Monday, February 21, 2011

The Goodite Movement

As a 12 year old living on a 7 acre farm in central Ohio, I would rush home from school after my standing 3:00 PM appointment for a butt kicking at the flag pole by any number of corn-fed brutes, rush through the farm chores, which consisted of just making sure nothing was dead, and then lock myself in my room for the next hour and a half until Mother and Father got home. I made myself our approved after-school snack of peanut butter and jelly mixed up in a coffee cup and settled down to watching three BBC television shows that started at 4:00 PM on the Ohio PBS station. PBS was, incidentally, the only station I could get on my little black and white hand-me-down television. No cable TV at that time and even if there were cable available Mom and Dad were going through their television is evil phase and would not have gotten it anyway.

At 4:30 I would watch my daily rerun of the Benny Hill Show. Mom would have killed me if she had known that! At 5:00 Monty Python's Flying Circus opened up a whole new world of inanity and sarcasm. But 4:00 o'clock was the half hour I looked forward to most. The Good Life aired as reruns every afternoon and every afternoon I was there slurping my PB&J in a cup watching Tom and Barbara live their wacky life in a London Suburb. There were only 22 or so episodes in the entire series but I didn't care. I loved every show whether I had seen it once or a hundred times.

Tom and Barbara Good decide to leave the rat race. Tom had just turned 40, quit his job in downtown London, and they both decided to take a shot at self-sufficiency. Their neighbors, Jerry and Margot Ledbetter, did not understand. Especially when the Goods told them that they were not moving to a farm, but that they were going to plow up their front and back yard and start living The Good Life right there next door to them in Surbiton.

Every year, Patt and I watch the entire series over the course of February to help us get motivated for the year to come on our own homestead. We are coming to the end of the boxed set now and are ready to take the farm by storm...then, when we finally finish every episode, we'll put the DVD cases back on the shelf. I already can't wait till I can watch them again. The You Tube video I've posted is an 8 minute clip of the first show of the 1st season. (I am not sure how this is legally posted on You Tube as the DVDs are still sold on the market so I may have to pull it down eventually).

A couple of years ago Patt did some research concerning how the show came about and surprisingly it is has become somewhat of a movement as there are many who have done the same as the fictional characters on the show- us included. The producers of the show got their ideas from John Seymour who fathered the self-sufficiency and integrated small-holdings movement in Britain.

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