Sleepy Hollow: To be, or not to be


Regular readers of my posts quite likely already have noticed that these writings are about the histories of people, places, and things that I have recalled, researched, or fact-checked to the best of my ability and chronicled here because I hold something about their existence near and dear to my heart.  Infrequently though, I add humor and on rare occasions I hint at what could be or might have been, if only . . .  In today’s post, I add to this list another of my interests:  partially fiction and partially factual stories (my timing is rather apropos, don’t you think?) that I value because they spark my imagination or provoke treasured thoughts and emotions within me–regardless of their venue, they resonate within my lover of history, adventure, and nostalgic longings.  For these reasons, I write today about:

Sleepy Hollow – The TV Series (2013-)

Charismatic and well-polished English actor, Tom Mison, breathes eloquent depth and fullness of character as he portrays fictional Ichabod Crane.  In 1781, while a George Washington protagonist and working as a double agent for him during the American Revolutionary War, Crane beheads “The Headless Horseman” (the character from the fictional short story “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” by American author Washington Irving).  In 2013, after having been frozen in time for 250 years, Ichabod Crane awakens in present day Sleepy Hollow, New York. This is where producers’ Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci’s story line about the seven years of tribulation and the meeting of the two chosen witnesses from the Bible’s Book of Revelations (Ichabod one of them) begins. The main storyline centers on the personification of the two biblical witnesses (prophets) who are tasked to thwart off the apocalypse. Thus, Crane finds himself in the foreboding situation of having to find and kill the fiendish Headless Horseman once again.  To help him through these challenging times, he draws upon his personal knowledge of and relationship with George Washington, George Washington’s letters and bible and his new associate, Deputy Sheriff Abbie Mills who has just learned that she is witness number two because of her sightings of phenomena in her childhood.  Most of Ichabod Crane and Abbie Mills research and planning for their daunting task takes place in  “The Archives,” a property of the Sleepy Hollow Sheriff’s Department, where deceased Sheriff Corbin kept all notes about Abbie and her sister’s sightings and other supernatural findings that he assembled throughout his years in the department.

With each new episode and every new season, the stories and characters arise to every occasion to always cleverly save humanity and the world.  2016’s Season 3 finale left me literally weeping. Then with changes to the setting and some of the cast in 2017, I found myself somewhat disenchanted with the Season 4.  But, I remain a staunch fan of the storyline and Tom Mison.  Producers have not yet made a decision about creating a Season 5.  And, as I watched the season four finale this week, I sense it is very likely that I watched the finale of the series.  I feel a sense of loss that leaves a new emptiness inside me. I know nothing can last forever and that’s it’s only a TV show; but, if there is another chance for renewal, I hope the producers return to the successes that we loved in seasons one through three.  As we have seen repeatedly during the past four seasons and 52 episodes of Sleepy Hollow (and other popular fictional series), those who we thought were killed or died, have surprisingly and cleverly rejoined the living.  Just say’n, here, folks.

And finally, thanks to all those great adventures and pauses from reality that I so enjoyed in Sleepy Hollow.  And to my readers, thanks for joining me during my pause from “just the facts.”  Hats off, too, to Kurtzman and Orci for all of their top notch movie and tv productions, and a special thanks to Tom Mison, for all his dedicated and intricate acting talents and skills in bringing to life, Ichabod Crane.

Coincidence, Perfect Timing, or Premonition?


Coincidence, Perfect Timing, or Premonition

I was pleasantly surprised today when visiting Facebook to see a 1970 TV clipping–in full color–through my computer screen of a portion of a Bob Hope TV Special celebrating the 4th of July.  (Note that my computer screen is bigger than our first few black and white TV’s–which by the way, were first manufactured the year I was born!)   And, I just wonder whether its posting was a coincidence, perfect timing, or a premonition on my part.  I guess we’ll never really know. But, what makes this video so very special to me is that many of the movie and TV stars appearing in it were my favorites when I was a child.  In fact, two nights ago while lying in bed during one of my sleepless modes I happened to think about the great old western movies, television series, and even the many games of cowboys and indians that so many of us baby boomers enjoyed playing with our friends and cousins. Of course in our later years we learned that historians, educators, and the media skewed the real stories to always make native americans the villains.  (Personally, I always chose to be an indian vs. the cowboy.)

Our Young Years and Times Were Simpler

But truth is, in our youth, many of us for special occasions received toy six shooters, cowboy hats, boots, and chaps; and, we also got ritualistic indian head dresses, bows, and arrows–and I especially loved wearing indian moccasins.

If you lived on a farm or had one nearby like I did, you could pull a feather from a chicken or a turkey and tuck it under a leather belt wrapped around your head to be a more authentic native.  And even get into mama’s make up and apply some war paint.

Yes, our times were much simpler and we kids knew only of the fun we had playing those games outside.  Or how we loved watching television–even shows in black and white and displayed on small fuzzy screens (reception depended on how good our rooftop antenna was).  Some of my favorite shows were:  Gunsmoke, Wagon Train, Bonanza, Rawhide, The Virginian, Little House on the Prairie, and the Big Valley–these are the ones I can remember today off the top of my head.

The Cowboys

John Wayne

The Man’s Man: John Wayne

gregory peck 1945 - by madison lacy

Gregory Peck

James Garner

James Garner

And, some of our best saturday evenings were spent at local drive-in movies watching big screen stars in full color through a speaker hanging from a window and receiving scratchy monophonic audio.  Let’s see, there was superstar-cowboy John Wayne; tall, elegant, and dignified Gregory Peck; the handsome James Garner;

Roy Rogers

Roy Rogers

James Arness

James Arness

Ward Bond

Ward Bond

Gene Autry

Gene Autry

singing cowboys Roy Rogers and Gene Autry; Marshal Matt Dillon, none other than James Arness; and I can’t forget rugged appearing Ward Bond, or funny sidekick cowboy and toothless old man, Gabby Hayes; or the rounded-belly, raspy-voiced Andy Devine.

Gabby Hayes

Gabby Hayes

Guy Madison and Andy Devine

Guy Madison and Andy Devine

The Indians

As the pictures depict below, some of my favorite indian characters were played by white men.  Further evidence that our society had not yet embraced multiculturalism and  television or movie producers hadn’t yet opened many of their doors to nonwhites.

Jeff Chandler as Cochise

Jeff Chandler as Cochise

Michael Ansara

Michael Ansara

John Todd as Tonto

John Todd as Tonto

The video brought back so many fond memories–yes, of simpler times.  Times when Americans were united and had a sense of pride about God and Country, regardless of their race or creed.  And, I just loved it when my role models and heroes were dressed in period clothing and gathered to sing God Bless America–which is another tradition dating back to our  forefathers that is “under the gun” to be discontinued in our courtrooms, in our pledges of allegiance, on our money, and in our classrooms. hope you enjoy.  (And yes, I recognized all their faces and recalled all but one’s name.)