A to Z April Challenge

During the month of April I will be doing a different spin on my memoir posts. It starts with a song. Each song will be followed by a brief essay that is evoked or inspired by that song. You might want to click on the YouTube link to hear the song as you read the piece I've written. Or you can listen to the song lyrics first and then read. Whichever way you choose, I mostly hope you'll read and leave a comment with your thoughts about my post. Thank you for visiting and please follow the blog if you are not doing so already.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Hot Fudge Sundays

Mister EdMister Ed (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

My Favorite MartianMy Favorite Martian (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Publicity photo of Jon Provost and Lassie from...Publicity photo of Jon Provost and Lassie from the television program Lassie. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)The Beatles performing "Help!" in Au...The Beatles performing "Help!" in August 1965. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)The Ed Sullivan ShowThe Ed Sullivan Show (Photo credit: Wikipedia)           When it comes to my days of childhood, I remember Sundays more than any particular day of the week--especially Sunday nights.  Perhaps it was a sense of routine that lasted for years.  Sundays had a wonderfully predictable sameness to them.  There were certain characteristics of that evening that made  Sunday stand out more so that any other days.

             Much of it had to do with television.  I'd be plopped in front of the TV set for the lineup on CBS every Sunday night.  From the time I was a child until my teenage years, Sunday evening would start off with Lassie.  I liked the show more when I was smaller, but it became an obligatory staple as I grew older.

             An assortment of half hour comedy programs followed Lassie over the years.  These shows were among my favorites in television comedy.  There were great shows like Mr. Ed, My Favorite Martian, and It's About Time.  Many were tried, but none lasted more than a few years which was probably for the best.

            Next came the centerpiece of the evening--The Ed Sullivan Show.    This was the the program that drew my entire family to gather around our one small black and white TV and later our 25 inch color television that we finally acquired in 1967.  My father was always hopeful for a variety act, especially a juggling act.  All the greats of the entertainment world were on the Sullivan show.  I was particularly excited to see the appearances of the latest rock artists such the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, and the Jefferson Airplane. Every performer dreamed of one day appearing on Ed Sullivan's show. My father also had that dream.

         Later in the evening, after the Sullivan show, a series of other variety shows came and went.  There was the legendary Judy Garland in her own show.  The late 60s featured the sometimes radical, but always entertaining Smothers Brothers Show and the Glen Campbell Good Time Hour.  The channels were limited back then but CBS had a decent Sunday night lineup that managed to hold my interest for many years.

          The other big feature of our Sunday nights was the hot fudge sundaes.  Often my mother would serve this special treat for us to enjoy as we watched the Sullivan variety show.   She made the sugary hot fudge from Hershey's cocoa powder.  Mixing the cocoa powder and sugar with milk, vanilla, and a dash of salt and heating them into a bubbling hot mixture would render a divine chocolate sauce that was perfect over vanilla ice cream.  With a delicious sundae and a night of good television, the thought of school the next day didn't seem all that bad.

          I haven't had one of those hot fudge sundaes in years.  And now Sunday night doesn't seem to have the same great television that it used to have.   I miss those Sundays and I miss those hot fudge sundaes enjoyed with the family of my childhood.  Sunday will never be the same.





           Do you remember the Sunday night shows of the 50s, 60s, and 70s?   What were some of your favorite TV shows when you were growing up?    Did you have a special night when the family would gather for what became a sort of tradition in your household?    Have you had that granular sugary chocolate hot fudge sauce made from Hershey's Cocoa?








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13 comments:

Wendy said...

You and I were watching tv together miles apart. Every show! My grandparents lived next door, so many times I was watching tv with them. Grandma didn't make sundaes but she did pop popcorn in an iron skillet.

Dawn Malone said...

My grandparents lived next door, too! My sister and I watched Hee Haw with them, which was followed by the Lawrence Welk Show. My grandmother made us Black Cows, or root beer floats. Has anyone else heard of them referred to as Black Cows? I've always wondered...

thea said...

I seem to remember watching the Wonderful World of Disney on Sunday nights. My parents never liked Disney but they let us watch that. I think the night I remember more was Monday with Laugh In and all that comedy that definitely went over my head.

I think my mom called root beer floats black cows too.

Arlee Bird said...

Wendy -- We tried the Jiffy Pop now and then but tended to burn it a lot of times. It was such an interesting product that was so enticing in the commercials.

Dawn -- You're obviously at least 20 years younger than I am. I used to watch Hee Haw sometimes when I was in college. I grew up with Lawrence Welk and had a tremendous crush on the Lennon Sisters when I was young. I still watch the Welk reruns on PBS.
And yes, I've heard root beer floats called Black Cows, though we never really referred to them as that.

Thea -- I used to watch the Disney shows when they first came on in the 50s, but then I eventually stopped watching when it became "The Wonderful World of Color". I think maybe it conflicted with the Sullivan show and my parents were not about to miss that. Also, I think I started losing interest in Disney programs after I turned about 10 or so.

Lee

Empty Nest Insider said...

Sundays have always been a great night for TV, and every night is a good night for hot fudge sundaes! I remember watching Ed Sullivan with my family. My cousin wrote for The Smothers Brothers. I also remember a detective series that had different stars each week. It alternated between Columbo, McMillan and Wife (with Rock Hudson) and a few others. I would think that you would enjoy Mad Men, which is airing its season finale Sunday night. Thanks for this fun blast from the past! Julie

Lynn Proctor said...

omgosh--so many good memories--we didn't get those sundaes but the other stuff---yeah i miss those days---and that is an awesome song!!!

Journaling Woman said...

As a very young child I didn't watch too many TV shows. Since we were in the country we played outside. But, I did watch all the shows you have listed.

Sundays for me were usually spent at my Grandmas house with scads of relatives AND homemade ice cream. Yummy.

I need to put that memory on my rural blog. :)

Teresa

Susan Kane said...

We watched the same shows and enjoyed them. Our Sunday night tradition was fried bologna sandwiches with potato chips.

Dee said...

Dear Lee, I watched tv during the fifties and seventies, but not the sixties--those were the convent years.

I don't remember what channel we watched on Sunday night, but I do remember the Ed Sullivan show. The show I loved best in the 50s was the Show of Shows with Sid Caesar and Imogene Coco. Our family always gathered for it. I don't remember eating anything though.

Peace.

Maurice Mitchell said...

It wasn't that long ago that TV had special "nights" like Thursday or Sunday. Those days are gone now. Those classics of television are hard to replace.

- Maurice Mitchell
The Geek Twins | Film Sketchr
@thegeektwins | @mauricem1972

James Murray said...

My favorite Sunday night program was BONANZA. No one could outsmart the Cartwright clan and they were always gentlemen in the process and good role models for us impressionable kids.

Arlee Bird said...

Julie -- Sunday night TV always did seem more special. Maybe it was partly because it was the night before the school or work week and we often stayed home to get back in that mindset.

Lynn -- The song came back to me as I started writing and was so appropriate to the topic.

Teresa -- You should definitely include your Sunday night memory. We never lived close to any relatives and rarely saw them.

Susan -- I never had fried bologna until I was an adult. It sounded so strange, but it's good.

Dee -- I didn't watch much TV during the 70s as I was usually on the run and with friends. I've seen clips of Show of Shows--it was a classic.

Maurice -- Now there is so much "must see TV" that none of it seems all that special anymore.

James -- "Bonanza" conflicted with the programs we watched in our household. When it went into syndication I used to watch it quite often.

Lee

Kathy said...

I grew up in the 70's and I remember being glued to the screen for shows like the Brady Bunch, Gilligan's Island, I Dream of Jeannie, and Bewitched. There were some great shows back in the day. I have seen all of the shows in reruns except for the Ed Sullivan show although I have heard a lot about it. Cool post!!

Kathy
http://gigglingtruckerswife.blogspot.com