste the occasion so as the precious liquid was seeping into the dirt he decided to christen the town "Virginia Town". The area became known as the Comstock Lode because another character, Henry Comstock, had the reputation of trying to jump everyone's claim and the area became known as the Comstock Lode.
I just watched an early episode that dealt with these 2 subjects. Other episodes dealt with Mark Twain's literary rise while a reporter for the Territorial Enterprise...
It was wholesome (and frequently educational) family entertainment. As someone else remarked, each episode would really be considered a movie in its own right - rich scripts and characters.
One thing it twisted the truth on was the proximity to Virginia City and the Ponderosa. In truth, to ride from the Ponderosa (all of Northern Lake Tahoe), one would have to ride his horse about 3,000 feet (1,000 meters) down the Spooner Summit to the high desert (3,000-4,000 feet) of the Carson Valley then another 30-40 miles to Virginia city.
Needless to say the Cartwrights would have some sore rear ends doing this on a regular basis. But every writer should have some leeway with the truth.
How I miss that show, even today.
- Jan 19, 2009