Of 1980s Television and Hockey Heartthrobs

Posted in Television history at 8:30 pm by admin

For the past several months, I have been conducting background research for a lifelong learning course and book project that are both devoted to television series of the 1960s through the mid-1990s. As part of this scholarly endeavor, I re-watched seven seasons of “vintage” MacGyver starring Richard Dean Anderson. Thereafter, I worked my way through a succession of other series either starring or co-starring Richard Dean Anderson: Stargate SG-1, Legend, Emerald Point N.A.S. (I could only find four episodes of the series), and lastly, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.

Admittedly, I thoroughly enjoyed watching this eclectic mix of series of yesteryear and lamented the fact that two of the series that I grew especially fond of namely, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and Legend, only lasted one season or less.

Given my enthusiastic response to what has been dubbed the “Richard Dean Anderson retrospective,” several of my colleagues and students have remarked that Anderson must have been one of my teenage idols.

In fact, no posters or photos of Richard Dean Anderson nor any other television, film, or music personalities of the 1980s adorned my bedroom walls, school locker, or other personal effects.

So, who or what did I admire enough to merit a place in my personal space? The following is a partial list of my displayed items:
• An “I’m Proud to be a Farmer” bumper sticker
I confess that I have never been a farmer; however, I did spend quite a few weekends on my aunt and uncle’s farm during my youth.
• A Harley Davidson motorcycle banner
For some reason, I was fascinated with Evel Knievel. That fascination translated into a mutual affection for Harley Davidson motorcycles.
• Assorted political cartoons from the Reagan era
I loved collecting editorial cartoons from the 1800s through the 1980s and eventually majored in political science as an undergraduate.
• Several of my own drawings
“Amateur” would be a kind description for my works.
• Photos of assorted animals
I have a lifelong affinity for domestic and wild creatures, both great and small
• A postcard from Pennsylvania’s Grand Canyon
Pennsylvania’s Grand Canyon and nearby Wellsboro, Pennsylvania, were among my family’s favorite weekend getaway destinations.
• Postcards from Dorset, England
The postcards came from my father’s pen pal, whom he had met while stationed in Dorset during World War II. They corresponded for almost fifty years.
and last but not certainly not least…
• A photo of the New York Rangers ice hockey team
The photo included my favorite player—Ron Duguay—who certainly didn’t look like a stereotypical hockey player.

So, there you have it. I forsook the plethora of teenage heartthrobs of the early 1980s for a bumper sticker extolling farming, a Harley Davidson banner, personal artwork, editorial cartoons, English postcards, animal pics, and the New York Rangers hockey team!