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Neighbors: Isn't it weird that TV shows never do this?

Bob Lind, Neighbors columnist.

Today we celebrate Columbus discovering America. And today, Neighbors celebrates discovering an email about the old days of radio and TV.

It comes from Ronnie Krueger, McClusky, N.D.

Ronnie had seen a Neighbors item about old TV sitcoms often depicting men sitting around the house wearing suits and ties, which a reader said was something rarely actually done.

Ronnie says he agrees with the person who sent in that comment. "I think everybody took off their suits after getting home in real life," he writes.

Ronnie then says he has noticed some other things about TV and radio over the years.

"For many years on the old radio and TV shows, up to and including the present," he says, "that except for maybe a few exceptions, the man of the house is always the dummy, lame brain, etc. of the family, at least if the main characters are husband and wife.

"The wife is always smarter, wiser, more above it all, etc., than the dummy husband.

"I've never seen the wife made fun of. Never (which is fine with me, of course). That would include old radio shows like 'The Phil Harris-Alice Faye Show,' 'Fibber McGee' and 'Molly and The Life of Riley' back in the '40s and '50s.

"Same thing with newspaper cartoons nowadays such as Pickles and Hagar. The husbands are dummies.

"Nowadays on radio and TV commercials, I have never heard or seen a man do an ad selling medicine for constipation or for a male enhancement drug. It's always a woman.

"There are business reasons for this, of course," Ronnie concludes.

The Stracks

Now here's a letter that refers to a column from last summer concerning the Strack family, which operated bowling centers in Fargo-Moorhead.

It comes from Arthur Knudtson, Billings, Mont.

Arthur, who is 86, says he and his brother Harry, who was three years older than him, used to work for the Stracks at their Moorhead Sports Center.

"Harry started working there when he was in fourth grade and I started there when I was in the fourth or fifth grade; that was in 1939 or 1940, I think," Arthur says. "We set pins and worked in the pool hall downstairs through our high school years. We set pins after school and on weekends during the school year, and it was a big thing for us to actually earn money, as times were different then.

"Howard Strack was like a dad to us, as our dad died in 1935. I was pretty loose then, and Howard or Bob Strack would bring me back down when I needed it.

"We also helped out at the counters and down in the pool hall. This was after we got into high school.

"We bowled a lot, also, and Harry got up to a 208 average and I made 203.

"Then the war came and we both were in the Minnesota National Guard, so that was the end of our Sports Center careers until we got out.

"Looking back on it, it was a good experience for me as I learned a lot, both good and bad. But overall, it was good.

"Harry moved to California and I moved to Montana for jobs, but we never forgot the Stracks. I would stop in to see them when I came back to visit my family.

"I really enjoyed reading about the Strack family (in the earlier column), as both Harry and I helped put the Fargo Sports Center on the map, where I helped put up and cover the pool tables, as well cover the tables over at the Moorhead Sports Center."

Arthur asks Neighbors to greet the Strack family for him.

So greetings, Stracks, from one of your former employees.

If you have an item of interest for this column, mail it to Neighbors, The Forum, Box 2020, Fargo, ND 58107, fax it to 701-241-5487 or email