Someone on a message board first brought this video to my attention, and I shared it here on my blog. I later learned that the little boy stealing the show is Ernie's son, Brion. The kid in front of him wearing the same kind of shirt is Ernie's other son, Jeffrey.
My curiosity sent me to Google to find out what happened to those boys.
I found out Jeffrey had written a book about his growing-up years, "River of No Return", which of course I ordered on half.com; the book left me wishing I had just watched the video and let it go at that.
Back when I watched Ernie every week, one of the highlights of the show was the hymn he always sang at closing. It was considered controversial back then, and Ernie fought to keep the hymn in the show. So imagine my surprise at finding out Ernie wasn't particularly religious at all. I had this idea of Ernie as a strong Christian and a genuine hillbilly; he was neither.
Life in the Ford home was pretty miserable most of the time for all parties concerned.
As outgoing as he seemed on his show, Ernie hated being in the public eye constantly, and he tried his best to escape the whole Hollywood scene.
I'm glad I've never been rich and famous, if being so means carrying that much baggage through life.