Monday, December 5, 2011

Coronet Blue: Candy and David and Jon and Frank

This is an odd little clip. I can't find out much about Coronet Blue because there are only fragments on YouTube. I probably never even watched it, but I do remember that catchy theme song. And Frank Converse, pretty dishy, wasn't he? How old would he be now, or is he even alive? These actors, so fresh-faced, so pretentious in putting on those unplaceable hey-man accents, are now either dead, or all shrivelled up with age.

No doubt, like me, they thought youth would go on forever. No doubt, like me, they thought that the '60s had changed things, really changed things forever, and that it would never go back.

Hey, man. We tried.

CORONET BLUE: no, I didn't dream this!

This is one of those TV shows that I thought I'd made up or dreamed about. Turns out it was on for one season or something. I'll have to dredge up a clip I found with a whole lot of famous people in it, like Candace Bergen, who weren't famous yet. Oh those summers in Chatham - not such a remarkable place, but I look back on it with such sweetness, the choking humidity, the ferocious thunderstorms at dusk, sleeping over at my girl friend's, or sleeping in the pullout bed in the den watching old reruns of Topper and Love That Bob.

Coronet Blue came at the crest of the cool wave of '60s spy shows like The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Secret Agent, and even Get Smart. (I also found T. H. E. Cat, which I was SURE I had dreamed up.) I don't remember much of it except I think there was an English guy in it, some kind of sidekick. And something about going to a concert, and at the intermission having "one of those insipid orange drinks". Why do we remember such useless fragments?

And whatever happened to Frank Converse, Mr. Dishy himself? He was such a long tall glass of intoxicating water. Then he sort of disappeared. T. H. E., whom I didn't remember was Robert Loggia, sort of disappeared too, into character acting, but by then he was a different person altogether.

And why such nostalgia for such an ordinary town? Why do I remember the living room, the drab carpeting and maroon cherries on the heavy beige drapes? We'd walk to Tecumseh Park in the summer and dredge around in what passed for a pool, and be perfectly happy. Elm trees, cicadas buzzing their long lazy hot and dusty song, happiness.

Nostalgia refers to a sort of pain, an ache, like neuralgia. Not sure what the "nost" is, probably the past. I think I just want to get away from the present, start all over again, be a skinny 12-year-old and maybe do it all differently this time.

But I am almost certain I'd just make different mistakes.

T.H.E. Cat Robert Loggia

I confess I never watched a single episode of T. H. E. Cat. I think I heard my brother refer to it once, so I knew about it. "Oh boy. T. H. E. Cat." His friend Grahame would say, "Choice or what." "Yeah." "T. H. E. Cat." It was so cool, it hurt. When I watch the opening titles, *I* hurt, it's so cool. There was never a time, and will never ever BE a time, like the '60s.