Thursday, February 13, 2014

What I Watched During Snownado 1969

Years ago A.J. McWhorter from Television Archives asked what Holy Grail I might have, something I hadn't run across in my research. If he had it, he'd burn me a copy. What I really wanted, I thought impossible to get, was a hour long daytime show called 'Life With Linkletter' hosted by Art Linkletter and his son Jack, it only ran for the first eight months of 1970. Why that one?

In January 1970 we had a snownado in North Carolina. I was 13, school was out, everyone in the neighborhood spent days sledding Northwood Street or down the hill and across the pond at the Greensboro Country Club. (Boy, were they pissed at the muddy ruts we left behind on the golf course. Now it's a thing, they serve hot chocolate.) It was one of my fondest memories. Before they started brining and plowing the streets, the city surrendered to the frost.

On a break from sledding (to put our gloves and boots near the radiator to dry out) I caught an episode of a new daytime concept on NBC that mixed current events and entertainment fluff. It was high tech (for the time), fast paced (for the time), I was fascinated by it. TV was evolving but with dinosaurs at the helm, the push/pull was obvious even to me.

Just months before its debut Art Linkletter's daughter, who was featured prominently in his earlier series, plunged to her death as a result of an acid trip. That was the official story, more about that here (read to the end).

NBC was notorious for destroying all their daytime shows, including the entire run of 'Hollywood Squares', so when I asked if A.J. had an episode 'Life With Linkletter' I never expected him to actually dig one up, from January of 1970 no less!

The opening to 'Life With Linkletter':

Segment on Sugar Ray Robinson:

A look inside the Nixon administration, you'll see familiar faces from the GW Bush era:

Commercials - including one with Rocky Graziano for Wishbone Italian Rose: