We need more dads like Ben Cartwright

By Dwight Collins | Feb 26, 2015

Like everyone else I am going stir-crazy with the inability to get out and do anything because of the amount of snow and the cold. I normally love the winter and snow does not bother me, but as some may know I am not very tall and even a couple of feet of snow makes it more difficult to move around in it.

One of the things I have done to pass the time is watch movies. I have been lucky in the sense that every major snowstorm we have had this winter, I have been able to get snowed in with my kids and new extended family.

One of the DVD's purchased was a box set — 32 episodes of "Bonanza." After watching the first few I thought to myself, we need more people like the Cartwrights. The heck with Chuck Norris, every dad should be like Ben Cartwright.

What kid wouldn't want a father that stood for the truth and used violence only as a last resort to protect the innocent? Big, bold, with a booming voice he commands respect and attracts critics, but never wavers from what he believes in.

He was a single father to boot. Yes, he had Hop Sing, but lets face it, not really lady like. Every episode there was a tone of social conscience that addressed issues of the day, and showed that some issues like abuse, intolerance, racism and greed were just as much an issue back then as it is today.

Keep your head high and be the bigger, better person. Stay proud of who you are and where you came from are some traits that one particular dad taught his children. Too bad some in real life didn't — my dad did.

In one episode, Ben and Adam were going to be hung because they were framed for a murder. Big Haus and Little Joe wanted to get in a gunfight, but no — Ben had faith truth would win out over injustice and forbid them from doing it. What a great message to learn from a T.V. show. Oh ya, by the way, it was the one they introduced Rob Morrow as Lassiter [a spin off character], another bonus.

I have had many people in my life that have tried to teach me those very lessons, but for some reason just because I saw it on the tube, it stuck. Whether it was based in reality or fiction, it stuck.

I know and remember what a conjunction is because of Saturday morning cartoons — you are singing "Conjunction Junction" right now aren't you?

I make light of a more serious situation. That is, I am seeing a lack of positive role models for at-risk youth in the area and I reflect back on the things that I was thinking when I was their age. What was my home life like (better than some, more than most), what were the social situations, there was no social media, so conversations via phone or written letter were the norm.

Do we just need to get back to a simpler time, were men said “yes sir and ma'am” and a gentleman tipped his hat to a lady? As I ask this question, I also ask, WWBCD? Yup, What would Ben Cartwright do?

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