Actor Bob Cummings was born on this date in 1910. It must be old TV show week for me (usually is). But, I best remember Cummings from re-runs of his 1950s show “Love That Bob.” He was a sort of playboy photographer, who lived with his sister played by one of my fave actresses Rosemary DeCamp. Dwayne Hickman (later Dobie Gillis) was Bob’s nephew, and Ann B. Davis (later known as the Bradys’ maid Alice) played Schultzie, Bob’s assistant at his photography studio.
No, REALLY! They all originally aired in the early to mid-1950s – before I was born or when I was much too young to see beyond my crib or playpen rails.
I truly only saw them as after school re-runs. I was a “latch-key kid” before it was a term – long before it was illegal. When I was in second grade, we moved from Mom’s tiny, safe, “everybody knows everybody” town in Kentucky to the big, scary city of Dallas. Because Mom worked and my brother was six years older (thus in a different school), I was to walk home from school and lock the door behind me. Homework came first. After that, I could watch TV. When my brother or Mom got home, I was free to play outside. Until that time, I was holed up with the “Three Stooges” and above referenced TV shows.
Other black and white, rabbit-eared, round-screened babysitters included the likes of “Father Knows Best,” and an assorted cartoons from Hanna Barbera to the bizarre “Clutch Cargo.” Most of my peers share these media memories of our cultural heritage. However, I begin to lose them when reminiscing about the likes of “I Married Joan,” “Pete and Gladys,” or even “Bachelor Father,” with John Forsythe. Long before he was “Charlie” to “Angels” or “Dynasty’s” Blake Carrington, Forsythe played single uncle Bentley Gregg, raising “niece Kelley,” with the help of Peter, the Chinese “house boy.” Don’t ask me what a “house boy” is. All I know is on BONANZA, the Cartwrights had “Hop Sing,” and “Have Gun Will Travel” Paladin had “Hey Boy.”
You see, it is really less about age – more about a memory or penchant for the obscure.