Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Peyton Place

The book by Grace Metalious first appeared in 1956.  It is tells the tale of the dark side, below the surface, life of a small New England town.  The movie starring Lana Turner came out the next year. I was 6.  I didn't read the book until I was in high school, sneaking it into study hall.

Peyton Place, the TV show, was on from 1964-1969 and starred Dorothy Malone, Ryan O' Neal and Mia Farrow .  It was television's first night time soap and I was hooked.  1964 was also the year I was a Freshman in high school.   This was a "have to watch" program for my girl friends and I.  I was lucky that my mother liked it too.  It was considered pretty daring at the time.

Of course, my favorite character was not the virginal Allison McKenzie (Mia Farrow).  Oh, no.   I was in awe of Betty Anderson's (Barbara Parkins) "bad girl" persona.  She was much more daring than I was so I could only imagine doing the things she did.  Actually, I couldn't imagine them.  There were certain things, many things really, that "nice girls" didn't do because you didn't want to "ruin your reputation", so said my southern mother.  Seriously.   I mean, we were taking Home Ec classes and learning how to sew aprons.  

I thought Ryan O'Neal was dreamy but he was he was a "bad boy" because he "did it" with Betty Anderson.  Betty's reputation was really shot.  I probably would not have dated him because of the guilt by association thing.

 I was just starting to date as a Freshman.  Mostly, I dated Senior football players.  I really don't know how that started but, again, I had to follow the unwritten rules for nice girls.  I remember one instance when a couple of my guy friends saw me walking up town and stopped the car to talk.  I could see the driver was holding a beer between his legs on the seat. He asked me out on a date and I said no....because of the beer.  Later I said yes, because he wasn't holding a beer at the time.   Why that made sense I do not know.  Probably because it is easy to ignore certain things if the proof is not staring you in the face.  Nice girls did not drink beer or date those that did.....accept we knew they did, we just refused to acknowledge it.

I am certainly not passing judgement on anyone that chose to do things differently.  I fully admit I was raised with guilt.  My mother was an expert at that.  Plus, it was the times.  It was the end of an era before birth control and the whole sexual movement began.  It wasn't long before I was singing "If You Can't be With The One you Love, Love the One You're With" right along with everyone else.  I sang it but I didn't live it. As I tell my daughters,  I was a hippy for the fashion style, not the life style. 

Back to Peyton Place though - On one occasion, there was some reason we girls could not watch Peyton Place, so my mother tape recorded it for us to listen to later.   I took that tape to school, where I was a librarian for 3rd hour... (which mean for one class period I worked in the Library)  and the Head Librarian let us listen to it together.   I was a librarian for my Freshman year and a small part of my Sophomore year.   Small part because I got kicked out of the library for talking to boys......  and not just kicked out for that hour... I was the only librarian that I know of, that ever got kicked out of her job!   I had to go to study hall the rest of the year.  (It was so worth it!)  So, when my girls had "talks too much" written on their report cards, I could really understand that. It's genetic.

 There was Dark Shadows  in the afternoon but Peyton Place had the night and my imagination.


Sweet Tea said...

"Peyton Place" was so scandalous, back in the day. When I was in Jr. High School some of the girls would sneak their Mom's paperback book of Peyton Place to school and we would all read "the good parts" together. LOL

Far Side of Fifty said...

Love your glasses..oh they were fashionable! I enjoyed that show..and yes it was scandelous for the times.
Dating senior Football players?? Now in our High School you would have been seen as easy or everyone would be real jealous cause you must be the prettiest gal in school.. oh what twisted thoughts we were brought up with:(

Jake said...

Once again we have things in common!! I, too watched Peyton Place and had a crush on Norman (so strange that name came so easily to me).
I also had the same glasses!

Just Stuff From a Boomer said...

Far Side - that is so funny because I was certainly not the prettiest girl in school. Far from it. Plus I was raised with too much guilt to be easy and that would have ruined my "reputation". Good no, can't have that. But I see you had the same values... who cares about the truth. It was how it looked that mattered. lol

Anonymous said...

oh my gosh what truths are being said today, I was to sacred to eb the bad girl too,ha ha, great post,
I'm pleased to meet you I followed you right back, just because I'm that kinda girl, lol,

Anonymous said...

I remember my 20 something uncle underlining in red ink certain passages in the book, Peyton Place. Lol. Now I know why. I never read the book or watched it on television. Just never appealed to me.

Kathy said...

You always come up with the most interesting things to write about!

I'd forgotten about Peyton Place! I remember watching it sometimes, but I don't remember much else about it. It was a little before "my time".

OMG, you got kicked out of your library job for talking to boys?! LOL Those were the days, weren't they?

Kay said...

You must have been the fun kid to know in high school. LOL

I remember both shows. I didn't get too much into Peyton Place, but I read the book with raised eyebrows. I loved Dark Shadows.

Intense Guy said...

I was raised with a lot of the "nice guys don't". It was hard for me to actually ask a girl out.

Still is...

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