Thursday, March 08, 2007


My brothers and I would sit entranced in front of the television set every day around 4pm. My Mother had very strict rules guarding the amount of tv time (i.e. idiot box)we were allowed.

4pm every afternoon we were allowed to tune in to the "T bar V Ranch" show out of Louisville, a mere 60 miles away. May as well have been 6,000 miles away to our little minds.

A group of kids every afternoon would be stars for one day! It was their birthday and they were the STARS of the show! They would dress in their birthday finery and carry their birthday presents onto the stage.

This was a Cowboy show mind you. All the boys wore their cowboy hats, holsters, tied to their leg with the strip of raw hide,and their guns. Sometime during the half hour show the boys would line up on stage and stand at ready, waiting for the order to DRAW!

Oh, the child hood days of the 1950's and 60's. Homegrown televisions shows featuring homegrown children.

I wanted to be on that show! I wanted to flounce around in my party dress and face the camera and say hello to my Mom and Dad, my brothers and sister, and all my friends at home. I wanted to so bad.

I was so deprived!

It was impossible for my Mom to take us all to Louisville for an afternoon! It was totally out of the question. I doubt we even asked. We just practiced our gun draws in the back yard in the hopes that one day, maybe one day, we would be on tv showing off our stuff.

Years later, when I was in college I was having a conversation with my Louisville boy friend when he proudly told me about his birthday appearance on T bar V Ranch Time. He told me about standing in the wings, sitting on the bench, about being struck dumb when it was his turn in front of the camera, about not being able to get his gun out of the holster.

I was smiling through clenched teeth. I was soooooooo jealous I was certain my skin was glowing red from my insane buried and repressed want to be a Cow girl on T-bar-V.

The reason I am remembering all this is simple.

It's was my birthday a couple of days ago. I have this desire to go outside and practice some fancy gun handling. But that aside, I go on line to find out the words to the songs we use to sing along with Randy and Cactus....

"Brush your teeth each morning,
get lots of sleep at night
Mind your Mom and Daddy,
cause they know what is right....."

And I am blank after that....I can't remember what comes next!

"Happy Happy Birthday
May all your Dreams come true
Happy Happy Birthday to you and you
and you...And Everybody Out There!"....

I was always everybody out there.

Never right there.

I was so deprived.

On a very sad not, the show was on tv from 1950 till 1970 and not one show was ever taped! Not one!! Every self respecting baby boomer in the Louisville Area appeared on that show! And not one moment of gun twirling and dress flouncing remains.

So sad.


Donna said...

You got my curiosity up, and I did some googling. I did find this:

Your memories rather remind me of Whizzo, a locally produced show we had in the Kansas City area.

Oh, I see Foster Brooks started out his career on T-bar-v.

Laurie said...

Very cool. And a happy belated Birthday to you!

meno said...

You'll just have to star in your own birthday flounce and draw.

Great story, especially meeting someone who had gotten what you so badly wanted.

Lisa :-] said...

Happy Birthday, Mar!

In Chicago, it was Bozo's Circus... I never wanted to be on it, though. It was for the "rich kids," (because the tickets actually cost money) which we were not.

You know what show I always wanted to be on? Let's Make A Deal...

Wil said...

And in the Philadelphia market it was Sally Starr, dressed in her cowgirl finery, blonde hair down to the small of her back. We were all in awe of the (schoolyard) rumor that she was an ex-stripper and vaudeville singer/dancer from the forties. Turns out, that's exactly what she'd been!

Thanks for the momentary trip down memory lane.

Cynthia said...

A late happy birthday! In Memphis, it was Happy Hal. I was dying to be on that show. Happy Hall had his own line of toys that you could get at grocery stores. It was just the coolest.

Paul said...

We had one up here called Boomtown, with Rex Trailer. Even at an early age, I was entranced by a good flouncer.

Nelle said...

I grew up in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. and they had the Bozo the Clow show. I would just be in awe at the lucky kids who got to see him. Not sure if that was just a local show or not.
I did have a great cowgirl outfit and we have family home movies of me in my white cowgirl boots. Later to be replaced by white go go boots. :)
happy birthday to you,
happy birthday to you,
happy birthday cowgirl Mary,
happy birthday to you
and many more!

a.roberson said...

Hey Hippie,
I have something in my blog that you may be able to really appreciate! ;-)

ab said...

Thoughtful post. My memory is of Romper Room lol....from the Toledo market. Now I can't get the country song "Shoulda Been a Cowboy" out of my head, but that's OK because it's a great song.

What was the station? Was it WAVE-TV? 10 years or so ago I met Captain Kangaroo (Bob Keshan (sp?) in the studios there....and they did the ping-pong ball drop on him. I kept one of the ping pong balls.....still have it to this day. But I am a sentimental guy.

The memories triggered by an event, or smell or sound or sight are so powerful.

Here's to many more....good memories and great birthdays.

Chris said... one taped it on their VCRs at home either? (ha ha ha)

Happy belated!

My Blog

Gannet Girl said...

In Cincinnati, it was Uncle Al and Captain Windy, and my mom DID take me! My favorite character was the puppet Hattie the Witch; to this day I still look in the emirror on bad hair days and sigh, "You look just like Hattie."

GREAT memories.

AC said...

Wow, I had the same experience NOT being on the Captain Bob and Bobo show out of Nashville. When I was in college, i became friends with the Daughter of Captain Bob. Which reminds me of a story I may have to post.

I always wanted to go to Nashville and be on the show too and my mom always said it was I.m.p.o.s.s.i.b.l.e. It was only 40 miles away!!!! Now that I think about it, I am still miffed!

AC said...

And Happy Birthday!

My dad called the tv the idiot box too!

heartinsanfrancisco said...

What a great story. It's amazing what scars remain from our childhoods.

Was it comforting that your college boyfriend muffed his big chance? Or the end of the relationship because you coudn't respect him anymore?

I hope you had a wonderful birthday.

tina said...

Happy belated Birthday, my friend! Oh, you stirred up some memories in this gal. Out our way, the 'birthday' show was Chucko the Clown, and if you got to be on Chucko for your birthday, well, you were the coolest kid in town. Of course, I never did. However, my big brother was invited to his friend's birthday party on the show. I remember sitting in front of the TV, wondering just what Bobby would say when Chucko finally approached him for his big birthday greeting. His words? " Chucko, I gotta go to the bathroom real bad." God, I was sooo disappointed in Bobby.

TimF said...

I grew up in Corydon, Indiana and faithfully watched Randy Atcher and Cactus. I was never on the show either, but I did get a drawing of mine on the show. A freind of mine did get on the show, and boy, was I jealous.

bb mcclain said...

I was on T Bar V when I was around seven years old and this post has inspired me to write about the experience to the best of my recollections. (I was scared to death of Cactus)

Anonymous said...

Brush your teeth each morning ger lots of sleep at night mind your mom and daddy cause they know what is right lots of exercise each day and eat up all your food and always wear a great big smile that makes you look so good be sure to look both left and right before you cross the street and be with us tomorrow at 9 when its T bar V ranch time!!!! (hahah)