Phil Margo


When I was a kid

We played mighty hard

Ride ‘em cowboy

In my friend Eddy’s yard


We’d pretend we were the good guys

And we would never fail

To round up all of them bad guys

And lock ‘em allin jail.


And it was Hi Yo Silver Away

Happy, Happy trails to you

Remembering those heroes

That we had yesterday

The ones who rode tall in the saddle

Roy and Gene and Hoppy too

And the masked man who would say

Hi Yo Silver Away.


As a ten year kid I loved watching westerns, especially the ones starring my favorite cowboy heroes like Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, Hopalong Cassidy and Clayton Moore, The Lone Ranger. “Horse operas” or oaters as they were sometimes called were a staple of 50’s television and movies but I was also a big fan of the spine-tingling horror pictures such as Dracula, The Mummy and Frankenstein. There was also the  monster movies like “King Kong” and “The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms.”Nevertheless, my list would be incomplete without mentioning the explosive action of the science fiction genre like “When Worlds Collide,” “Forbidden Planet.”  “This Island Earth.” and “War of the Worlds.” Being a child born during World War II I had an interest in war pictures, “Task Force,” “Battleground” and “Fighter Squadron.” I even enjoyed musicals except for the romance parts. However, that was last century. Since the twenty-first century began I have become more and more partial to what I refer to as ‘Hallmark’ Movies. Basically romantic comedies or Rom Coms. My preferences started to shift when the Supreme Court handed George W. Bush the presidency by the four right wing injustices and a one misguided swing vote. A president appointed rather than elected because all the votes in a crucial state, (Flori-duh) were not counted. So much for the most cherished part of our democracy. I could see the coming storm. I no longer had the stomach for shoot ‘em ups and blood curdling screams and people being blown up or torn apart or broken down into atoms and “beamed” here and there. So now, I almost exclusively watch Hallmark type movies which includes those on UP TV, Netflix, Amazon and a host of others. I will admit that at times I would slip into something less lovey-dovey. For example I recently watched the World War II flick about the battle of “Midway” because I knew how it turned out so there was minimal anxiety.


Hallmark movies always end happily. Girl meets boy. Girl and boy don’t like each other. Girl and boy warm up to each other and almost kiss but smoochus interuptus occurs before the two sets of lips can meet. Then, girl and boy have a misunderstanding and don’t like each other again. Finally, in the last seven to ten minutes they realize that they are in love and kiss. Given the age range of the characters and the journey they went on it seems to me that a kiss would just be the start but it is the end.


The mixture of ingredients are sometimes goofy and require patience but the shows follow a specific pattern so there are no real surprises. This works for me because I suffer enough angst from the dark place our nation and the world is now inhabiting. I appreciate the ensemble of heroines that are cast in multiple films in differing roles. They are all lovely but approachable and not intimidating. They remind me of some of the girls I went out with in high school and and beyond and also, more importantly the girl I married almost 54 years ago. I watch these movies with the knowledge that there will be an expression of love at the end though it will be a semi-passionate kiss. The show schmuck or show bitch (the ex husband or wife or wannabe boyfriend or girlfriend or fiancé or fiancee) learns a lesson rather than dying. Also, as near as I can figure, Larry Levinson produced hundreds of these movies. I am grateful that he did but I can’t imagine how he found the time. Must have been good staffing. So the grimmer the world becomes I go for the glimmer of love and hope. Even though these shows are kind of pink world they do contain mixed couples, gay couples and they even had several about Christmas and Chanukah. After all… Hallmark is a greeting card company and I mean that in the most positive sense ‘cause I buy their cards as well.

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