Friday, June 30, 2006


Back at the turn of the 20th Century, four baby girls were born in Boston, all the illegitimate children of one man who had affairs with their mothers. These girls were probably born into marriages and passed off as the daughters of their mothers' husbands, but perhaps there might have been one whose mother was single.

At any rate, these girls were raised without ever knowing that they were siblings. And perhaps it may have gone unnoticed had it not been for the fact that they each gave birth to a son during the 1920s. These four boys were cousins, identical cousins, who went on to start their own families in Toobworld.

But it's only noticeable from outside the TV Universe, looking in. Within the framework of Toobworld's landscape, those four young men spread out across the country. So the chance of them running into each other, and seeing how much they resembled each other, was highly unlikely.

Eugene Brown's son Andy was a world-renowned surgeon in Manhattan. But he chucked it all and moved his two kids to Everwood, Colorado, after the death of his wife, Julia. Dr. Andy Brown and his father had not spoken in fifteen years when Gene Brown showed up unexpectedly in town to reconcile with his son before it was too late. ('Everwood')

Stephen Donnell was the only one who stayed behind in Boston, where his son formed his own law firm, Donnell, Frutt & Young. Bobby Donnell never needed anybody's approval but that of his father's. ('The Practice')

AJ Sheridan moved west, ending up in Bakersfield, California, where he established a car dealership. His daughter became a famous actress in Hollywood named Cybill Sheridan. ('Cybill')

John Gavin, Sr.'s father moved the family to New York City where he became a firefighter. It was a calling which his son, John, Sr., did as well - but after beginning his public service career in New York as a police detective once he returned from serving in World War II. But after working a case that involved a contentious family on Hauser Street in Queens, John Gavin Sr. decided it was time to switch gears and so he started all over to become a member of the FDNY just as his father had been.

John Gavin Sr.'s sons both followed in their father's footsteps, Johnny Jr. as a detective and Tommy as a firefighter. It was always hoped that Tommy's son Connor would have done the same, had he not been killed by a hit&run driver. ('Rescue Me')

John Gavin, Sr. wasn't known for remaining true to his marriage vows, a trait which his son also picked up. Tommy Gavin hasn't crossed paths with him yet in NYC, but he has an identical half-brother named Mike McNeil, who - like his biological father - is a detective in the NYPD. ('The Job')

As to who the mysterious great-grandfather of this bloodline could have been, one might always turn to the malicious rumors of Boston politics in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Gossip about John "Honey Fitz" Fitzgerald's relationship with a cigarette girl named Toodles Ryan who worked at the Ferncroft Inn derailed his long political run. Honey Fitz always maintained that his friendship with Toodles was never more than platonic; that these rumors all stemmed from a very public kiss he gave her during a large party - and at which his wife was right there. ("The Kennedys Of Massachusetts")

But where there's smoke, there's fire, and it's not like such behavior was unknown in the Fitzgerald-Kennedy dynasty. So it's possible, although only a possibility, that Dr. Andy Brown, Detective Mike McNeil, firefighter Tommy Gavin, actress Cybill Sheridan, and Bobby Donnell, attorney at law could all be related to John F. Kennedy in Toobworld!

Then again, it could be that all those women received very special Christmas gifts from Santa Claus himself. Old Saint Nick might not have been so saintly, leaving their bellies full with more than just a bowlful of jelly. ("A Boyfriend for Christmas", "Mr. St. Nick", "Mrs. Santa Claus", and "Elmo Saves Christmas")

If this rumor was true, then he didn't come just down the chimney, if you know what I mean, nudge nudge wink wink!

Not that there's anything wrong with that. Just sayin' is all......


(This post was inspired by Charles Durning's spate of appearances as the fathers of several series leads, as well as for playing Santa Claus and John "Honey Fitz" Fitzgerald.)

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