Saturday, August 11, 2018


More scenes from Skitlandia Westerns, wrapping it up with a horse opera....

Friday, August 10, 2018


Originally, today's Friday Hall of Famer was going to be someone with a name similar to our final choice and in keeping with this month's showcase for TV Westerns.  Unfortunately, we had to switch from an honorary induction to a memorial induction....

From the LA Times:
Charlotte Rae, the actress best known for her role as Mrs. Garrett, den mother to a group of rambunctious teenage girls on the long-running 1980s sitcom “The Facts of Life,” has died at 92.

Spokesman Harlan Boll said Rae died Sunday at her Los Angeles home. A cause of death was not immediately provided, but she was diagnosed with bone cancer in 2017.

And so we're going to honor the memory of Charlotte Rae with this memorial tribute to her character of Edna Garrett Gaines.

From Wikipedia:

Edna Ann Garrett Gaines, known as Mrs. Garrett or Mrs. G, was played by actress Charlotte Rae from 1978 to 1986.

Garrett was the youngest child in a large family, born and raised on a farm near Appleton, Wisconsin. Her exact age was never disclosed during the series, but on several occasions, it was hinted or implied that she was somewhere in her fifties. On 'Diff'rent Strokes', she was the housekeeper to the Drummond family in New York City after Willis and Arnold's mom Lucy (the Drummonds' original housekeeper) died. In 1979, she took a job as house mother at the Eastland School for Girls in Peekskill, New York (Kimberly Drummond attended Eastland).

Over the years, Mrs. Garrett's role on 'The Facts of Life' changed. At first she was merely a live-in supervisor for the girls of Eastland; in the second season she became their in-house dietitian who managed the school's cafeteria.

Garrett was married twice, divorced (first marriage), and widowed (second marriage); one early episode showed Mr. Garrett coming to town to woo her and reconcile, but he was unsuccessful because Edna felt that his gambling problem would always be an obstacle.

Edna Gillin and her son Raymond
She had two sons, a singer/songwriter/carpenter named Alex (Tom Fitzsimmons) (born 1953) and an accountant named Raymond (Joel Brooks). Raymond helped her raise funds and secure commercial space so she could open her own gourmet food shop, "Edna's Edibles", in the fall of 1983. The girls, who had previously lived with Mrs. Garrett at Eastland, and worked with her in the kitchen to pay off various restitution-related expenses (see below), moved into the living space attached to "Edna's Edibles" and continued to work for Mrs. Garrett in the shop (this time on the payroll).

In the fall of 1985, "Edna's Edibles" was extensively damaged by fire; it was rebuilt as a gift shop called "Over Our Heads." Since the insurance on "Edna's Edibles" had lapsed by the time of the fire, the girls contributed their insurance claim checks to help rebuild, effectively making Mrs. Garrett and the girls equal partners in the business.

Edna Garrett was a mentor to the girls at Eastland, functioning in loco parentis. At times the girls would take her for granted, and forget that Edna herself had problems. Many times Edna would lash out at the girls when they got careless with her. In one episode, she actually fires them from "Edna's Edibles" when their irresponsible behavior ends up costing her $500 in fines after a dismal health inspection. She hires them back the next day when the girls promise her that they will be more responsible at their jobs. She also fires George, when he falls behind on his work constructing "Over Our Heads," but they later make up. Mrs. Garrett is a Democrat. She is also against censorship, such as book banning.

Mrs. Garrett remarried in 1986. She and her new husband, Dr. Bruce Gaines (Robert Mandan), rejoined the Peace Corps to work in eastern Africa. (Charlotte Rae did not want to continue with the series). Edna was replaced by her sister, Beverly Ann Stickle (Cloris Leachman). However, in the reunion movie that aired in 2001, Mrs. Garrett reunited with the three girls (Blair, Natalie, and Tootie) at a hotel owned by Blair and which was run by Mrs. Garrett's son Raymond. It was also revealed that Mrs. Garrett and Tootie were widows. It's revealed that she was in a romantic relationship with a ship captain.

Mrs. Garrett also appears on the 'Hello, Larry' episode "The Trip", the first of three crossovers between 'Diff'rent Strokes' and 'Hello, Larry'.

In an episode of 'Halt and Catch Fire', a man fencing computers refers to married mother Donna Clark (played by Kerry Bishé) as Mrs. Garrett, in reference to her conservative appearance and critical opinion of him.

(O'Bservation: Following the Toobworld mantra, Mrs. Garrett and the girls of Eastland were deemed worthy enough to have a TV show made about them.  "The Facts Of Life" has been referenced in 'Mama's Family', 'The Golden Girls', 'Gilmore Girls', 'The Nanny', Wonderfalls', 'Step By Step', and 'Newhart' - which actually means it was Dr. Bob Hartley who had seen the Toobworld version of 'The Facts Of Life',)

Here are the shows (and movies) in which we saw Mrs. Garrett:

Diff'rent Strokes

37 episodes

From the IMDb:
Phillip Drummond, a widowed Manhattan millionaire and president of the mega-firm Trans Allied Inc., adopts two African American orphans from Harlem, 8-year-old Arnold and 12-year-old Willis. Drummond had made a promise to their dying mother, his housekeeper, that he would care for the boys after she passes away; their father had died years earlier. Also part of the family were Drummond's beautiful daughter, 13-year-old Kimberly; and his no-nonsense housekeeper, Edna Garrett. As the years passed, Mrs. Garrett left to become housemother at the Eastland School for Girls. 

Mrs. Garrett with two other Hall of Famers:
Arnold Drummond & Muhammed Ali

Hello, Larry

- Thanksgiving Crossover: Part 2
- Feudin' and Fussin': Part 2 (1979) 

O'Bservation: She was given credit in these episodes, but was not actually seen.  I'm assuming she was at least mentioned.  But she does meet Larry Alder in the crossover episodes for "The Trip" which established Larry's character for the spinoff.)

The Facts of Life 

155 episodes

From the IMDb:
A group of girls attending a boarding school experience the joys and the trials of adolescence under the guiding hand of housemother Edna Garrett. Later in the series, Mrs. Garrett is promoted to school dietitian, and four of the girls move into new quarters above the cafeteria. Eventually she leaves the school and opens her own business, with help from her girls.

The Facts of Life Goes to Paris
(TV Movie)

From the IMDb:
The girls and Mrs. Garrett head to Paris. The girls are going to spend some time in the French counterpart of their school while Mrs. Garrett attends a cooking school. The girls were hoping to spend some time in Paris but find themselves stuck in the countryside with a strict guardian.

When they discover that their last week of school will be spent in Paris, they plan to sneak away and discover the city on their own. Jo decides to go to Le Mans and meets a French boy, Blair encounters a local of her own, while Natalie and Tootie run into an author that Natalie admires. When they discover that he is struggling with writer's block, they decide to help him with his article. Meanwhile, Mrs. Garrett is struggling to trying to impress the French Chef in charge of the class.

'The Wonderful World Of Disney':
"The Facts Of Life Reunion"


From the IMDb:
Thirteen years later Mrs. Garrett's "girls" have all grown into successful, independent women. After a stint in the Peace Corps with her husband, a widowed Mrs. Garrett is heading back to America, ready for a new life and new romance, and also looking forward to seeing the girls again. Blair is wealthier than ever, after building a hotel empire with her husband, Tad. But she suspects he is having an affair. "Tootie," now preferring to be called by her real name, Dorothy, has forsaken her acting hopes to host her own talk show. Natalie is a dedicated TV news producer, juggling an active love life with a frenetic work schedule that takes her all over the world. Jo, ever the free spirit, is a devoted cop, wife and mother. It's been years since Natalie has had a Thanksgiving back in America, so she's talked all the girls and Mrs. Garrett into spending the holiday together back in Peekskill, NY. When Jo is unable to attend the reunion, her teenage daughter, Jamie, and husband, Rick, come instead. They're all in for a surprise when Natalie's not one but two boyfriends unexpectedly show up at the reunion. Trouble soon starts, as both men compete for Natalie's attention and exclusivity, so it's up to the girls to help solve Natalie's predicament.

There's another theoretical connection I'd like to make for Mrs. Garrett: she and her sister Beverly Ann Stickle had a cousin named Sylvia Schwarzkopf. In fact, Edna and Sylvia were that Toobworld staple, identical cousins.  As to why they looked so similar and Beverly Ann didn't... well, I'm not going there.

Sylvia married an NYPD police officer named Leo Schnauser who worked out of the 53rd precinct in the Bronx.  During one (of many) tempestuous squabbles with her husband, Sylvia declared herself no longer married to Leo.  She borrowed a maid's outfit from her cousin Edna so that she could continue living in the same apartment with him, but as his housekeeper.

As far as I can tell, there's nothing that would void that theory of relateeveety.

Good night and may God bless Charlotte Rae.  But thanks to the movies and television, her characters will live on.  And in our small contribution, we've given Mrs. Garrett an added bonus of immortality.


Thursday, August 9, 2018


Recently, Sharon Viljoen posted several pictures of Jack Kelly in the Facebook page "A Maverick Life: Fans of Jack Kelly" which show the actor in an episode of 'BJ And The Bear'.  (Those photos are throughout this post.)

Here's what Sharon wrote about it:

In the first episode of 'B.J. and the Bear' that Jack did - "The Murphy Contingent" in 1979 - he played a Federal Agent named Nichols.  This time he was a good guy.


Facing eviction from their community center, a group of Vietnam veterans devise a plan to raise money, but B.J. disapproves.

Normally, this episode wouldn't have triggered my toobey-sense, but it's that name for his character, you see. 


From the IMDb:

In 1914, Nichols, a soldier sick of killing, returns to his Arizona hometown named after his family, and is strong-armed into serving as Sheriff by the Ketcham clan, who run the area. Nichols, who doesn't believe in toting a gun, scoots around via a Harley-Davidson motorcycle. The Ketchams install as Deputy their relative, Mitch Mitchell. The nasty Deputy has a dog named Slump, and Mitchell is very dumb. A business-savvy local gal has an undefined relationship with Nichols, but it's obvious there's lots of action in the back rooms of her saloon. The strict moral lines of traditional Westerns are absent in this very Vietnam War era show's view of the Old West's dying days: the Ketchams aren't all bad, and little-respected Sheriff Nichols wouldn't mind ripping off the town to head for Mexico.

A theory of relateeveety would seem O'Bvious.  Sheriff Nichols did a lot of living by that point in 1914 when he quit the Army.  He was born around 1870 and being the good-looking cad that he was, he probably played Johnny Appleseed with many a lass in the Old West, and it wasn't apples he was planting....

And that would have been good enough for a theory of relateeveety ordinarily during this traditional salute to the TV Westerns every August.  But I have another O'Bservation to make....

I've always maintained that Nichols and Bret Maverick were related.  Bret's Pappy, Beauregard Maverick, had an eye for the ladies as well.  So I would not have any problem with the idea that he sired a few more kids besides Bret and Bart.  The unjustly derided Brent Maverick would be a case in point.

For example, it could be that in the 'Maverick' episode "Pappy", he wasn't just engaged to marry eighteen-year-old Josephine St. Cloud, but that he already - shall we say - staked a claim on her, although neither one of them knew it at the time.  Who knows what happened after Josephine married Dan Jamison?  Did she give birth to a dark-haired baby and pass it off as Dan's?

[One day I'd like to search out other characters named Jamison, hoping to find a tall, dark-haired stranger for whom I could make the claim that Beauregard Maverick was in his family tree.]

But we're talking about the Nichols line right now.  It's going to be my theory of relateeveety that Pappy Maverick visited Nichols, Arizona, in 1869 and by the time he left, at least one woman in town was carrying his child.

The one who gave birth to the Nichols we knew either was a Nichols girl who gave birth out of wedlock, or she was married to one of the Nichols family on whom she cheated with Pappy.

In either situation, young Nichols probably didn't have a happy family life growing up and I think he was gone as soon as he could get away.

I don't know if it was nature or nurture, but it seems likely that Young Nichols was an amiable charmer who showed he had a way with the ladies.  

And so I think at some point in his twenties, at least by the time he was thirty, Nichols saddled a young woman with child.  It could be the reason he ran off to join the Army; to avoid the responsibility.  But I think he married her and then abandoned her.  

That child, a boy, grew up to be the father of that federal agent Nichols.  (Like his grandfather, he was known to us only by his first name.)

And we can see that the theoretical connection to the Mavericks is sound - the same DNA sequence for Bentley Maverick and his nephew Bartley were echoed in Agent Nichols.

So there you are.  A theory of relateeveety that posits Beauregard Maverick as Agent Nichols' great-grandfather and Sheriff Nichols as his grandfather.

As for other Toobworld citizens who resemble a movie actor named Jack Kelly ("Forbidden Planet", "To Hell And Back"), I go back a few generations to Beauregard Maverick.  As I stated, I think he had more than one illegitimate child besides Sheriff Nichols and Brent Maverick. 

There are also those children sired by Pappy's brother Bentley Maverick.  He could have sired several daughters who would go on to marry men named Hammond, Ryan, and O'Shea.  And along with the boys who would carry on those family names, they would have daughters who would go on to marry men with names like Devlin, Baker, Elkwood, Donner, Wayne (perhaps from Gotham City?), and even a Kelly!

And let's not forget Bret's brother (and Brent's half-brother) Bart Maverick.  Who knows how many family trees began with him?

This plethora of sources from the American Old West could account for so many characters who resembled Jack Kelly.

Would it be possible to continue tracking the future generations of the Nichols lineage in Toobworld without Jack Kelly and James Garner around anymore.  Yes, but we can't rely on the power of tele-genetics any longer for the double vision resemblances.  But the argument can be made for others named Nichols to be related to Agent Nichols.

Take for example NYPD Detective Zachary Nichols.  Agent Nichols was 25 years of age when Zach was born, a normal age to start having kids if my own family history is any indication.  (Then again, nothing about my birth could be considered normal.)

But there you are - one last theory of relateeveety for Clan Nichols:
  • Beauregard "Pappy" Maverick
  • Sheriff Nichols
  • Agent Nichols' Father
  • Agent Nichols
  • Detective Zachary Nichols
Pretty impressive bloodline, I'd say!

  • 'B.J. And The Bear'
  • 'Maverick'
  • 'Nichols'
  • 'Law & Order: Criminal Intent'
  • 'Get Christie Love!"
  • 'The Hardy Boys Mysteries'
  • 'Batman'
  • 'Quincy, M.E.'
  • 'Here's Lucy'
  • 'The Fall Guy'
  • 'McCloud'
  • 'Banacek'
Happy trails!

A tip of the Stetson to Sharon Viljoen for the inspiration for this theory of relateeveety by supplying those pictures.  If you're a fan of Jack Kelly, why not check out 
the Facebook page "A Maverick Life: Fans of Jack Kelly"?

Wednesday, August 8, 2018



From the IMDb:
Quincy is sent to a small rural community in Arizona to determine the cause of a deadly outbreak. Several of the town's residents become gravely ill with similar symptoms, but the local doctors are unable to find a cause. Quincy discovers the cause, but also finds a cover-up at the corporate level. It's a race for time to uncover the culprits, as well as deliver the antidote while fighting the resistance of the hospital's top administrator.
Based on Google Maps, there is no Porterville, Az.  But in  Toobworld, apparently there is.

This could have been an historical TV-GPS connection for 'Quincy, M.E.' - if only the case was in Porterville, Wyoming.  Which doesn't seem to exist either.

Porterville, Wyoming, was a town in the old West, that wild, wild West, where the lives of two Kansas cousins, Hannibal Heyes and Kid Curry, changed forever.

From Vintage45's blog post about the pilot movie for 'Alias Smith and Jones':
Hayes and Curry ride into Porterville where their old pal Lom Trevors (James “The Virginian” Drury) is the sheriff. Curry hand him the paper the old lady gave him. It’s an opportunity for amnesty. Lom says he’ll talk to the governor.

So I've lost out on that connection with 'Quincy, M.E.', unless the family of Miss Susan Porter of Porterville, Wyoming, also founded the Porterville of Arizona, investing in the fertilizer company that would end up poisoning the land.

But I do have a more solid connection for 'Alias Smith and Jones'......


From the IMDb:
Charlie Ryan is in jail in Porterville, Wyoming, after shooting a man during a bank robbery.  

And then there was that 'Maverick' episode in which Doc Holliday rode into town....

So there's that.....

Tuesday, August 7, 2018



"You don’t understand
Country and Western music!

It’s about the real things in life.
Murder, train wrecks, amputations;
faucets leaking in the night.
All stuff like that."

Charlie Haggers
'Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman'


O'Bservation: Everybody else on this Super Six List is different and not just because they're all male. Everybody else on this list is a one-shot guest appearance.  Loretta was a regular on the soap opera parody.  This is my favorite because of Mary Kay Place playing the role.  I first saw her in an episode of 'All In The Family' and I knew she would be going places.

From Wikipedia:
She is known for portraying Loretta Haggers on the television series 'Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman', a role that won her the 1977 Prime-Time Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress - Comedy Series.

"Vitamin L." was the title of a popular 1976 country song by Emmy award-winning actress, Mary Kay Place, on her Grammy-nominated album "Tonite! At the Capri Lounge: Loretta Haggers". She also performed the song on the cult television series 'Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman', portraying the character Loretta Haggers, which was loosely based on Dolly Parton.


From the IMDb:
A popular folk singer's plane has crashed. Two passengers have died, and one has escaped with minor injuries. Was it really an accident? How could it not have been? Or, was it really a nearly perfect murder? Columbo is called in to find out.

O'Bservation: "I Saw The Light" becomes tiresome after awhile.  It's an okay episode but for me it's saved by Mister John Dehner and John Randolph.


From the IMDb:
Singer Floyd Burney, the "Rock-a-Billy-Kid", goes deep into the back woods hoping to find his next hit record. He no sooner arrives than he hears a beautiful singing voice which draws him deeper into the woods. He eventually meets Mary Rachel who tells him the song he heard belonged to someone and that she's forbidden to tell anyone about it. When she finally reveals it to him, Floyd learns that his future is preordained. 

O'Bservation: It's not exactly country, more like folk music.  But close enough.  I came up with a better ending than the one in the teleplay.  Floyd escapes his predicament only to find himself trapped in yet another song.  (Maybe one that is incessantly grating and made for kids.)


From the IMDb:
Jim finds that a country music star, a corrupt union boss and a Chinese triad all have one thing in common with why Rocky ended in the hospital after his rig was forced off the road: sausages.

O'Bservation: Taylor Lacher played Strayhorn but his singing voice was that of Willie Nelson.  Lacher was the second actor to play "Toby O'Brien" in episodes of 'Police Story'.



From the IMDb:
Someone is recording more than country music in the case of an old friend, so Jamie does some snooping, and puts a stop to it with the honest part of his team.

A fellow OSI agent goes missing while investigating country legend Big Buck Buckley who seems to be passing out top secret information by way of his music. Muffin Calhoun, a mutual acquaintance of Buck and Oscars takes Jaime to Nashville and introduces her to Buckley as the aspiring singer 'Jodi Lee Sommers'.

Jaime Sommers: 

So you and Oscar were in intelligence together during North Korea?

Muffin Calhoon: 
Yeah, that's right, only I had the intelligence to get out of this racket after the war.

O'Bservation: Hoyt Axton was in the episode as well, as Buck Buckley, the C&W star who was suspected of passing state secrets through his music.  I thought it would turn out to be Muffin.  As always, Doc Severinsen was a pleasue to watch.


From "Magnum Mania!":
Magnum is hired by country musician Lacy Fletcher to unearth five songs written over 25 years ago by legendary country singer George Lee Jessup shortly before his death, and it seems that Lacy is not the only person searching for the songs.

Lacy Fletcher: 
I know this isn't exactly the place for country, but ah ... I ah got another little premiere here if you don't mind. This is one of the five songs that ... well they're all gonna be classics, because they were all written by the great George Lee Jessup and I had the wonderful privilege of writin' down the notes for him.

I'm a thousand miles from nowhere
beneath the flashing, neon lights
And I'll try to get through
one more lonely night

People keep on a-movin'
just fillin' up the space
All I keep on a-see'in
is the memory of your face

I just wanna hold you
and listen deep within
Listen to the music
that'll let me live again

Let me hear the music
that keeps my world in time
Let me hear the music
and let me hear the rhyme

Monday, August 6, 2018


Here's a theme I'll be running each Monday this month:


Let's kick it off with one which I think would be pretty popular even among people who don't like TV Westerns....


From the IMDb:
When the Enterprise trespasses into uncharted territory, Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Scott and Chekov are transported to a location that has all the trappings of the American Old West. It's October 26, 1881, and Kirk soon realizes they are in Tombstone, Arizona, on the day of the famed gunfight at the OK Corral between the Clanton gang and the Earps - with Kirk and company representing the ill-fated Clantons. If history is to be repeated, they will fairly all be killed so must use whatever resources availed to them to defeat the threat and survive. The solution, however - and the only way of escape - lies within them. 

From Wikipedia:
"Spectre of the Gun" (originally titled "The Last Gunfight") is an episode from the third season of the American science fiction television series Star Trek, first broadcast on October 25, 1968, and repeated on April 4, 1969. The show was the last episode to air on NBC at 10p.m. on Fridays. It is episode #61, production #56, and was written by former producer Gene L. Coon (under the pseudonym of Lee Cronin) and directed by Vincent McEveety.

In the episode, having been found trespassing into Melkotian space, Captain Kirk and members of his crew are sent to die in a re-enactment of the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral.

For more of the Wikipedia entry, click here.

From Memory Alpha:
On a mission on behalf of the Federation to establish contact with the reclusive and xenophobic Melkotians, Captain Kirk decides to ignore the message of a space buoy warning the Enterprise to immediately withdraw from Melkotian space and go back the way it came. It speaks this warning in Vulcan, English, Russian, and Swahili, which Spock, Kirk, Chekov, and Uhura hear in their own individual languages. Kirk orders Uhura to further contact the Melkotians, but there is no response to his hails.

When Spock, Kirk, Scott, Doctor McCoy, and Ensign Chekov beam down to Melkot, they materialize in a fog bank not recorded by sensors. Their tricorders and communicators do not function. The landing party encounters a Melkotian. The Melkotian emerges from the fog and tells the Enterprise officers that their warning was plain, they have disregarded it, and will now be punished.

For more of the Memory Alpha entry, click here.

And to kick off this weekly theme for August right, here is a visual comparison of the effects from "Spectre Of The Gun".  On the left is the original version and on the right is from the remastered version when the entire was series was upgraded....

Happy trails!

Sunday, August 5, 2018


Since we just inducted Miss Kitty into the Television Crossover Hall of Fame, here's an episode of 'Gunsmoke' which puts the focus on her.

And dayum if it don't show what a tough broad she was!

Happy Trails!