Saturday 9: Bonanza (1959)
Unfamiliar with this week’s tune? Hear it here.
1) Bonanza ran on NBC for 14 seasons. Today it’s rerun on Me-TV and TVLand. Were/are you a fan? No, I’ve never seen it.
2) The show centers on The Cartwrights, who lived on a massive ranch in Nevada. License plates in Nevada read, “The Silver State.” What’s on your license plate? The Keystone State.
3) Ben Cartwright made his fortune as a cattle rancher. What’s the last beef dish you ate? I’m a vegetarian, but given that my grandma’s food was my weakness, it was probably her beef soup.
4) Patriarch Ben had his eldest son, Adam, with his refined, bookish first wife, Elizabeth. Unfortunately, Elizabeth died in childbirth. Still Adam inherited her love of the written word. What’s the last book you finished? An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green. I finished it yesterday and really enjoyed it. It was a neat little piece of kind of sci-fi, I guess? And for the record, that was a library book and my new current library pick is Because It Is Bitter, and Because It Is My Heart by Joyce Carol Oates. So…completely different there.
5) Ben’s second son, Hoss, was born to his second wife, Inger, who was killed as the family traveled West by wagon train. Hoss inherited her open, friendly manner and her way with animals. Are there pets in your home? Of course! My husband’s gecko, which he’s had since he was 12, and our cat that we haven’t had a year yet.
6) Ben’s youngest, Joe, arrived after Ben married a third time to the passionate Marie, who died in a riding accident when her son was only five years old. Little Joe inherited her impetuosity. Do you consider yourself more spontaneous or predictable? It’s time I just accept that I’m a predictable person.
7) Samuel Clemons was a reporter in Virginia City at the time when the Cartwrights would have been there, and a fictionalized version of Mr. Clemons appeared in an episode of Bonanza. Without looking it up, do you know Samuel Clemons’ famous pen name? Yep! Mark Twain.
8) Hair was a big deal in the Bonanza dressing room. Three of the original four stars — Lorne Greene, Pernell Roberts and Dan Blocker — all wore hairpieces. (The fourth, Michael Landon, began dying his hair while still in his 20s because he was going prematurely gray.) Have you ever worn a wig or a hairpiece? First of all, I have a longstanding crush on Michael Landon. But to answer the question, yes, I have. I wore a dark-brown bobbed wig in a high-school musical, and then outside of that, my friends and I were fans of donning bad wigs and hats and going out in public like that. Shoutout to the Taco Bell employee who nearly lost it and laughed but kept it together while we ordered.
9) Random question — Tell us the story behind one of your scars. I don’t really have any interesting ones. I don’t have many to start with, but right now, I do have one on each leg from the cat–one on my left thigh, one on my right shin. Both are from her trying to use my bare skin to brace herself.