Thursday, June 3, 2010


One of my favorite TV shows in my “single days” and ever since has been Golden Girls. Those sassy ladies knew who they were, they lived their lives to suit themselves, and they made a wonderful combination of personalities and temperaments.

The smart, even-tempered, quick wit of Dorothy, the ditzy, small-town innocence of Rose, the smart-mouthed, blame-it-on-age zingers and behavior of Sophia, and the flamboyant, openly amorous Blanche were a household of contradictions, of hilarious happenings, of passionately-loyal friends.

I think all of us “girls” of a certain age picked one to match ourselves, or perhaps the one we’d like to be. I envied the easy honesty and self-confidence of Blanche, who changed boyfriends as often as her gorgeous wardrobe, the easy intelligence and common sense of Dorothy, the devil-may-care antics of Sophia, and even the childlike naivete' of Rose, thinking that if I could emulate all four, it would make a formidable, likeable package.

We followed them from heartbreak to outlandish stunts, from separations and losses and reunions and romance and revelry to good, solid friendships which filled that big Miami house with an atmosphere so congenial, we ALL wanted to live there. Or at least, next door.

Rose (Betty White, a perennial sweetheart, with a loving nature and what husband Allen Ludden called “the best legs in show business” even while Betty Grable was still alive---is still kicking up those attractive gams on TV and in movies---most recently a fan-driven push to have her host Saturday Night Live, for which she drew raves AND fans young enough to be her great-grandchildren).

There’s just something about those times, perhaps just in my own mind---I lived there with them once a week, sitting in that pretty kitchen, listening and laughing and crying along with their plots and their plans and their lives. There WERE women friends like that, loyal and caring and supportive, and they could get along under one roof. Lovely.

But in just the last two years, we’ve lost Sophia (the surprisingly attractive and young Estelle Getty (July 25, 1923 – July 22, 2008), and Dorothy (the delightful Bea Arthur---May 13, 1922 – April 25, 2009).

And now Blanche, of the sweeping statements and self-absorption and sense of self which overwhelmed decades of hapless, happy men, has gone from us---it feels as if an era has passed and a time is gone. (Rue McClanahan, February 21, 1934 – passed away just this morning).

R.I.P. Dear wonderful, beautiful Blanche. THANK YOU FOR BEING A FRIEND.


Marjorie (Molly) Smith said...

I missed that on the news, I always loved her in the show cause she was the kind of devil may care kind of person I could never be.
She was just a joy to watch, I loved the whole gang, the were the four sides of a square, each different but the whole fit perfect. May she rest in Peace.

Jeanne said...

Hi Rachel, at last I am getting to your post. we arrived home late last night and today is gone already. I am sending you an Email about your questions on the two things you asked about.I chuckled when you said I was the only place you shopped on the net.

Your post is a great history of the show we loved so well. You described each character perfectly. Only Betty white remaining and going strong. I admire her so much. I too loved the characters especially Blanche. I was so sorry to hear of her passing. She really wasn't that old. She was truly beautiful and well loved.

Thank you for your comments on my posts. Bryce had a wonderful graduation and we were so happy to be able to attend the ceremony. I have to tell ya it was 96 degrees on the day of his graduation ceremony. Yikes, I couldn't wait to get back to our mountains.

Tomorrow I posted something I received and you might like reading it...or not!

I will sign off and send the Email I mentioned.
Hugs, Jeanne

Kim Shook said...

I was sad to see hear this on the news yesterday. I loved the show, too. I think that there is something about GIRLFRIENDS that attracts us. When you get to a certain age, you realize just how much the women in your life mean to you. Golden Girls is the favorite show of one of my young co-workers - she's not even 30, but it speaks to her. Designing Women had that same draw. I like to think that, should the need ever arise, there is a house of girlfriends waiting to welcome me.

Kat said...

What a beautifully written tribute to a wonderful show and 4 ladies who made me want to be the 5th.


Keetha said...

I love description of those characters! I loved that show. The scenes in the kitchen, the girls in their bathrobes and coffee mugs, were my favorite. You captured it perfectly.

Southern Lady said...

Rachel, you captured them all so perfectly ... and with love. Blanche was my favorite ... I guess because she was "southern," and Rue McClanahan captured the spirit of a southern belle to a "T". I was very sad to see that she passed away.

It's nice to know that we can always visit with Blanche and Dorothy and Sophia and Rose in reruns of "The Golden Girls," which I will never grow tired of.

We also recently lost another lady I loved and admired ... Dixie Carter. I'll never ever forget the episode of Designing Women in which she sang "How Great Thou Art." It gives me chill bumps to think about it.

"Golden Girls," indeed. May they all rest in peace ...

Maggie McArthur said...

What can I add that others haven't already said? Just this: that is SOME writing, my dear!