Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Kitschy Collector Drops In On Three Favorite Retro Families

Dropping In On Ozzie and Harriet Nelson

I thought it might be fun to visit with some Retro families from the 1950's.I dropped in on Harriet Nelson first. She and Ozzie had just come back from a Tide Laundry detergent promotion. I imagine that over the years, that the Tide people must have given her lots of freebies, which is probably how she managed to to keep David and Ricky looking so crisp and clean.

Harriet told me that her series "The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet" started as a radio program (1944) and aired on T.V. from 1952-1966.

Having Tea With The Cleavers

Next I thought I would see if June Cleaver was back from the market. Luckily she and Ward were home, but Beaver and Wally were out mowing lawns.

June was excited to show me her pearl necklace that I bet Ward bought her when they began their T.V. series in 1957. She wore that necklace everyday until the show ended in 1963.

Last Stop, Chatting With Margaret and Jim Anderson

After some lovely tea that June prepared, I headed out the door to visit with Margaret and Jim Anderson . They were eager to share with me stories about the family and how the ever popular series "Father Knows Best" began. It seems that the episodes began on NBC Radio in 1949. Jim was an insurance agent back then and known to be very paternalistic and sarcastic. He softened up quite a bit when he went on T.V. in 1954.
Although Jim had lots of rules, he adored his kids, Betty "Princess", James, "Bud" and Kathy, "Kitten".

It was getting late in the day so I wished the Anderson's well. I promised Margaret I would send regards to Lucy and Ethel when I see them next week at the "Vitameatavegamin" Meet Up.


As you probably gathered, my blog post leaped into T.V. land where creative writing often trumps reality. For more thorough and reliable information on Retro T,V. families........visit these museums or read more:


The Museum of Broadcast Communication
The Museum of The Moving Image
The Paley Center for Media

FURTHER READING On Leave it Beaver
Applebaum, Irwyn. The World According to Beaver. New York: Bantam, 1984.
Golbout, Oscar. "A Gift from the Children." New York Times, 8 December 1957.
Liebman, Nina. Living Room Lectures: The Fifties Family in Film and Television. Austin, Texas: University of Texas Press, 1995.
Shayon, Robert Lewis. "Beaver's Booboo." Saturday Review (New York), 1 February 1958.
Shepard, Richard. "Busy 'Beaver' and His Brother." New York Times, 30 October 1960.
Spigel, Lynn. Make Room for TV: Television and the Family Ideal In Postwar America. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1992.
"TV's Eager Beaver." Look (New York), 27 May 1958.

FURTHER READING On Ozzie and Harriet
Ames, Walter. "Home Life, Show Life Same in Nelson Family." Los Angeles Times, 16 November 1952.
"The Full Nelson." Time (New York), 16 February 1948.
Gross, Ben. "Ozzie Nelson Gives Secret of Happy H'wood Marriage." Sunday News (New York), 5 March 1961.
"Harriet Hillard." Variety (Los Angeles), 14 August 1938.
Holmes, John R. "The Wizardry of Ozzie: Breaking Character in Early Television." Journal of Popular Culture (Bowling Green, Ohio), Fall 1989.
"Mourning in Sitcomville." The New York Times, 5 October 1994.

FURTHER READING On Father Knows Best
Denis, Christopher Paul, and Michael Denis. Favorite Families of TV. New York: Citadel, 1992.
Leibman, Nina. Living Room Lectures: The Fifties Family in Film and Television. Austin, Texas: University of Texas Press, 1995.
Taylor, Ella. Prime Time Families. Berkeley, California: University of California Press, 1989

C. Dianne Zweig is the author of Hot Kitchen & Home Collectibles of the 30s, 40s, 50s and Hot Cottage Collectibles for Vintage Style Homes. She is also the Editor of an actively growing internet based resource community for people who buy, sell or collect antiques, collectibles and art. You can find Dianne’s fabulous retro and vintage kitchen, home and cottage collectibles at The Collinsville Antiques Company of New Hartford, CT, a 22,000 feet antique emporium with an in-house retro cafĂ©.

To read more articles by C. Dianne Zweig click on this link:
C. Dianne Zweig’s Blog Kitsch ‘n Stuff

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