Ozzie & Harriet – The perfect couple

Sandhill Cranes digging for critters just before sunset in Vierra, Florida.

Back in the 80’s, I saw my first pair of sandhill cranes when I came to Florida the first time. I married another Marine (now divorced) and he was from Florida, so this is where we came and how I came to be a transplanted Floridian.

I always name the cranes Ozzie and Harriet. If I was lucky, David and Ricky would be with them. If you are old enough to know who I’m talking about, great! If you are not, I’m referring to the Nelson’s. They had a sitcom called The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet that ran from 1952-1966. The Nelson family was the Kardashian’s of their time, but with less drama. The episodes on YouTube come with the original advertising prior to the beginning of the show which is quite amusing. They were the All-American family who could sell anything and were loaded with talented.

The Nelson family in 1960 (photo courtesy of Wikipedia)
  • Ozzie, born Oswald George Nelson in 1906, was an American band leader, actor, director and producer.
  • Harriet, born Peggy Lou Snyder in 1909, was an American singer and actress. She married Ozzie in 1935, had 2 sons. David – 1936 and Eric (known as Ricky) in 1940.
  • David, born David Oswald Nelson was an American actor, director and producer.
  • Ricky was born Eric Hilliard Nelson but was professionally known as Ricky. He was an American pop star, musician and singer-songwriter.

None of the original family members are living today, but their legacy is to never be forgotten. For whatever reason, the sandhill cranes remind me of who they were everytime I see them.

Ozzie passed away at the age of 69 in 1975 from liver cancer. Harriet passed away from congestive heart failure at the young age of 85 in 1994. David succumbed to complications of colon cancer at the age of 74 in 2011. Ricky’s life ended tragically on December 31, 1985 after his plane crashed on the way to Dallas, Texas with him and his band on board. He was just 45 years old.

Episode #213 – “Stealing Rick’s Girl” – 10/29/1958

I know you thought this post was going to be about birds. Hope I didn’t disappoint.

12 Comments on “Ozzie & Harriet – The perfect couple

  1. I used to love that show, and wouldn’t mind seeing them again.
    That’s fun that you call the cranes Ozzie & Harriet!
    I think also, that Ricky had twin sons who had a band called Nelson. They had at least one song I liked. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good to know. We were in Gainesville at LaChua Trail before Hurricane Matthew and there were 4000 in the park when we were there. It has since flooded with each hurricane and we can no longer hike the prairie.

      Like

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