The Highway Patrol

Since I’ve thrown up my hands about my former nation, which has resulted in my reading the news far less, it’s opened up time for other online activities. One of my new favorites is watching the Highway Patrol television series on YouTube. The series ran from 1955 to 1959 and starred Broderick Crawford who was a drunk.

In real life, not in the TV show.

In that time span, I was age 11 to 15. However, I do not recall watching the show regularly even though it was highly popular at the time. Now it’s really fun to watch due to the classic cars — almost like a visit to Havana — and illogical scripts.

Highway Patrol was filmed in the Los Angeles area, and only four years after the series ended, I was sitting on the seat of an old Indian trike in Venice, California, with my two best buds. I posted this photo before, but it’s been years, so do forgive.

The fellow in black is Adrian Landres, a Jewish guy and native Los Angeleno who was my Air Force roommate. He was given a psychiatric discharge some months after this photo was taken, and he died about 15 years ago in his early 60s, still in California.

The fop behind us is Gilbert, also Jewish, born in France, emigrated to the United State alone at 14 and now living in New Orleans where I introduced him to his wife many years back.

He owns a chemical supply company.


While searching for the top photo, I happened upon another, which was taken in north Florida around 1961. I was madly in love with this girl, Janie Friedman, and about two years later asked her to marry me. She said no.* As her name suggests, she is also Jewish. A high percentage of Jews have passed through my life.

Excuse me now. I’m going to watch another episode of Highway Patrol.


* Janie, a spoiled only child, was incredibly smart and incredibly hot. That first trait likely explains why she didn’t marry me. The second likely explains why I wanted to marry her.

22 thoughts on “The Highway Patrol

    1. Marco: I think I located her about 10 years ago on Facebook. The name was the same, the photo looked right, and she lived in New York which she loved and where I last saw her in 1964. I messaged her on FB, but never heard back. Maybe it was not her, but I think it was. She did not look happy.

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  1. Since I am an animal lover (of anything with a face) I watch TV veterinarian shows, zoo shows, and real crime stories. Good offsets, no?

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    1. Carole: Veterinarian shows? I was not aware that veterinarian shows even exist. Live and learn. Thanks.

      So if an animal has no face, you do not love it. This seems a bit discriminatory.

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  2. Highway Patrol was one of my favorites. Not watching the U.S. news adds many happy years to your life.

    Firestick has many of the old TV series and access to a long list of movies, both old and new, including the currently fashionable special series.

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    1. Ricardo: I’d never heard of Firestick, so I looked it up. Seems you still have to have subscriptions to the services it gives you access to. We use Netflix together and YouTube separately. Covers all our needed bases. Modern technology is a blessing.

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      1. Since others are piping in with their favorites, have you ever binge-watched Breaking Bad or Nurse Jackie? Two of my favorites along with every single episode of The Office of course. ☺️

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        1. Marco: Indeed yes. Well, Breaking Bad, of course. Wonderful show. We watched Nurse Jackie, but it disappeared from Mexican Netflix, apparently before the series ended way back when. Don’t know what happened to that. As for The Office, I tried it, and was not a fan.

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  3. Television is a curse and a horrible habit. My wife watches senile TV. She is up at the crack of dawn to watch “Leave it to Beaver” and “Perry Mason.” She never watches the news.

    I watch Fox news, but I avoid CNN and MSNBC. They lie right through their big buck teeth. Local news is all about cookie recipes and stray dogs. It is a total waste of time. What were all those gunshots about last night, and what about all that smoke and sirens? No, local news would not get near that action. They may get dirty.

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    1. Señor Gill: I beg to differ that TV is a curse. You paint with a very broad brush. Some is, and some is anything but. On the one hand, it conveys information, which is valuable. Sure, some of the information is not worth warm spit, but that’s why the Goddess gave us a brain to differentiate between good and lousy.

      And some TV dramas are high art these days. Didn’t use to be that way, but it is now.

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    1. Señor Gill: A year or two ago, I read a piece in some hoity-toity literary publication, certainly not the sort of place you’d expect to find praise of television, but it surprised me, and I agree with it. The writer said that one can now find literary works on television that compare with High Art of the olden days. That it’s not Leave It to Beaver, etc., anymore. Sure, there’s lots of stupidity on TV still — CNN comes to mind — but there is also some great entertainment. Nowadays, it’s just as often Masterpiece Theater as it is Happy Days.

      You might want to look into it a bit further, señor.

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    1. Señor Cotton: Yes, we were stationed at Castle AFB in the San Joaquin Valley. You know it well. But Adrian’s folks lived in the Los Angeles area, and we were visiting their home. I wrote Venice in the piece, but I’m thinking it might have been Redondo Beach instead. Been a long time. I’m also thinking this may have been after, not before, Adrian was discharged for being the amiable nut that he was. I don’t think he had that Indian till he moved back home. The trike was his.

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  4. I recently discovered a bunch of old “What’s My Line” episodes on YouTube. One of them featured Eleanor Roosevelt, and another Harlan Sanders, of fried chicken fame. It seems like a remarkably civilized affair compared to game shows today. And the questions and answers were all quite intelligent, something all the more remarkable given that the percentage of U.S. adults with a university or higher education is multiples of what it was in the 1950s.

    And while I was with my mother in California, her cable company carried episodes of “The Green Hornet,” which takes place in the 1930s. That was an amazing time capsule of old cars, old phones, old fashions, and other accoutrements of a decidedly less technological life. It was fascinating to watch, simply for the novelty (if that’s the right word, which it almost certainly isn’t) of seeing such items in casual, daily use.

    You and your friends were certainly a handsome bunch in those days. Nice photo, and as a long-time reader, I don’t recall seeing it before.

    Cheers,

    Kim G
    Boston, MA
    Which is a bit of a time capsule in and of itself, as I write from my 103-year-old home.

    P.S. The correct term for someone who lives in Los Angeles is “Angeleno,” which I was for two years during grad school.

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    1. Kim: I too have watched a few of those “What’s My Line” shows. The panel consists of very smart people, and the guests were very interesting, and the whole affair was done with class.

      I’ve never seen “The Green Hornet.” I just did some digging, and see the series lasted only two seasons, 1966-1967, so it paralleled “Highway Patrol” for a spell. The old cars, phone, fashions are on “Highway Patrol” too, but of the 1960s, not the 1930s. It’s fun, all of it.

      Yes, I posted that photo some years back. If you did not catch it, it likely was during those months you abandoned me due to my bad-mouthing Obama too much for your taste back when you were — gasp! — an Obama man. Thank God you’ve come to your senses.

      Thanks for the fix on Angeleno. I changed it in the post. Looks funny though. In Spanish, which it should be, it would be spelled as I first spelled it.

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  5. Thanks for “Blast from the Past.” It brought back memories of Sea Hunt, 77 Sunset Strip, of course, Highway Patrol and others. In 1961 I was 12 years old, so I was shocked when I saw someone who looked like the 16-year-old me over your left shoulder on the top. I can only hope that fellow was able to retain more of his hair than I did.

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