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On Sunny Lane: Where Have All the Good Times Gone?

At 9:00 on weeknights you will know where to find Sweetheart and me.

We'll be on the couch watching reruns of The Beverly Hillbillies on TV. That program is so old that the first 10-20 segments were broadcast in black and white. When it started to air in color it took us some getting used to.

They were a motley crew. With Granny's volatile temper; Jethro's zany ideas and projects; and Ellie Mae's penchant for harboring critters; Jed was the cool head in the family--misguided, but cool. But, the common thread weaving through the tapestry of their lives was the love for family and family values.

Other nights, you can find Sweetheart and me at the church jubilee, where the band plays country music, gospel and oldies. Or we'll be at a Bluegrass concert with friends. And the weekly dance is always a good time, where we'll hear more country and oldies. We have lots of fun listening to music that promotes family, Christian and patriotic values.

Sadly, however, attendance is dropping off at all of those places. There are reasons for that. We have talked with our friends about it. Some people go to warmer climates for the winter Others don't feel safe driving in the dark in the evenings.

And, the fact is everyone is getting older. Some have difficulty with mobility. Some have ailments that keep them homebound. Some people are full time caregivers for disabled spouses and partners.

I have talked with people who are responsible for the care of their loved one 24/7. They say, with tears in their eyes, how much they love their partner and, in the same breath, how exhausted they are with the constant care. They say they don't know how much longer they can go on. Yet mention of putting the person in a nursing home brings protests and more tears.

And, let's face it. Some people have died,

These entertainment opportunities are hallmarks of America's culture and attendance is dwindling.

What will happen if people stop going to these places and patronizing these performers? Will we lose a unique piece of Americana? Will they be thrown onto the ash heap of history?

What will take their place? Will a new culture take place in America? What would it be like? Are we already evolving into new forms of entertainment that define us as Americans.

What will happen depends on many things. One of them is what they learn about faith, family and freedom. In the words of the folk singing group Crosby, Stills and Nash, “Teach your children well.”


Dorothy is the author of two books—“Miles and Miracles” and “Getting It All Together “. You can purchase a book or make a comment by emailing her at

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