Childhood Memories – Dallas

27 Nov

The death of Larry Hagman brought to mind another television related childhood memory. My family, like many others, was totally addicted to Dallas and the ongoing saga of the Ewing clan.

The family that preys together stays together.

The family consisted of characters that defined a city, a network and a decade. Of course, Hagman was the star as J.R. Ewing, oldest and most devious son. He went after oil and women with the same furor.

However, Jock, the patriarch played by Jim Davis, truly led the family. I always thought that the show lost something when Davis passed away. I also felt bad because Davis had spent a career as a character actor before finally gaining a starring role.

When Jock died, Miss Ellie took over as leader of the family. Barbara Bel Geddes, a veteran actress, played her as a motherly figure with a streak of toughness. She was the real owner of Southfork Ranch.

Patrick Duffy played Bobby, the other son who worked in the oil business. He was not a ruthless or as smart as J.R., but he was a Ewing and could do what needed to be done.

Pamela, played by Victoria Principal, was Bobby’s wife. The first episode showed why this was such a big deal. Bobby eloped and came home with the daughter of Digger Barnes, Jock’s archenemy, and the sister of Cliff Barnes, J.R.’s archenemy.

Speaking of wives, Sue Ellen, played by Linda Gray, was the former beauty queen and long-suffering spouse of J.R. He chased women, and she responded by getting drunk. However, Sue Ellen fought back by having a few affairs of her own.

Lucy, played by Charlene Tilton, was another Ewing at Southfork. She was the daughter of Gary Ewing, the son who couldn’t stand the oil business and escaped to Knots Landing. As a growing boy, she was my favorite character.

Steve Kanaly played Ray Krebbs, Jock’s favorite ranch hand. He started out as an evil character but transformed into a good guy. The series began with him in the hayloft with Lucy, but later it is discovered that he was her uncle.

I remember all of those characters well, but a few other things stand out in my childhood memory. One was the opening credits with the classic Dallas theme. It interspersed scenes from the city of Dallas with the characters, and I couldn’t wait until they showed the field of my favorite team, the Dallas Cowboys. When my dad took me to a game in Texas Stadium, part of me thought I would see J.R. at the game.

I also remember “Who Shot J.R.?”, the original cliffhanger. Everybody spent the summer wondering who shot him. What stands out to me? I figured it out. It was Kristin Shepard, Sue Ellen’s sister. Want some real trivia? Kristin was played by Mary Crosby, the daughter of Bing Crosby.

So, there is my ode to Dallas. Rest in Peace, Larry Hagman. You brought us some great memories. If J.R. could have bought Jeannie from Tony Nelson, then there’s no telling what he could have accomplished.

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9 Responses to “Childhood Memories – Dallas”

  1. lifeonwry.com November 27, 2012 at 04:14 #

    I was so sad when I saw on the news about his death. My family was obsessed with the series as well. Also Falconcrest!

    • Rick November 27, 2012 at 04:16 #

      I was going to mention Falcon Crest but forgot to do it. Of course, there were a lot of prime time soaps that cropped up after Dallas.

  2. paintlater November 27, 2012 at 10:47 #

    I hadn’t heard! What a shock I loved JR! I absolutely loved Dallas and he was perfect in that role and like you loved Jock. All my girlfriends loved Bobby but I’m afraid I like the bad boys so JR was the one. And the accent! Now I just need to get that theme tune out of my head…,

    • Rick November 27, 2012 at 13:46 #

      J.R. was definitely the cool one. As for the theme song, it’s always been in my head. Ha

  3. amberhurdle November 28, 2012 at 05:03 #

    I remember “Who shot JR.” It seems like we watched Dynasty, as well, but I don’t remember it like I do Dallas. Dynasty had a lot of big hair. Dallas had a lot of big egos. Of course, this was all back when real actors entertained us on television. Gone are the days of MacGyver, Matlock, Magnum PI, Murder She Wrote (is there an M theme, here???), Cosby Show, Family Ties, The A-Team, Knight Rider, Miami Vice, Moonlighting, I could go on…Now we have Honey Boo Boo, Hoarders and Flava Flav. And people wonder why I don’t watch TV?!

    • Rick November 28, 2012 at 05:11 #

      Those were great times for television. I always wanted to be Thomas Magnum. He had the coolest life.

      • amberhurdle November 28, 2012 at 05:25 #

        In college one of my English professors was going to make me read this lame Robert Parker book. Then I realized it was what Spenser for Hire was based on and I read the entire series.

      • Rick November 28, 2012 at 05:34 #

        Goes to show you that not everything assigned by professors is lame.

  4. amberhurdle November 28, 2012 at 12:39 #

    Yes, well, Dr. Dressler proved that point very early on in my college career. This gal, though…it started out pretty rough. She grew on me once I realized “evil” was just a start of the semester facade.

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