Jun 6, 2009

Hurry up. It's about to start.

1972 was a very good TV year. Many of my childhood memories (I was 10 in 1972) include the whole family sitting around the TV watching "our shows". The TV was one of those big color consoles, more like a piece of furniture than an appliance. It had one of those orange modern sculpture things on top of it. Mom was very hip don'cha know.

Anyway back to "our shows". What brings them to mind today is the death of David Carradine. Kung Fu was one of our "never miss it" shows. I can still picture the opening of the show with David Carradine walking through the desert, bright orange sun behind him.

Half of the show was set in Caine's youth, learning from Master Po and Master Kan. These were always flashbacks that popped up during the show with some pertinent piece of advice for the present day Caine.

Master Po: after easily defeating the boy in combat] Ha, ha, never assume because a man has no eyes he cannot see. Close your eyes. What do you hear?
Young Caine: I hear the water, I hear the birds.
Master Po: Do you hear your own heartbeat?
Young Caine: No.
Master Po: Do you hear the grasshopper that is at your feet?
Young Caine: [looking down and seeing the insect] Old man, how is it that you hear these things?
Master Po: Young man, how is it that you do not?

Master Kan: Quickly as you can, snatch the pebble from my hand.
[Young Caine tries to do so and fails]
Master Kan: When you can take the pebble from my hand, it will be time for you to leave.

The majority of the show involved Caine traveling the American southwest looking for his brother. All the while keeping one step ahead of the Emporer's men who wanted to capture him. Kung Fu taught me that there was discrimination in the world. I was outraged at the treatment that the Chinese immigrants had to endure. Caine also taught that the peaceful solution was always the best. Alas, it never worked out that way. He had to dole out Kung Fu ass kickings every episode. We loved that show. Never missed it. I was very sad to hear about David Carradine.

Our other shows (all of them started in 1971 or 1972) were:

The Waltons


All in the Family

They just don't make TV like that anymore.


  1. Thanks for the memories.

  2. The Kung-Fu series literally changed my life.
    I was inspired to train in the San-Soo style,and went on to achieve my black belt,and become an instructor...Some of the best years of my life.
    I was very sad to hear about David's death,especially in such an undignified fashion.
    All those shows you mentioned sure made a huge cultural impact in their time.

  3. I never saw Kung-Fu, but I thought David Carradine was most excellent in Kill Bill (the 3rd movie). It is sad--and too bad that the media has to report on how he was found. They should have just left it at "accidental death" and moved on.

    Anyway, on a brighter note, "All in The Family" is one of my favorite shows of all time. :)

  4. I have a new respect for TV Land! LOL

  5. Rae - Anytime dear.

    Sling - Kill Bill is awesome no doubt, but David will always be Kwai Chang Caine to me. I can see how it would have inspired you so.

    Miss HP - It is very sad and even more sad is that it's just the news tidvbit of the day. Have to keep feeding the monster.

    Boy - As well you should.

  6. My best TV was in the late 70's... Dukes of Hazzard, Chips, Dallas

  7. JP - Loved Dallas, Dynasty too. Dukes and Chips, not so much.

  8. I loved David carradine's "Bound for Glory" about Woody Guthrie...its excellent stuff, very John Steinbecky