Monday, March 11, 2013

Let's be careful out there

Hill Street Blues

Not to be confused with NYPD Blue.
Hill Street Blues is an American serial police drama that was first aired on NBC in 1981 and ran for 146 episodes on primetime into 1987. Chronicling the lives of the staff of a single police precinct in an unnamed American city, the show received critical acclaim and its production innovations influenced many subsequent dramatic television series produced in North America.

When I was in High School, Dad and I got into watching Hill Street Blues. I can’t remember if other sisters came and went as they traversed the years before and after college, all I know for sure is that it was me and dad and Frank Furillo, and Coffey and Buntz and Lucy Bates with her tightly wound perm.  We had a standing group date on Thursdays at 10.

It was our thing, a thing that became legendary in its inauspicious rituality. Thursday nights, Dad and Jacquie watched Hill Street. We were even known to air pop some corn from time to time, livin’ the dream.

One night at the appointed time, Dad called up the stairs that it was time for Hill Street. I was hanging out in my room, reveling in the glory of the 12” black and white tv that I’d been so thrilled to receive for my last birthday. Morose, withdrawn, misunderstood, underwhelmed. I was a teenager. I told Dad that I’d just be watching up here tonight.

A few minutes later, mom popped in. She was cool, she was calm, she was wise. She just said something to the affect that if her Dad had wanted to watch a show with her, she would have been psyched. Then she left. And about 4 seconds later, I went down to air pop some corn and watch Hill Street with Dad.  

I think I must have been old enough to be emerging from the searing sense of self importance that is currently gripping my kids. But there’s something about that story, that moment when mom came and said what she said after dad had called for me up the stairs. I don’t know if it’s about my telling or if the powerful emotions of that memory come through. I just know that it’s a story I retell from time to time. And I think that’s why I never end up watching the Amazing Race alone.       


Me, You, or Ellie said...

Aw, Jacquie. I miss that guy.

Your and Dad's standing Hillstreet date was the stuff of legend. I never heard this story before; you know it was important if mom entered the rarified air of the Upstairs.

Good luck with the Self Important Ones. At least you know how they feel, having been a morose, withdrawn, misunderstood, underwhelmed teenager yourself. Blech, aren't you glad those years are over? Oh, wait, they aren't, for you.....

Great post. I love starting my day off thinking about Dad. And, of course, humming the Hillstreet Blues theme song.....


mom said...

"Let's be careful out there" still strikes a chord with me- it became a part of the daily bye now... great post Jacq, but I could do without tears first thing in the morning.. I love you. mom

Beth said...

Love it, Jacquie! Love your mom's gentle nudging, your dad's desire to be with you, and your excellent decision to drag yourself out of your withdrawn mode and air pop with Joe ;) A good decision you've obviously never forgoten.

Your kids are great, and self imporatant or not, that amazing race would be a whole bunch less amazing without them.


Me, You, or Ellie said...

remember how we used to sing the theme song? "hill street bluuuuues, hill street bluuuuues, hill street blues I love those hill street bluuuuues" etc infinity with great variations in timbre as the momentum escaleted.


Anonymous said...

First of all, you've reduced me to tears. Second of all, um, I watched it, too. I don't remember many things about my childhood but those Thursday nights were special. LOVE mom's understated wisdom in this story. And your wise concession and compliance. xoxo

Me, You, or Ellie said...

You mean what I have been singing out loud all the live long day today, Jacquie? Yes, I remember.

hill street bluuuuues, hill street bluuuuues, hill street blues I love those hill street bluuuuues. hill street blues I love those hill street bluuuuues.

Noelle said...

Beautiful shared memory! At my house it was Jeopardy! And now my kid(s), when one is home from college, stop what they're doing at 7pm to watch and remember Grampa! There is a Corey connection here too....I remember a story of Mrs. Corey being on Jeopardy back in the early STAS days and I have shared that with my girls when they tell me I should go on the show! Thanks Jacquie!