Memory Lane: ‘Gadabout Gaddis’

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Remember this guy–Gadabout Gaddis, “the Flying Fisherman”? Well, I guess you’d have to be pretty old to remember him: late-night television, in the 1960s.

This was back when my brother and I got a black-and-white TV set for our room. Kowabunga! Wow! We could lie in bed and watch TV! A major step toward adulthood!

The wonderful thing about Gadabout Gaddis was that he was better than a bedtime story. It’s not that his show was boring. “Calming” would be a better word for it. Heck, we loved to go fishing. So here was a show all about fishing. What’s not to like? And if you were still awake after Gadabout’s half an hour of baiting hooks and reeling in trout, you might be lucky enough to catch I Search for Adventure with Col. John D. Craig, which was every bit as soothing. Somehow the “adventures” he showed–I think they might’ve been various tourists’ amateur films–were not exactly hair-raising. None of that stuff about being chased up the side of the Great Pyramid by murderous tomb-robbers. By then I was lucky if I was was still awake enough to turn the TV off. My brother, Mark, three years younger, had already gadded off to Dreamland.

There’s something to be said for TV that sands away the troubles of the day and packs you off to peaceful sleep.

P.S.–A friend of hours insisted Gadabout had divers underwater to put the fish on the hook for him; he never wound up with an empty creel. But then a fishing show hosted by a guy who didn’t catch anything–I don’t know if that would work. It might, though. Certainly a lot of people could identify with that.


9 comments on “Memory Lane: ‘Gadabout Gaddis’

  1. Nope, can’t say I remember him, but I am plenty old enough. Just not my type of show? Even if I did see him, I can’t guarantee I would remember.

  2. We could use more TV like that. Much of our current entertainment seems to be super heroes, special effects and slow motion explosions. I’m not sure that’s really good for us.

    Much of life is routine, mundane, and even, at times, boring. This morning, I drove past what appeared to be a fairly serious car accident. The people involved didn’t have a boring day, but I’ll wager that they would have been happier if it had been more boring. My point is that movies and TV raise expectations beyond anything real life can fulfill. In most cases, mundane is good. If you want adventure, read a Bell Mountain book.

    The nice thing about reading for adventure is that you are in control of what your senses take in. Some years ago, I took my elderly mother to a movie which portrayed a violent storm. She flinched and was quite obviously overwhelmed by the sights and sounds of that movie. In retrospect, I feel a degree of regret over putting her through that. She was born in the early ‘20s, before movies even had soundtracks, and it was a bit much for her. I was born in the mid ‘50s and didn’t think a thing of that scene, but I had never known a time when I wasn’t, at least to some degree, assaulted by loud sounds and bright lights. Looking at the state of the world, I think these forms of entertainment have had a negative effect.

    1. I like that. I’ve had some adventures in my life. Some were good, positive things, but many were not so good. I prefer a fairly uneventful life.

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