A boomer revisits lessons of 50 years ago

As baby boomers, we’re plenty old enough for a little nostalgia, aren’t we? Erin O’Brien surely thinks so. That’s why, from her adopted home in Warwick, Rhode Island, Erin has penned this essay for BoomerCafé called “A little peace, love, and Bobby Sherman.”

The September I entered second grade, ABC Television rolled out a new series for the 1968 season. With a catchy theme song and set in Seattle in the 1860s, “Here Come the Brides” debuted. I was too young to know about the likely real-life basis of the show, the Mercer Girls, a group of about 100 eligible women imported from Massachusetts, willing to relocate to the Pacific Northwest.

A boatload of Mercer Girls.

I recently rediscovered these episodes, and watched as the first season addressed the timely issues of racism, the rights of women, non-violent protests, and religious tolerance. These ideas had soared over my seven-year-old head. My thoughts had been only of a western town with wooden sidewalks, a local authority named Aaron Stempel, prim and pretty Candy Pruitt in calico dresses, a crusty old sea captain named Clancey who frequented the buxom Lottie’s saloon, and the youngest of the three Bolt brothers, Jeremy, portrayed by Bobby Sherman. Jeremy suffered from a stuttering condition, which I merely disregarded in favor of his earnest appeals to his older siblings, Jason and Joshua, and his long, side-swept hair.

A girl at my school carried a Bobby Sherman lunchbox, resplendent with pink hearts just like a record album. When this heartthrob actor wasn’t working for the family logging business in 1860s Seattle, he was making records for air play on 1960s AM radio. His bubblegum pop tunes like “Little Woman” buoyed my spirits each week until Wednesday night would come, when I’d see him again, in Seattle.

Many years later, a woman told me her Brownie troop met across the street from Bobby Sherman’s house. After the troop meeting, the Brownies would peer through the window hoping for a glimpse of him. My source also informed me he had become an emergency medical technician (the sight of him may have caused many a case of arrhythmia) and a Los Angeles police officer (if loving you is a crime, arrest me.)

Erin O’Brien

My source was correct. Today the internet offers a host of Bobby Sherman photos, articles, and performances. Even in a vintage black-and-white variety show, with his greased pompadour, Bobby had “It.” Upon further reading, I confirmed he was indeed a member of the LAPD and trained his fellow officers in CPR.

If these weren’t already enough reasons to love Bobby Sherman, I learned that he and his lovely wife, Brigitte Poublon (a.k.a. Mrs. Sherman, whom many girls dreamed of one day becoming) created a children’s foundation in Ghana which provides academics, a library, a vegetable garden, music lessons, and soon, a new dormitory for those who are “survivors of forced child labor, trafficking, or gender-based discrimination in the educational space.”

Although Bobby was born in 1943, three years too early to be a Baby Boomer, maybe we could make an exception, and claim him as one of our own.

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7 Comments

  1. I enjoyed reading this! I was 13 when ‘Here Come The Brides’ debuted on television. My sisters and I swooned over Bobby Sherman – all five of us!

    1. My aunt asked if I had a favorite, confiding that she liked the blonde.
      I had no idea I had competition with you and your sisters!

  2. I used to watch “Here Come the Brides” – and Bobby Sherman. I didn’t know the premise was based on real life events. I am absolutely thrilled that this young heartthrob didn’t sell out on the reality tv circuit and is actually performing good works in the world.

  3. Wow, I loved reading this accounting of your crush on Bobby Sherman. I do remember “Here Come the Brides” and I think I watched a couple of times, but I was head over heels for The Beatles at that time.

    1. This begs the question, who was your favorite Beatle?

      Speaking of hairdos, it appears by my photo that I’ve emulated Bobby Sherman’s!

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