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Roving Around

Westerns grab me with characters, action

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In years past, my late wife, Peggy, and I worked every week to put out the best newspaper we could. Back then I did not have much time for watching television. Retirement is different, so each weekday “Gunsmoke” and “Bonanza” get a lot of my attention now that I’m taking life easier — and you may have heard — hit the ripe old age of 90 last August 16.

Wild West towns of yesteryear

In case you haven’t heard about “Gunsmoke”, I will fill you in.

“Gunsmoke” is an American radio and TV Western drama by director Norman Macdonnell and writer John Meston. The stories take place in and around Kansas during the settlement of the American West.

The central character is lawman Marshal Matt Dillon, played by William Conrad on radio and James Arness on TV.

Marshal Matt Dillon is in charge of Dodge City, a town where people often have no respect for the law. He deals basically with the problems associated with frontier life — catching gunfights, brawls, standover tactics and land fraud. Suicide calls for sound judgment and brave actions, of which Matt has plenty.

‘Bonanza’ full of action

“Bonanza” centers around the large (or huge may better describe it) Ponderosa estate owned by the Cartwright family in the Wild West near the town of Virginia City, Kansas.

The Ponderosa is huge (maybe a mile across) with the large two-story Cartwright home in the center and covered with huge pine trees, making it a prime target for thieves who sometimes start cutting some down in order to sell it, before it is discovered by the Cartwrights, and a fight breaks out.

The family consists of handsome Little Joe, older brother Adam who is very mature and often helps straighten out Little Joe, and middle brother Hoss who is as big as his name sounds — from walloping fistfights. Their father is Ben, who is very mature and many times helps straighten out his sons from girls and fights and city problems.

I love to watch these westerns on my TV, especially when I can see them most any day except for Saturday and Sunday. How about you?

Many weekday showings of “Gunsmoke” and “Bonanza” get my attention now that I’m retired and taking life easier — and you may have heard, hit the ripe old age of 90 last August 16.

Bob Allen, publisher emeritus of The Wake Weekly, invites comments at 984-235-7294 or