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Thursday, November 22, 2012

A Memorable Thanksgiving----39 Years Ago.


This was my favorite Thanksgiving.
I was given a gift that year that I still cherish, to this day.
And it came, from all people, Ma Bell.

I am reminded about it by my recent viewing of the first season of the series "Mad Men"
Admittedly, I have come to this series rather late, but I'm really glad I did.
As most of you who watch it know, it is first rate.

What triggered my Thanksgiving memory of 39 years ago was the prominent display in "Mad Men" of rotary phones.
The only kind there were in those days.
Except maybe for the old crank phone that Jan Clayton, Jeff's mother on the old "Lassie" series, used to call Jenny the phone operator, to get an outside line, in order to help get whoever needed to get out of trouble that Lassie warned her about.

In 1973, I was getting near the end of my second season writing on "The Odd Couple".
Oscar and Felix had rotary phones.
Rotary phones present a particular problem for a writer.
Any time someone makes a phone call, he has to dial the phone.
The time it takes to dial the phone takes up dead air.
Nothing else can happen while that phone is being dialed.
If someone else is in the room when that phone is being dialed, the writers job is somewhat easier.
But only somewhat.
An artificial conversation has to be contrived between the two parties to cover the time that the phone is being dialed.
Then, some time in November of 1973, the prop man for "The Odd Couple" brought out two push button phones.
One for Felix, and one for Oscar.
Our prayers had been answered.
No more dead air.
No more contrived conversations.
You could dial a number on a push button phone in two seconds.
Never mind that there wasn't anything called speed-dialing yet.
And I've been thankful ever since.

Maybe the folks on "Mad Men have learned this lesson.
I've yet to see anyone there dial a phone.


My books ,"Show Runner" and it's sequel,"Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne & Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperback, "Mark Rothman's Essays" is still available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings remaining, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one.
If you'd like one, contact me at
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne & Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.



  1. There is a chance you're qualified for a complimentary $1,000 Amazon Gift Card.

  2. There is a chance you are qualified to receive a Apple iPhone 7.



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About Me

Hi. I am, according to my Wikipedia entry,(which I did not create) a noted television writer, playwright, screenwriter, and occasional actor. You can Google me or go to the IMDB to get my credits, and you can come here to get my opinions on things, which I'll try to express eloquently. Hopefully I'll succeed. You can also e-mail me at Perhaps my biggest claim to fame is being responsible, for about six months in 1975, while Head Writer for the "Happy Days" TV series, for Americans saying to each other "Sit on it."