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  • Lance Mannion
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« Young politicians on the make are not cute | Main | Nude with Sitcom: A Study in Mores, also known to art historians as Laura Petrie naked »


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Lance: Laura's maiden name was "Meehan," not Mion. (Actually, it was originally "Meeker," then changed because MTM divorced her real-life husband during the show - his name was Meeker too!)

El Jefe

I think the old boy would appreciate this appreciation. And I think the comparison with Reiner's particularly useful -- also with Charles Nelson Reilly, whose biopic I devoured on YouTube after you mentioned it earlier. Van Dyke himself sounds, as several of my parents' oldest friends (anywhere betweeen five and fifteen years younger than DvD), like the living version of an America we never quite had on the grand scale but, for a brief while, almost did, much more than any of the glossiness of Camelot and all that showbusiness. A true grownup, which I came to see early after college as quite different from an "adult" and more recently as one of the best compliments to give (misquoting "Birdie") a favorite human.

Just had an interesting thought about staging a conclave of those Midwesterners: Van Dyke from Danville, MTM the Minnesotan, and Obama the contrary Hawaiian who went to Illinois instead of the other way round. Flies and walls come to mind.

Also, as someone with an MTM in my own life (more like fifteen years than fifty) I can speak to what a wonderfully strange and constantly revealing joy that friendship is.

OT: I'm no tweeter but I do read your margins -- I wouldn't call the Crimea article a *must* click, but it's definitely a want-to click ... :)

El Jefe

Still OT: Plus, wrt the Crimea link, Orlando Figes rocks. If you don't mind a dose of self-inflicted depression with your high quality of considered thought and rolling prose, his "A People's Tragedy" is the best thing around on the Russion Revolution(s).

Back on topic, how did it feel up in Illium putting up with all these Sixties shows (DvD, Bewitched, and didn't Please Don't Eat the Daisies do it too?) singing siren songs of New Rochelle?

Lance Mannion

B, You know, I've thought it was Mion not Meehan ever since I was a kid. My mother's cousins are Mions. But thanks for the catch. I fixed it.

El Jefe, the Petries' house looked a lot like the houses in Illium. My parents even had a set of very similar wall hangings as the set on the wall at the entrance to the hallway leading to Ritchie's room. It was Rob's working in NYC that that provided the siren call.

El Jefe


Thanks for the excerpt/update. I just requested it on loan from the Willamette Valley's regional library system (our nice local branch doesn't have a copy yet.) I'm cheered but not surprised by the resemblance -- it was in Jacksonville, FL, but my paternal grandparents' formal living room was a time capsule of the same, wall hangings and all, from my father's high school graduation (1960) until they sold the place after my grandfather's death three years ago. I'm sure it was one of the reasons the show was always so comfortable and familiar to me watching it in the late Seventies and Eighties.

It was Rob's working in NYC that provided the siren call.
Fair point. And certainly all the cool kids in screenwriting and advertising (who didn't yet live in shows set in LA even if they were filmed there, at least not in any numbers outside "Dragnet" until not long after DvD left the air) took the morning train. But out of the whole Tri-State, New Rochelle does seem to have been the separate sphere of choice.


I was so disappointed that Rob and Laura had moved to the city in the reunion movie. But then, only one reunion movie has ever worked -- and that wasn't it.


I've liked Dick Van Dyke since I watched the show when I was a kid and had no idea that he was so active politically.

Ken Houghton

Missing from the pictures--well, this is a family blog--the shot that Van Dyke and Moore did for Vanity Fair, what, ten years ago? Leather, riding crop.

Even there, DvD was a bottom.

(And, what, no mention of Hope Lange and the later DvD Show?)

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