This television special, celebrating twenty years of Charles Kuralt's "On The Road" programs, is a collection of some of the show's most memorable segments. The program begins with clips of the "bests" from over the years: the best slingshot or bean shooter, the best lumberjack axe thrower, string saver, musical saw player, egg holder, traffic cop, bicycle messenger, and the best 104-year-old runner. Kuralt also visits the best birch canoe maker, an eighty-three-year-old man who moved deep into the woods and spent his life perfecting the art of building beautiful canoes entirely by hand. In Nebraska, a local newspaper editor shares his definitions of small town life; and in North Platte, Nebraska, several women recall the thousands of World War II servicemen and women who passed through on the railroads, and recount their town's contribution to the war in the form of a canteen which fed every single military person a meal for free. The next segment features a woman in St. Petersburg, Florida, whose joy in life comes from feeding animals; she feeds dozens of birds, cats, and squirrels every day in spite of her community's disapproval. The following two segments profile individuals who love giving to children. First, the Venetucci brothers of Colorado Springs have a fall ritual of inviting hundreds of schoolchildren to pick pumpkins from the Venetucci ranch; and next a man in North Carolina collects and repairs bicycles, which he lends out daily for free, to neighborhood children whose families can not afford bikes. In segments related to a lost age of railroads, Kuralt visits the last known team of men who manually shift railroad tracks to the beat of traditional work songs; then he meets an ex-steam locomotive engineer in Kentucky who feels such nostalgia for the trains, that he acquired his own steam tractor. Kuralt then talks with a Kansas man who breeds, breaks, and sells mules, as well as with an unofficial mailman who delivers mail on a mule to remote mountain regions in Kentucky where trucks can not maneuver. In Mississippi, at the Chandler family reunion, they celebrate the good fortune of the nine Chandler children who have come a long way from their origins as sharecroppers. Finally, Kuralt meets with an ex-Michigan Supreme Court Judge and author of a best-selling novel, who has come to the conclusion that he prefers the solitary peace of trout fishing to anything society can offer. Commercials deleted.

Cataloging of this program was made possible by the CBS Foundation, 1998.


  • DATE: June 17, 1987 Wednesday 8:00 PM
  • RUNNING TIME: 0:50:09
  • COLOR/B&W: Color
  • CATALOG ID: T:38334
  • GENRE: Magazine
  • SERIES RUN: CBS - TV, 1987


  • Perry Wolff … Executive Producer
  • Bernard Birnbaum … Producer
  • Charles Kuralt … Producer, Theme music by
  • Cathy Lewis … Associate Producer
  • Ken Sable … Director
  • Loonis McGlohon … Theme music by
  • Jim Campbell … Theme Music by
  • Charles Kuralt … Host, Interviewer
  • Chandler Family, The
  • Venetucci Brothers, The