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Saturday, March 12, 2016

Remembering Dad and his favorite pop culture



My father, Raymond Harshbarger, passed away on Thursday at age 73. He had advanced Alzheimer's, which sadly robbed him of his memories. So as a tribute to Dad, I thought it would be nice to remember some of the groovy pop culture that he enjoyed during his life.

1) Elvis Presley
He was Dad's favorite singer - and we always watched his movies whenever it was "Elvis Week" on the Dialing for Dollars Early Show, which aired each weekday afternoon.




2) John Wayne
He was Dad's favorite actor - and I watched many of his films while growing up.




3) The Andy Griffith Show
This was Dad's favorite sitcom, which was shown in syndication when I was a kid.




4) Gunsmoke
Every Monday night Dad always tuned in to see Matt Dillon and Miss Kitty in this CBS series.



5) Happy Days
Dad's second favorite sitcom reminded him of his own teenage years during the 1950s, and we watched it every Tuesday night.





6) Charlie's Angels
Dad enjoyed watching Farrah Fawcett-Majors as I'm sure many other fathers did back in 1976.



7) The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour
I think Dad got a kick out of their amusing banter - and he even filmed their performance at the Illinois State Fair in the summer of 1972.




8) Three's Company
Dad enjoyed watching Suzanne Somers, but he also liked the Ropers and later Don Knotts (from The Andy Griffith Show) as Ralph Furley.




9) Country Music
Both my parents loved country music, so this list would not be complete without a few tunes from Glen Campbell and Kenny Rogers.




10) The Dukes of Hazzard
Before I got to watch Dallas and Falcon Crest, Dad always tuned in to see Catherine Bach in her "Daisy Dukes".



11) Freebie and the Bean
And, finally, this 1974 film - starring James Caan, Alan Arkin and Valerie "Rhoda" Harper - was the first R-rated movie that my parents took me to see, and we all liked it.

13 comments:

Jon said...

Sad news - but what a great tribute! Jx

Christoph said...

My sincerest condolences. Alzheimer's is an ordeal for the person himself, but I often think it is even harder for those around them who love them to watch as the precious memories of their lives together are lost and the victim ceases to know you. Your memorial to your dad through pop culture was one of the most inventive and touching reminiscences I believe I have ever seen. Thank you for sharing with us.

Marc Harshbarger said...

Jon and Christoph, thank you for your condolences.

Michael Dodd said...

I am sorry for your loss. How appropriate to honor the memories of someone who suffered from Alzheimer's.

Anonymous said...

Marc, I too am sorry to hear about the loss of your father. My stepfather died of Alzheimer's about a decade ago. I understand what you and your family went through.
You did a great job with the tribute to your dad. All my best now and in the future,
Ken.

Anonymous said...

Sorry for your loss, guy. That's gotta be rough.

Ken said...

Marc, I too am sorry about the loss of your dad. My stepfather passed away from Alzheimer's about a decade ago. I understand what you and family went through. Your
tribute to your dad was touching. My best wishes for you now and in the future.

luvstoread said...

Sounds like you had a great dad. So very sorry for your loss.

Marc Harshbarger said...

Michael, Ken, luvstoread and Anonymous - thank you for your condolences.

showupnyc said...

So sorry for your loss, Marc. I lost my dad a few months ago. Hope you are being good to yourself during this sad time.

Marc Harshbarger said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your dad, showupnyc. And thank you for your condolences.

dmappin said...

Marc, I am very sorry to hear of your news. I lost my Grandfather to Alzheimer's many years ago. I am sad for your family's and your loss; please accept my most heartfelt condolences.

Marc Harshbarger said...

Thank you for your condolences, Doug.

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