Before I’d even turned 5, my dad had gotten rid of our family TV in favor of more prayer and Bible study time. He was devoted in his faith and we are none the poorer for it, after all, but it did take away Popeye and The Jimmy Dean Show for me. I loved Jimmy Dean when he’d sit on that porch swing with his guitar and sing…he died last year, I think, and I felt sad. And it ripped The Rifleman and The Fugitive from my mom’s favorite-viewing list.
Now and again, though, we’d be visiting my grandparents in Ames, Iowa or my neightbor Nancy Lydon across the alley in Des Moines and get to catch up on the television shows of the times: Mayberry RFD, Julia, Love-American Style, That Girl, Batman (pow–zowie–bop!), or Hawaii 5-O. I loved it!
One show I always really liked from those years was Room 222. When my dad decided to re-immerse himself and our family into television 5 or 6 years later in time for the World Series that fall, Room 222 was still playing and I got to watch it now and again on Friday nights.
I always just really liked Mr. Dixon (played by Lloyd Haynes). He was the handsome (quite dashing man with a beautiful smile), idealistic teacher who gently taught the high schoolers to be tolerant and have understanding on the social issues of the day, even if they were watered down for prime time TV. I thought Mr. Dixon looked like a black version of my dad (whom I also thought to be very handsome). Even in retrospect, I think I was on to something because I was looking at photos of my nephew Ross Moslander (my dad’s namesake) and still saw a family resemblance.
I am telling you: we could be related!