BONANZA

 

 

 

 

 

 

(left to right: Adam, Little Joe, Ben, and Hoss)

 

Text and photo courtesy of Sierra

 

Bonanza was a western set in the mid-1800s: the story of a widowed father of three sons. 

Ben Cartwright, owner of the Ponderosa, the largest ranch in Nevada Territory.  He led a very interesting and action-packed life, because before "settling down" to build the Ponderosa: he was a sea captain, an officer in the military, worked in a foundry, and those are just the ones I can remember. He had three sons, from three different wives.  His wives all died tragically---that is a rule on Bonanza. 

BONANZA RULE # 1: ALL FEMALE ROMANTIC INTERESTS MUST DIE TRAGICALLY. 

Adam was the oldest, the most educated, and the most logical of the three. His mother died in childbirth, when Ben was a sea captain.  Adam was philosophical, loved to read, played the guitar, and most times was around to tell his younger brothers, "I told you so".  However, on occasion, he would either get involved with or instigate some of the shenanigans the Cartwright boys were known for.  Watch The Hayburner for proof.

Hoss was the middle son and the most even-tempered and slower-to-anger son.  His mother was Inger, whom Ben married when Adam was a baby.  Inger, like many others to follow, fell victim to an Indian attack and was killed when Hoss was a baby.  Hoss was known as the "gentle giant" of the family.  He was always good for a laugh or for back-up for fights that his other brothers, particularly Joe started. Hoss periodically talked into some wild schemes, such as in the Ponderosa Birdman or The Gold Detector.

Little Joe , the youngest, son of French Creole Marie, whom Ben met and married in New Orleans.  Little Joe was hot-tempered, quick-to-fight, quick to forgive, and cute as cute can be.  He was shot, stabbed, beat up, kidnapped, arrested, thrown in jail, had more broken limbs, thrown from horses, wounded with an Indian arrow, and had his heart broken more times than any other Cartwright---but he suffered so well!  {Right girls?}  He frequently got himself and Hoss into trouble, such as in THE FLAPJACK CONTEST.  But gosh darn it---when you're that cute---all is forgiven.

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