I had to go look it up. "The Brady Bunch" was on tv from 1969 to 1974. If you had asked me to look it up without research and to go by my memory, I'd have told you probably 1970-1979. It just always seemed to me that it was a show that was embedded in the 70's. And to me, it was always just ON tv. As a kid, if it was on tv and I was watching it, that meant it was the first time it was on tv. It never dawned on me that these shows were from when I was still wearing diapers.
Remember, this was during a time that was pre-cable. There was a small group of shows that were in syndication and in the "after-school" time slot. There was "Partridge Family", "Gilligan's Island", "Hogen's Heros" and of course "The Brady Bunch". (Only the show "Hogen's Heros" did I think were current run shows... I thought that show was actually from WWII... seriously... I thought it was)
But during my elementary years and even into junior high, I would go home after first stopping by the drug store and running any errands and doing chores that dad might need me to do. I'd plop my gym bag full of books and stuff in the office by the brown couch and then head up to the prescription counter where dad would be diligently typing up labels or counting out pills with a deftness that I quietly admired. I'd wait to see his lips stop moving from counting as his little palette knife took pills two or four at a time before I interrupted his routine. (It only took one time when I interrupted him too soon and he'd have to start over... his glare was louder than any scolding he could ever give.) So I'd wait my turn, then ask him what he'd like me to do. Usually it would be to empty the garbages and take them out to the back. There was his big garbage behind the prescription counter (it was a tall, silver cylinder covered with a white, half-domed top cylinder with a silver hinged door.) It was the trickiest can to get to. I had to lift off the white cover and then carry the tall can by it's two handles out back to the dumpster. It always had an aroma of medicine and plastic. Then there was two other garbages. One up by the front counter that was just a little black and silver can that usually contained torn up receipts or charge slips, maybe an occasional candy wrapper. I'd take it to the back and dump it into the big wire mesh garbage in the shipping/unpacking area. Then I'd take that big basket out and get into emptied into the dumpster out back.
Other than that, I'd maybe have to run a few bills or payments around to the other businesses downtown. Something in an envelope over to Engebretson Hardware... usually left it with Anne or with Virginia Hillestad working the counter. Maybe something over to Virg's IGA Grocery. I was essentially a messenger without a bike. If the businesses could have had a inter-tube delivery system, it would've replaced me.... I wouldn't have minded. I do remember having to shovel snow and ice from time to time, put more ice-melt out, straighten the cards in the greeting card section and then run the Hoky around by the doors (Hoky is powerless vacuum...if you don't know what it is... I was a master... a Hoky Master. I always thought the Hokey Pokey was named after the Hoky. This from the same mind that thought "Hogen's Heros" was filmed in the early 1940's. ha ha!)
When my chores were done, I'd scurry home. It was a straight shot from downtown up third street to the east to our house about 3 1/2 blocks away. If the weather was crappy, I would just sit tight and hang at the store so I didn't have to walk home in the rain or snow and then I'd just ride with dad. But if it was nice, I would hustle home for my after-school, pre-supper snack of ice cream. (I think I ate my weight in ice cream.... annually... well, considering how skinny I was back then, I KNOW I did.) We got our ice cream from Schwan's. They have great ice cream. We had a deep freeze in our basement that would hold at LEAST 6 gallon containers of 6 different flavors of ice cream. I'd take my bowl down there with an ice cream scoop and construct an heaping bowl of massive amounts of vanilla, orange sherbet, chocolate, chocolate chip or butter brickle... you name it, we had it. I would typically do a half and half vanilla with chocolate or with orange sherbet. I loved vanilla and orange sherbet together. I'd then take the heaping bowl upstairs and plop down in the living room in front of the tv and watch some of the afore-mentioned after school tv. I would catch the antics of the six kids, Alice the Maid (? ... or was she a nanny), and Mike and Carol Brady. I loved that family. They had the coolest house... and astro-turf for a backyard. I mean, COME ON... that alone was SO cool.
But Carol Brady was the ultimate mom. And not just Carol Brady the character, but Florence Henderson the actress that played her. the Carol Brady from "The Brady Bunch Movie" played by Shelly Long was similar, but nowhere as lovable as Florence. She reminded me of my mom. She was a diplomat and she loved those kids. Not just the girls that were her's, but also her step-children, the three boys. She was full of sound advice, ample patience and love for the entire family.
Florence left us this week. Her final credits have run. I haven't watched the show in years. It'd be hard to without my ice cream. It'll be hard to knowing Florence Henderson isn't around anymore. But now I crave the old routine and some vanilla and orange sherbet ice cream.
I'm just a creative guy that's looking to throw all this spaghetti onto the wall and hope something sticks.