Saturday, August 18, 2012

Jan Smithers went to my high school

Hello from Seattle, where I'm calling Mariners games this weekend.  And a reminder -- on Monday I'm having a book signing at the Mariners' Team Store at Safeco Field from 5:00-7:000 PM (before the game with the Indians).  Hope you'll stop by if you're anywhere in the Pacific Northwest.  


In the meantime, here's another snippet from the book, THE ME GENERATION... BY ME (GROWING UP IN THE '60s).  It's available in ebook, audiobook, and paperback versions.  Just go to the website, which is chock-full of photos, videos, and other neat stuff.   But for now, let's go back to 1966...
Our high school made national news!

The March 21st edition of Newsweek magazine did their big cover story on “The Teenagers – a Newsweek survey of what they’re really like” and a good portion of it focused on Taft High. The cover featured a pretty coed sitting on the back of a motorcycle glancing over her shoulder at the camera. That girl was Taft senior, Jan Smithers. Jan, of course, would go to play Bailey on WKRP IN CINCINNATI.

The survey determined that there was in fact this so-called “Generation Gap” (who knew???). And it’s widened because the older generation is resistant to listening to and understanding us. Whatever. Taft was mentioned! And our very own Jan was selected as the cover girl!

For five minutes she was the absolute star of the school, eclipsing even the football star, and the girl who played a burn victim on BEN CASEY.

The cover itself was very telling. Yes, we were rebellious, yes we rode motorcycles but they were cute little motorcycles with drivers who wore jean jackets and California golden girls on the back who wore sweaters and white slacks. Hardly Brando in THE WILD ONE.

15 comments:

Michael said...

Did Jan ever audition for any of the shows you worked on? If so, did she remember you?

Mike said...

Perhaps the Newsweek headline should be: Whatever Happened To Juvenile Delinquency?
In the Fifties, Juvenile Delinquency was big business. Televised Senate Hearings debated it, along with Communist Infiltration & Organised Crime. The underlying assumption was that a generation of children was raised, during the War and immediately after, without a parental figure.

Come the Sixties, like Rock & Roll, it was nowhere to be found. White suburbia reverted to schmaltz, a soft target for the British Invasion. You yourself donned an Assistant Manager's badge and showed the CounterCulture to the door. When youth finally ran wild in the streets, it was race rioting.

Brian Smith said...

I am SO glad you posted this, because it explained something that had been bugging me for a few months: Why did Newsweek choose to illustrate this year's story about America's best high schools with a full-page shot of a teen girl in a crop-top and ultra-tight jeans (other than the obvious reason)? Turns out, it was an homage.

I won't post the link here, but if you search for keywords newsweek tumblr "teen's today" (yes, unnecessary apostrophe and all), you'll see what I'm talking about.

Jim said...

Heard of WKRP. Never seen it.

Mike Barer said...

Jan Smithers played a great "Marianne" to Loni Anderson's "Ginger".

Greg Ehrbar said...

"Ginger...I dee-spiise you..."

Scott said...

Sorry you're stuck watching the Twins during your broadcasts. Practice saying "Mauer grounds into a double play to end the inning."

Umbriago said...

You should look up WKRP in Cincinnati, it was a pretty funny show. It still had one of the funniest lines I ever heard in a sitcom, though it was mostly how Richard Sanders played it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rM_GfqfD5Zc

Roger Owen Green said...

Loved WKRP. Loved Bailey way more than Jennifer.

Breadbaker said...

You went to high school with Jan Smithers? The size crush I had on her I don't want to reveal here, but it was one helluva crush.

Hope to see you Monday, with my kid in tow. Although we're not going to the game because we have tickets for the all King's Court night on Tuesday.

Five Nickels said...

If Jan will be there Monday, I'll fly in for the event!

chuckcd said...

"As God as my witness, I thought turkeys could fly."
So, Jan Smithers was always hot!

Anonymous said...

One of the funniest episodes of a comedy series EVER!

Pam aka sisterzip7

Michael Stoffel said...

Jan Smithers, Susan Dey and Karen Valentine.
I would've married any of them in a sec.

Anonymous said...

Hi

I read this post 2 times. It is very useful.

Pls try to keep posting.

Let me show other source that may be good for community.

Source: Are you a team player? Interview question answer

Best regards
Jonathan.