Was talking with a friend and this idea popped up. I would love to read your thoughts!!
Growing up in AK, we didn’t have a lot of TV choices. I honestly don’t remember too many shows. I know my 4th dad always watched 60 Minutes, which was also when we wanted to watch Disney or Wild Kingdom. I was an avid fan of Emergency! (I still am!!) and we always watched Mother Moose after school. (follow the link, it is hard to explain!) Classics like Hee Haw, Lawrence Welk, and kid shows were very popular. My very favorite is and was The Electric Company. Other classics, though, were also allowed. One Adam 12, MASH, and Gilligan’s Island.
I loved everything about Gilligan’s Island. It was wacky, beautiful, and completely alien to Alaska. There are always silly things people believe about Alaska and I was a prime candidate for just as crazy ones about life in warm weather.
I didn’t know I was learning anything from TV. That is the scary part about television. It teaches, even if it isn’t wrapped up in PBS or a learning channel. Thankfully, the stuff I got from those old fashioned tv shows were wholesome humor filled lessons on life. One of my favorites, and now one of Little Bear’s, was as mentioned above, Gilligan’s Island.
This show had everything, except a way off of an island that seemed to be often peopled by characters who managed to arrive and leave in short order. Seven castaways who made us welcome as we giggled, drooled (I understand Ginger and Mary Ann were incredibly popular), empathized, and learned. What on earth did we learn??? Let me share some of my thoughts and you can add yours!
The Skipper: Just because we are in charge, doesn’t mean we are. Throwing your weight around can hurt. It’s ok to be wrong when you are in charge. It is more than ok to take charge when you know what you are doing. Trust others to do their jobs, even if they have trouble. Believe in those around you and yourself.
Mr. and Mrs. Howell: I’m putting these two together because Lovey just sort of always seemed to belong with Mr. Howell. They taught me you can have all the money in the world and it won’t get you what you want. You should keep up appearances no matter how awful it seems to be. A name is just something to call a person. Baggage is pretty ridiculous to cart around..although, much of it did come in handy! Pack responsibly and think about what you want to carry with you (especially in your thoughts and mannerisms). Manners matter always. Mr. Howell shows the ease of generosity and Mrs. Howell reminds me to use proper English.
The Professor: Improvise. Make do with what you have. Never give up. Torn khakis look good (wait, sorry…ummm….to continue!). Everything has a use for something else. The importance of something doesn’t depend on size or quantity or even quality. No matter what you do, keep the main objective in view (the professor created a million and one cool things and never managed to fix the boat!).
Mary Ann: Twin pony tails are a perfect hairstyle. A single pony tail is a perfect hairstyle. Pulling your hair back or putting it up in a twist is a perfect hairstyle. (odd, I think most of my own hairstyles are ones Mary Ann wore….) Kindness is necessary. Simplicity is restful. It is more than ok to be a nice person. It is also a good idea to step out of your comfort zone once in a while. You can be pretty and be smart. A good cook is almost everyone’s favorite person. Being ordinary is as important as being the movie star.
Ginger: Ginger taught me how easy it was to manipulate a man by being a woman. (I have done this, not recently, but in my past when something needed done and the man who needed to do it was being a boor.) It doesn’t matter how silly you are, you just need to be beautiful. Someone is always there to help you when you need it most. Even if you think you have nothing to contribute, you can. The experiences of your past can help you today. Sewing is a handy hobby.
Gilligan: The fall guy is incredibly important. Being nice can make it easy for others to hurt you. It is absolutely ok to make mistakes of all kinds. Sometimes a mistake is the best thing to do. Communicate. (I do have trouble with this) Tell the whole story the first time. A hero isn’t always the one you expect.
OTHER STUFF: Bamboo is extremely versatile, as are coconuts. Laughter can make you feel much better. Close friendships can form out of the most bizarre experiences. (I have discovered this over and over!) Just as jewels make sparkly hooks for fishing, fishing lures make great earrings. Bamboo is biodegradable PVC pipe. Be thankful for the good things that happen. Keep yourself busy or you can go crazy. When you get lost, stick together. Fighting isn’t worth it.
THINGS THAT DON’T NECESSARILY WORK: You cannot dash around in high heels and an evening gown (prom dress) in the jungle (or woods—it was just the side of the road, but still) very well at all. Clothes don’t always end up perfectly ironed after drying in the wind and sun. Skimpy clothing allows for lots of bug bites. Most of the professor’s inventions would not work in real life.