The TV show CHiPs was what first got me interested in motorcycles. A young boy when the late 70’s show made its debut on the air, I thought it was extremely cool to be on the California Highway Patrol, but especially so while riding around on a Kawasaki 1000. Erik Estrada even had a cool name and car on the show, going by ‘Ponch’ and driving a Firebird.
Not only did Erik Estrada play the role on TV, he actually walks the walk as a reserve officer on the streets in Muncie, Indiana. Three days a week from 11pm to 7am, Estrada patrols the beat in order to keep his status. Even though it’s a small town, Ball State is located nearby, so it is likely that drunk and disorderly conduct takes place on a regular basis.
I actually met Erik in the early 90’s onset while he was filming something for TV. I don’t consider it one of the highlights of my life, but it did bring me back to my childhood and reminded me of all the cheesy TV shows I watched when I was young.
Besides ChiPs, some of my favorite shows from the 70’s were Welcome Back Kotter, Kolchak: The Night Stalker, Kung Fu, Mork and Mindy, BJ and the Bear… I could go on and on (I obviously watched way too much TV!), what were some of your favorites?