No. 706



Along about 1956, the year I graduated from high school, there was a popular television program called, “Father Knows Best” starring Robert Young and Jane Wyatt. While that was a long time ago, I still remember the program and how good I felt after watching it. There were many good programs like that around in those days, but they have been replaced with something that is much more “modern” for the younger generation. While change is inevitable, it’s not always good and I have something to share with you today that will be a benefit for any generation. You don’t have to be a Rhodes Scholar to realize what has happened to the entertainment industry over the past several decades and what they have done to corrupt the morals and values of America’s children. Those kids are now on Wall Street and elsewhere.
Many of the ideas for my columns come from readers, and I got a letter a while back from a grandmother who lives in Sturgis, Mich. She made some suggestions that I believe have tremendous merit and, for what they are worth, I would like to share them with you. To give you a little context, allow me to give you a portion of her letter. She says, “I do wish we could start some sort of movement to have good movies released again so the grandmothers of today who care about their grandchildren could purchase them for Christmas and birthday gifts.
“ Pushing and shoving and yelling mean words only encourage this type of behavior to continue in schools, and then it balloons and that’s why teachers and school bus drivers have problems and bullies develop. I volunteered at school to help third graders who needed extra attention learn to read. There were always kids who had rough home lives. With a little extra caring, attention and kindness they changed and learned and were eager to learn more.” At this point, you may be thinking the same thing I am thinking. Having our children watching untold hours of violence, crude language and unwholesome content is a price that is too much to pay by our nation’s children.
Here is what this Sturgis, Mich., grandmother had in mind. Since technology is what it is, why couldn’t some enterprising company produce clean, wholesome family type television shows, movies, cartoons and other programs that would be good for young children and be available to rent or purchase? Then, instead of turning on the television, parents can just pop one of these good DVDs or videos into a player for their children to watch rather than taking “pot luck” produced by those who could care less about our children or their futures?
Just for fun, a while back I asked a number of friends to join me by giving the names of all the good television shows, cartoons and movies they could think of off the top of their head, without going to the internet, books or other sources. This would mean their selections made an impression on them to the degree they still remembered them. Here is a list of those we came up with. I am sure you can add more.
Black Beauty, Lil Abner, Howdy Doody, Dennis the Menace, Bambi, Dumbo, The Mouseketeers, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Cinderella, Deputy Dog, Leave it to Beaver, The Yearling, Lassie, Shirley Temple, The Little Rascals, Bugs Bunny, Dagwood & Blondie, Heidi, Benji, Sounder, Old Yeller, Where the Red Fern Grows, Ma & Pa Kettle, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Tarzan, National Velvet, Tom Thumb & The Red Pony.
Here is a case where “Grandmother Knows Best.”
(EDITOR'S NOTE: Jim Davidson is a public speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034. To begin a bookcase literacy project visit You won’t go wrong helping a needy child.)