Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Susie MacNamara, Private Secretary

There was an old Ann Sothern movie on in the cardio room this morning. It made me think of how much I loved her TV series Private Secretary which aired from 1953 until 1957. I've mentioned before how I always played 'office' when I was young - hardly ever 'teacher' or 'nurse'. I wanted to grow up and work in an office. If I couldn't get my sister Betty to play office with me, I played office alone anyway. I wanted to not only be just like Susie MacNamara, Private Secretary, I wanted to be her.

I coveted Susie's IBM typewriter. When I took typing as a junior in high school, I had to learn on a manual typewriter, but there were a few electrics we got to use once we had mastered the basics. I know I felt just like Miss MacNamara typing away, though even with an electric typewriter my top speed was only 61 (net) WPM.

Susie worked in a theatrical agency as the private secretary of agent Peter Sands, played by Don Porter. She was always trying to help him get out of some problem or another, often her fault in the first place. Both characters were single and Susie often tried to assist Mr. Sands in romantic matters. They never stepped over the employer/employee line, but I always thought it was obvious that they should have. Couldn't they see how right they were for each other?
When Private Secretary ended I was so sad. Ann Sothern went on to star in a new weekly TV series The Ann Sothern Show in which she played the assistant manager of an upscale New York hotel. After a couple of seasons the actor playing her boss was replaced by Don Porter. And even though their characters were finally showed as having a romance at the end of season three, I just never cared as much for the series as I did for Private Secretary. The show aired from 1958 to 1961. Don Porter went on to star as Sally Field's father in the 1965 TV series Gidget and Ann Sothern appeared in The Lucy Show with her friend, Lucille Ball.
And I went on after high school graduation working in an office - a total of almost twenty different offices in my 47-year career - but not one time as a Private Secretary.

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