Archive for the ‘Bonanza’ Category

1960 Del Monte Foods original vintage advertisement. With endorsement from Bonanza’s Lorne Greene, Michael Landon, Laramie’s John Smith and Checkmate’s Doug McGlure. Image courtesy of 

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Amish Stories honors : Bonanza

My thoughts on Bonanza:   Even when as a small child i knew TV shows like Bonanza and the characters that were played on them were not real people, yet every week i too was swept-up with the happenings of the  Cartwright family just like the  millions  of you guys watching On your TV sets in the 1960s or 1970s. What set Bonanza apart from a lot of the television shows of its day was the fact that  “we really liked these guys” and cared about  what was happening to them each week, i know i did. Bonanza was one of the first shows to be broadcast in “living color” as they said in the 1960s, yet i started and finished watching this TV show with a black and white zenith TV set. In fact my family didn’t own a color TV until late 1977 mostly because our b/w set was working perfectly, and also because we didn’t have the money to switch to a color set. I remember watching Bonanza and actually looked forward to the next week when my hero’s would be back for another week  getting through another scrape and coming out somehow on top, and doing it together as a family. And i know your not supposed to say something like this but i really have to, those times really were  the good old days when families actually ate dinner with each other regardless if you were poor or not. Kids went outside to play and didn’t isolate themselves with things like computers and games, and you knew your neighbor . Respect was earned and not expected, and if you made a mistake you most likely owned up to it without blaming a Disease that no one can find or even pronounce! And so Amish Stories honors Bonanza as a wonderful TV show that i still love today.  And they really and truly  were the good old days…………. Richard 

The Cartwright’s

allowed all of us to step into their lives each week

Dont let that smile fool you, you knew little Joe was up to something!
Ben Cartwright was  a fair and honest man who was a great businessman, but cared about his family much more than money.
Ben and the boys on a high and celebrating the moment
And sharing the low moments. You just know little Joe was responsible for this one. Dragging poor Hoss with him!
And you knew the Cartwright’s were in trouble  if  Ben and Adam were in Jail too !
Adam was the  eldest son, he was bright and the more level headed of the 3 sons
In what looks to be a rare moment of Hoss turning the tables on little Joe, as dad proudly looks on

Little Joe and Hoss share a quiet moment together, but you knew little Joe was thinking of a hair brain scam, and that Hoss would somehow go along with it
 Bonaza facts:Initially, the series aired on Saturday evenings opposite Perry Mason . The Saturday night ratings were dismal and Bonanza was soon targeted for cancellation. It was kept on the air as it was one of the first series to be filmed and broadcast in color, including scenes of picturesque Lake Tahoe Nevada. NBC’s corporate parent RCA , used the show to spur sales of RCA-manufactured color television sets (RCA was also the primary sponsor of the series during its first two seasons). Given one last chance, it was moved to Sundays at 9:00 p.m. Eastern, for new sponsor Chevrolet (replacing The Dinah Shore Chevy Show). The new time slot caused the series to soar, and it eventually reached number one by 1964, an honor it would keep until 1967. By 1970, it had become the first series ever to wind up in the Top Five for nine consecutive seasons (a record that would stand for decades) and thus established itself as the single biggest hit television series of the 1960s. Bonanza ran on NBC from September 12,1959 to January 16, 1973. It ranks as the longest running western series (behind Gunsmoke).

Ben and the boys might have had their disagreements and fights, but at the end of the day they were a loving family.  a family we were all a part of by only just  turning the TV on every week, and maybe just for that hour we were all  Cartwright’s.

Ben and the boys selling cars for Chevrolet in 1964. A must see video.

1/2 cup shortening

3 medium onions, chopped

2 bell peppers, chopped

Bonanza Images provided from

2 stalks celery, chopped

1 tablespoon pickled jalapeno

8 pounds beef chuck (coarse)

2 (15 ounce) cans stewed tomatoes

1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce

1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste

8 tablespoons ground hot chili

4 tablespoons ground mild chili

2 teaspoons cumin

3 bay leaves

1 tablespoon liquid pepper

Garlic and onion salt to taste


Heat the shortening in a large heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add the onions, peppers, celery and jalapenos. Cook, stirring until onions are translucent.

Add the meat to the pot. Cook, stirring occasionally, until meat is evenly browned. Stir in the remaining ingredients with enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 3 hours. Stir often. Taste and adjust seasonings.

 Recipe provided from Recipe goldmine. Bonanza facts provided from Wikipedia. The Bonanza TV images used were supplied by  A film review web site and a place to buy classic dvd’s and tapes. And a special thank you to film reviewer Paul Mavis from dvd talk for providing the Bonanza images for this post.          Richard from Amish Stories


 Comic books from the 1960’s. Did you have any of these?
Bonanza Comic books from 1964 and 1965 provided by

1960s Bonanza lunch boxes. Images provided by
Create your own Bonanza art from 1965

Lunch box set from 1965. Image provided by

  Bonanza 1959-1973

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