Friday, March 9, 2012


Once a month, since the big celebration last October for the 50th anniversary of 'The Dick Van Dyke Show', Inner Toob has been continuing the salute with more posts about the greatest sitcom ever made (and my second favorite TV show ever.)

Last month, we took a look at Hezekiah Petrie's family tree and the black Petries who could be descended from him. This time we're examining another branch of Uncle Hezekiah's immediate family......

At the reading of Hezekiah Petrie's will in 1965, Rob and Laura Petrie were introduced to Alfred Rhinebeck, Uncle Hezekiah's half-brother.

Based on facts gleaned from the episode, we learned that Uncle Hezekiah was born in 1863, probably in early November. But Alfred Rhinebeck had to be no older than the actor who portrayed him. (One of my favorite TV character actors, Herb Vigran.) This would place Alfred's birth in 1910.

So that means there was about a 47 year difference between the brothers.

Based on the picture we saw of Hezekiah Petrie's father, he appeared to be no less than 45 years of age when Hezekiah was born. That would have made him 92 years old when he sired Alfred!

Although Papa Petrie might have had the stamina, like Strom Thurmond, it's highly doubtful that Hezekiah's mother could have had another child 47 years later.

But what if she died and the Senior Petrie remarried a much younger woman? She would be the mother of Alfred and so that would make him and Hezekiah half-brothers.

But Alfred also had the last name of Rhinebeck....

It would seem the elderly Petrie passed away, and the second Missus must have eventually remarried to a man named Rhinebeck.

So Alfred's step-father must have then adopted the lad and gave him his surname....



Brian Leonard said...

Is there a book about the Dick Van Dyke show? You should write one!

Toby O'B said...

There are a couple but the definitive one has been written by Vince Waldron. Highly recommended - and not just by me!

But thanks for the compliment! If I did put all my theories that I've posted since that 24 post marathon last October together, it certainly would make for a "different" viewpoint for a book about the show.....