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Wednesday, July 01, 2009

on meeting patty duke


Last Saturday I was at my mom's house for a few hours. While I was there I, of course, fed the baby. Usually at home I try to read while I feed him, but I decided to turn on the TV at her house. Now, before I explain any more of this story, let me give a brief background on my mom and technology.

Bless her heart, she has an iPod, digital camera, and a cell phone. All of these devices require my assistance at times to operate. She frequently requests that I come help her do something with one of these devices, such as downloading a podcast, uploading pictures, and adding a new contact. I've been so proud of her and her recent advances in the use of these devices. For one thing, I don't know what I'd do if she didn't have a phone. And for another thing, it's nice that she no longer has to worry about film in a camera.

Despite these latest advances in her technological prowess, however, she's still way far behind in one crucial arena: Television. She's probably one of the last people in her neighborhood to upgrade her old analog TV. But not only that, she still just has the basic channels, ie 5 channels. Seriously.

Ok, so maybe there are more than 5.

Anyway, when the whole DTV conversion was set to happen, we all thought she'd join the rest of the 21st century by not only upgrading her TV (I'm not saying she needs a huge-o flat screen or plasma, just a simple upgrade) but also considering a cable option where she would have more than 5 channels (of ALL sorts of shows she'd love) and the use of amazing DVR technology (another side note: she still RECORDS programs on a VHS tape; I tell her DVR is LOADS easier but she frets she wouldn't be able to figure it out).

And now, back to my real point/story:

While I was watching TV at her house on Saturday, I ran through all the channels in a matter of nanoseconds. I had the option of watching an infomercials about a fancy hair straigtner or a new fangled cleaning product. OR I could watch "The Patty Duke Show."

I didn't know who Patty Duke was nor did I have any clue about the characters. This episode featured Patty (though I think I finally caught on that her name in the show was Cathy?) trying to befriend a homely classmate, Marsha, and helping her become more confident. Along the way, a young boy (Richard, I believe) was caoxed into being Marsha's practice and helping her learn how to act around boys. Somewhere in the show, there was another young female character--could her name also have been Cathy? Cindy? I do not know. And I also met Cathy's squeeky-clean parents.

I don't think I watched the whole show because we ended up leaving before it was over, but I've been thinking about it all week. I was surprised by two things: 1) I found myself very interested in the storyline and actually left wanting more (do you think they have this on DVD from the library?) and 2) A show like that would never survive in today's TV lineup. Not enough sex or violence (though I do remember Marsha saying the word "sexy!!!") and it was all just too perfect.

2 comments:

Mike, Online said...

You really need to do a search for Patty Duke--she won an Oscar at about age 16 for her role as Helen Keller in The Miracle Worker. She had a terrible childhood--her parents gave her up to a couple who made her a movie star....

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001157/

She has a whole really serious backstory of drugs and manic depression etc....she has made dozens of movies and TV shows...and she's the mother of Sean Astin, from the Lord of the Rings movies.

My favorite movie in a 1967 version of a really trashy novel called "Valley of The Dolls" where she played a pill-popping movie star having her problems in public, which she did regularly herself.

She plays twins in the Patty Duke show--I remember seeing it but don't remember being a huge fan--of course, you couldn't record anything in those days.

Rachael said...

It's kind of pathetic, but some of my favorite shows to watch are the ones that were made long before we were thought of. And you're right, there's not as much of the junk as there is today.

Thanks for yesterday! We need to go to the temple more often! It was very much needed!