Six And A Half Hours With An Old Friend

Six And A Half Hours With An Old Friend

By Chuck RitenouR


March 29, 2012 was the day after my 59th trip around the sun. My "middle" daughter, Savanna gave me a rather generous Visa gift card in honor of that completed orbit. It was a very satifying and yet exhausting day surrounded by family.

The following day, my significant other,Jeanne took me to the movies at an Alamo Theatre. The seats were very comfortable and the matinee was nearly empty. "Hunger Games" was rather predictable, though for the most part very entertaining.

After the movie, we had supper at one of my favorite Chinese restaurants and after a great inexpensive meal, we headed home. On the way, we stopped at a Target department store and I decided to use my gift card for some things we needed at home. Our cart contained coffee, a large bottle of Jeanne's favorite Muscato wine, and four bananas. We wondered about the store just looking for anything that would strike our fancy. As we were going down the video/dvd aisle, I saw a box which contained the first two seasons of the TV drama, Northern Exposure very reasonably priced at just under $25.00. I remembered watching the show back in the ninties and put it in the cart. Our shopping completed, we headed home.

I tried to remember what I could about the show and other than remembering that I had liked it could recall very little. So, I took a small trip down the information highway to read up on it. Northern Exposure won 7 Emmy Awards and 2 Golden Globe Awards. I read about the contractual problems Rob Morrow endured and remembered that I had I lost interest in the show as his part became smaller and smaller. My memory fully jogged, I put the first dvd of the first season in my player and sat back with a large mug of unsweatened ice tea.

The first thing that struck me was the theme music. It was a snappy little dittie, very simular to the Barney Miller theme with a predominate bass guitar part providing the melody line written by David Schwartz. The opening scene of the moose walking down the street was like seeing a picture of a long lost friend.

Northern Exposure takes place in Cicely, Alaska and is basically centered around Joel Fleischman played by actor Rob Morrow. Joel is a Jewish physician from New York City, having just completed his family medicine residency. The state of Alaska having paid his student loan which contractually bound him to practice in the state for four years. Much to his surprise, he finds himself sent to the remote Alaskan community of Cicely. The first few seasons dealt with Dr. Fleischman's difficulties adjusting his rural setting after a lifetime in New York City and its quirky inhabitants as well as his hot-and-cold romantic involvements with Maggie O'Connell a local pilot and his landlord.

The first season is two dvds. I put the first dvd in and gave the television my full attention. Joel, Maggie, Maurice, Ed, Holling, Shelly, Marilyn, Chris and Ruth Anne joined me in the living room. A few hours later, the first dvd was finished and I made myself a little snack of kippered herring, extra sharp New York cheddar, garlic stuffed olives, Triscuits and another mug of unsweatened ice tea and a bathroom pit stop. I put in the second dvd and settled back in my chair.

After watching the entire first season as well as the "special" features, I turned off the lights, shut off the dvd player and television. I took my snack plate and mug to the kitchen sink and stumbled up the stairs to the bedroom. I couldn't sleep. I decided to check my emails and Facebook page. I kept thinking about the feelings I experienced while watching six and a half hours of Northern Exposure. Realizing I had been genuinely moved by the experience, I thought it worthy of sharing. It was like getting to spend six and a half hours with an old friend.

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Comments 3 comments

dahoglund profile image

dahoglund 4 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

Hi chuck,Northern Exposure was a great show. There were so many unique characters. It was also the kind of show that people talked about the next dy at work or church meetings.I recall we were going through a small Iowa City on a Sunday morning and stopped for services at a small Episcopal church. The priest was blind but came down to the meeting room where they had coffee and donuts.I remember him saying something about contemplating the religious implications of Northern Exposure. It was that kind of show.


Chuck RitenouR profile image

Chuck RitenouR 4 years ago from Front Royal, Virginia Author

dahoglund,

I agree. It really put a spot light on the urban psyche vs the rural psyche. As always great to hear from you.


Chuck RitenouR profile image

Chuck RitenouR 4 years ago from Front Royal, Virginia Author

dahoglund,

I agree. It really put a spot light on the urban psyche vs the rural psyche. As always great to hear from you.

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