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Running Around: Gilligan! Castaways silly, sure, but they had the right idea

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By Joanne Barron
Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

My husband and I recently have gone back to the good old days — at least for an hour or so a few days a week.

We found a TV station that plays reruns of the 1964-1967 hit “Gilligan's Island,” and we are having a ball reliving a simpler time in our lives. As silly as the show was, it reflects the differences in what was and what is in our own lives and how the changing times have altered television shows and vice versa.

It shows how that generation was affected by the ethics, morality, kindness and consideration shown in those types of shows compared with the kind of behavior learned from the antics of the young people on today's shows, such as “Jersey Shore.”

The jokes in the show were clean but really funny, and the people actually cared about one another's problems. That happens a lot less often today in real life — and on TV shows.

As some programs are today, “Gilligan's Island,” wasn't all about sex — although Tina Louise, now 79, who played Ginger Grant, was the sex symbol on the show.

The island castaways weren't constantly changing partners and fighting with one another — except for when the Skipper, the late Alan Hale Jr., would hit Gilligan, the late Bob Denver, on the head with his hat.

And, it wasn't all about “reality.”

My husband and I laugh when we try to imagine how all seven castaways and all their belongings possibly could have fit onto the small S.S. Minnow — such as the huge trunk of money owned by Thurston Howell III, played by the late Jim Backus; all the diamonds and huge hats owned by Mrs. Howell, also known as Lovey, played by the late Natalie Schafer; and all the dresses owned by Ginger and Mary Ann Summers, played by Dawn Wells, now 75.

We marvel at how the professor could figure out how to make whatever was needed, but he couldn't seem to find a way to patch up the boat. And where did the girls get the flour to make pies and bread?

Even though much of the show was far from being realistic, that was part of the fun. I remember asking my dad where they got a certain item, and his comeback always was, “They had it on the boat.”

Joanne Barron is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-324-1406 or

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