Movies and television shows that have sad themes, especially those that are animal-related, always bring the tears to my eyes. They have since I was a young girl, and they continue to do so today.
Last night I was continuing to watch the fourth and final season of the classic television series, Route 66. While this season was somewhat weaker than the previous three seasons, mostly because of the awful two-part final episode where Tod (Martin Milner) gets married in a lame spy spoof, there still were some very good episodes. The one I watched last night had to do with poverty and domestic issues. The father of the household, played by Albert Salmi, never seemed to hold down a job because he thought he was better than the jobs he did, but he couldn't or wouldn't do anything to apply himself to make his life better for himself and his family. The family lived in a mobile home, which in those days really WAS a mobile home. The manufactured homes had wheels on them, so conceivably you could just have large trucks move them to another location (I am not talking about travel trailers or fifth wheels that you see today where one or two people might live in them). However, the home was crowded because there was the married couple and three kids, including an infant. The couple had an argument over the baby crying, so the older kids got the brilliant idea they were going to give their baby brother away so he would have a better life than what they had. However, they weren't very successful at this and had their brother stay at this empty house located in the Niagara Falls area.
Well, as you can expect, there was panic with the parents about what happened to their baby. The brother and sister continued to care for the baby over a period of a few days. Of course, Linc (Glenn Corbett) had to stick his nose into the situation, and he decided to follow the kids one morning to the house. He then tipped off the dad and brought him to the house, and what they overheard about made my eyes cry out. It was stinking sad. Of course it all ended well, and I probably shouldn't give the ending away, but I did, but I was bawling by the end of the episode.
Route 66 was a great series, one of the best ever.
Sadly, Albert Salmi didn't fare so well. His first wife was child actress Peggy Ann Garner, with whom he had a daughter, but the two split up. At around the time he made this episode, he married his second wife, Roberta Pollock Taper. He had two more daughters with her.
However, by 1990 he and his family had relocated to Washington state. He and his wife separated. Salmi's life apparently went into a tailspin, as he suffered from depression. Tragically he and his estranged wife were found dead on April 22, 1990, in a murder-suicide. He was 62, Roberta was 55.