We just recently got access to a new channel on DirectTV, MeTV. They show old programs from the 1950s and 60s including classic TV characters from my youth. Watching these old shows reminded me that the only TV character that I ever idealized and wanted to be just like was Miss Kitty on Gunsmoke. It ran for 20 seasons from 1955 to 1975! In retrospect I find it down right crazy that I wanted to be a saloon proprietress. Come to think of it, she was probably also the Madam of the Long Branch brothel upstairs, but nobody talked about things like that back then.
When we were kids it was not uncommon to join “fan clubs” for the stars on TV. The only one I ever joined was for Amanda Blake. I even sent away for a signed photo of her, dressed up like Miss Kitty. I still have it! It says: “Best Wishes Laura” on it. So much food for thought for the feminist I turned out to be. But, then, on second thought, I did choose a professional woman to romanticize. She seemed to own her own shop and not depend on any man for her income. Sure she seemed to be sweet on Matt Dillon, but there was no hanky panky going on there. I guess he had to pay like any other customer… See how confusing childhood dreams can be? Still she was a beautiful woman working in a man’s world, and she championed the cause of animals her whole life. It couldn’t have been easy.
The first career I ever considered was acting, something my college professor Dad would have never approved of. How I got from there to academic librarian is a mystery to me! But I still enjoy watching Miss Kitty and remembering the simple, innocent dreams of a ten year old so many years ago.
Who did you want to be when you grew up and how did that work out?