BRANDED
A Proud Town episode #31
Allen Ridgway

 


Allen played one of the orphans in A Proud Town.
In real life Allen was an orphan as several other children that appeared in this episode.

 Written by Allen Ridgway

When I first got to the Children's Hall, I would have to been eight.
Here is a class picture taken just before I became a Ward of the court. 

 My mother was granted custody of my older brother and me after her divorce from our father. Not sure of the details, but she decided we were too much to handle and relinquished custody to the court. This is how we became wards of the court.

I was in the Children's Hall for about a month, then taken to Children's Baptist Home. It was a different world than the hall, there were no fences around the place and it was in the middle of a nice neighborhood. (remember, this was in the sixties) At Children's Baptist Home the only possession I had was a transistor radio. I always had it with me, listening to any music I could hear. It's interesting now, I can remember almost any song, remember the artist and tell you the year of release of whatever happens to be playing, old or new, any genre.

I was at Children's Baptist Home for longer than most at seven years. From there I went into a couple of foster homes. All I'll say on this is that careful selection was not part of the process.  If I remember correctly, by the time I left I was twelve. That made me an old timer at the home, being there for several years.

 The memory of when I was taken away is like it was yesterday. I walked into our house and there was a stranger there talking to me as if she had always known me. This was the social worker who came to take me. My brother was already gone, but I saw him the next day at a Children's Hall in Los Angeles County. The clothes I was wearing were taken, never to be seen again, and I was given a weeks worth of new clothing. Levis, socks, underwear and flannel shirts. I'll never forget the shoes. I was given some brown leather shoes that were too big and I hated them! It was probably the whole ordeal, but the shoes were my breaking point and I cried for hours over those stupid things! I was five or six years old. To this day, I have never owned a pair of brown shoes!

I was basically dumped on the street at fifteen, I chose to finish school while at the same time having a full time job. Finding a job was surprisingly easy. Of course there was some hedging on the applications about my age and no one questioned it. Been working ever since.

About twenty or so years ago, I was in that neighborhood and wondered if it was still there. I just drove around places that I thought looked familiar and actually did find it. A little more built up as you can imagine, but still there. We had what where called "Wing Mothers" or "Wing Fathers" who would be in charge of each wing of the complex. My last one was Mr.. Ainge.

Allen is recently retired.

By the way, I know you're wondering, my brother and I have reconnected and are glad to be sharing life again.

Thank you Allen for your story & you sharing your experience on when you appeared on Branded.

You truly are a role model for orphans out there.  You give them hope and you let them know that they can survive because you are a survivor!


BRANDED

The little girl in the promo picture happens to be the only name of the kids from Children's Baptist Home that I remember. That is Angie, I don't recall her last name. She was the youngest of the kids from CBH in the Branded episode. I remember her because she would talk and joke around while filming, causing a few extra takes. In retrospect, I think it was pretty funny.

I can't remember a lot about Angie, just that the camera was panning over the kids while sleeping in the loft of the tailor's home and Angie kept blurting out things and laughing.
Not sure if the scene is even in the show.
(Sadly this scene was never shown. Cowgirl!)


Christmas in A Proud Town

Jason McCord (Chuck Connors) helps a leading citizen regain his prospective & give a community a wonderful Christmas in
 A Proud Town on the
NBC Television's Network's Branded color series
Sunday, December 19. 

Prominent in the cast are nine orphans who are cared for by the town's old tailor.
 
The children were from the Baptist Orphanage, Inglewood, California. were used as the orphans.

 (11/26/65)


Allen was nine years old in this episode.

 I'm fuzzy on the details, but Children's Baptist Home would sometimes be compensated for providing kids as extras in TV shows and movies. This is how I wound up on Branded.

I was in a couple of other TV shows, but can't remember what they were.
I have better memories of Branded because it was the only show I got to see.

No clue what episode of Combat I was in.
The scene had two kids arguing over a game of checkers or something like that.


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