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Family Ties

Updated on November 21, 2013

For a family that didn't own a television set for couple of decades, during the child rearing years, we saw a surprising amount of Family Ties. We all knew who was who and each had our own favorite character.

We lived in a rural area on acreage that held a growing family, four footed friends and furry critters, along with a bunch of feathery poultry types, among others of the riding kind.

That meant we had plenty of work to do, including finishing the first house we built - you know there's always something left undone when you do it yourself. So we were industrious. We might as well have come from Maine or Missouri, for our determinedness.

Back then there was no cable TV

in our neck of the woods. I remember the day a man from across the Valley knocked on our door, one evening when we were all home. He wanted us to join neighbors making $20 contributions and adding signatures on a petition to bring the cable to the rural areas of the County.

When we picked our land as our future homesite we knew we would be parting with our television set. We had spent our first few years in the Valley living 17 miles out of town on a farm-to-market road. TV was a ready companion for this young mom with two babes and no car.

The old house sat in the open on the fringe

of the lower wide valley where we could capture network shows on the old rooftop antenna. When our children were up the TV was off, but evenings often found two tired parents lounging in front of the set. The kiddies' bedtime was 7PM for their early years, so we had a couple hours to catch the news and some entertainment after the horses were fed and watered. When the new house was ready we gave our TV to charity and built the new house.

Throughout those years in the new house

we caught some of our parents' favorite shows on frequent visits over the mountains to Grandma's house. It's funny how both my husband's folks and mine became addicted to their favorite shows after their respective nests emptied. When we had lived at home the TV was always turned off when guests came, but the switch flipped on that policy after we all left home.

Our kids laughed along with their grandmas and grandpas during our visits. Me, I was so hungry for adult conversation during those visits that I couldn't follow the programs and would usually fix a cup of tea and hope that someone would migrate to the dining room for some talk.

High on the hill in our second newly built home

perched on top, on a shelf with a wide expansive view across valleys and canyons, even sighting up to Canada, TV came to stay. We had even more finishing work to do on this house, hence so much less time for TV, but the draw to connect with popular culture was too strong for our kids to resist.

We might as well have called our oldest son Alex,

for all his identification with Michael J. Fox' character. What I found hilarious in Alex, my son admired, Nick had had enough of playing son of flower child parents. After all, the family had still lived in four tents in our campsite above the work-in-progress house when Nick began his senior year of high school. What could make anyone think he would emulate his own parents' lifestyle! He majored in Business in college.

Family Ties is my all-time favorite TV comedy

show. I still get a kick out of it now. In some ways I'm still a flower child, drawing on some of those counter-culture attitudes of the 60s in my advocacy for my conservative son, who suffered a TBI just before getting his degree in Business and Economics, and using it to gild my aging years.

The show was a family time, each of us holding our own values the highest and laughing as loud as the rest of them. Now it's available in the Complete Series - fantastic! I think it will be just as funny when I'm 90 as it was back in the 80s.

Bewitched: The Complete Series
Bewitched: The Complete Series

What could be funnier than eight years of Bewitched.

I watched the show when I babysat and even in the first years of marriage, finding it ridiculously funny.

The Dick Van Dyke Show - The Complete Series
The Dick Van Dyke Show - The Complete Series

I can't forget the joy of watching Dick Van Dyke run his facial muscles through their calesthetics.

Family Ties: A Novel
Family Ties: A Novel

Alex would have loved Annie Ferguson, heroine in this novel by Danielle Steel.

She was a Manhattan architect. I'm sure she needed a financial advisor to stash her moolah in a safe place.


When did you first come to love the show Family Ties?

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    • lesliesinclair profile image

      lesliesinclair 3 years ago

      @SheGetsCreative: And I was old enough to be tickled by the parents interactions. It was fun.

    • SheGetsCreative profile image

      Angela F 3 years ago from Seattle, WA

      It was a great family show indeed. Interactions between Alex and Mallory were my favorites.