So, we are marking the beginning of the end of the Baby Boomers, with the first boomer hitting 60. What we are really marking is the things lost on the generation before us and those that follow. What are these phantom facts of history? Well for one, I know where Mayberry, North Carolina is. It’s where Andy, Barney, Aunt Bea and Opie live. I know that Mary will always love Rob, who is a closet alcoholic, in real life. I know that William Shatner was in the Twilight Zone long before he was on the Enterprise, that Marshal Dillon always loved Miss Kitty, but couldn’t commit and Burt Reynolds couldn’t carry water for Festus, who will never fill Chester’s boots. However none of them ever crossed paths with Dale and Roy or Clayton Moore and Tonto. I know that Tod Styles and Buzz Murdock should have had the worst hair on T.V.
But the mysteries don’t stop there. Ralph will always love Alice and live downstairs from Norton and Trixie and you will never see another police detective being chauffered around in a Rolls. Times may change but Brinkley will never have another Huntley, Dino a Jerry or Gracy a George. Color could not improve Jackie Gleason, Ward Bond or Rod Serling, while live performances of, Lucille Ball, Bob Hope, Jack Benny or Milton Berle will never be improved with film.
Boomers all know that the ‘Beaver’ lives with June, Ward and Wally, who were all tortured by Eddie Haskel, while just down the block was Ozzie, Harriet, Ricky and David and across the street was Steve Douglas and his Three Sons and the Uncles Bill, (Frawley and Demarest). But only Robert Young was the father that knew best, while William Bendix had the life of Riley, which was shunned by Jack Webb and Broderick Crawford, but neither was an ’untouchable’, like Robert Stack. Jay North was a blonde with two legs, while Mr. Ed had four, but both were from this world, unlike our favorite Martian, Ray Walston. Hitchcock could soar with the Birds but we were horrified when Superman couldn’t stop a bullet. Bilko worked his schemes from the commissary to the motor pool, while Buddy Ebsen went from Tin man, who could rust, to a Clampett, with a pool. But nobody could say goodnight like Johnny Carson.