Well, I’m Excited

I would get home from elementary school sometime between 2:30 and 3. I recall entering the house, dropping my things and having a snack, putting on the television. Couldn’t tell you today where Mom, Neil or Judy were, but I recall being on my own.

For whatever reason, channel 11, WPIX, had shows I really enjoyed watching. Among them, back in the mid-1960s, were reruns of the Patty Duke Show. For those unfamiliar with the premise, Patty lived in New York City with her parents and brother, along with her cousin Cathy, who remarkably looked exactly like Patty. The cousins were a study in contrasts and from there hilarity ensued.

One of the things I really liked about the show was that the teens hung out at a malt shop. There was a jukebox, sometimes they danced but mainly they sat around talking and sipping milk shakes. When I grew up, I knew that was the kind of place I wanted to hang out at. Instead, I grew up in what is known as a bedroom community which had no real center of town or town identity. The nearest shop with milk shakes was miles away in the next town of Hicksville (no, really). It wasn’t until my best pal Jeff and I were able to ride our bikes that distance, on a very busy street, in search of comics at the stationary store next door that I was able to hang and sip a milk shake. Of course, having bought comics, we pooled what little money we had and shared fries and each had a drink and even then, not regularly.

So, why am I suddenly thinking about all this? Because Patty’s understanding, hard-working newspaperman father was played by William Schallert, a fine character actor. And just yesterday I learned that Schallert will be a guest at Shore Leave this summer. He’s there because, during a career that is rather lengthy as seen at IMDB, he’s appeared on numerous science fiction shows, including the memorable “Trouble with Tribbles” episode.

I normally don’t get excited at the notion of meeting actors anymore, but this is one I am looking forward to chatting with!

One comment

  • Um, Bob, all stores are stationary. *hee*

    You know, I was lucky growing up in a number of ways, one of which was that we actually had an old-fashioned ice cream parlor around the corner from us. We would go there to hang out, ordering fancy shakes or sundaes or splits (when we were rich), or a cherry-lime rickey or an egg cream (when we were sort of rich). They also served food from a grill there. It was right at the stairway leading up to the Zerega Avenue stop on the #6 line in the Bronx. Don’t know if it’s still there today, but I’m sure I’m still carrying some of the calories I absorbed there.

    As for William Schallert… VERY cool. I don’t know if I’d have passed a dead-or-alive test on him, but he was a great character actor for many, many years, and if you get to greet him, DO tell him that you’re speaking for more than yourself when you tell him his work was appreciated.