In Chad Prevost’s May 10 Outlook commentary, “Dads are smarter these days, on and off the screen,” in which he refuted the “bumbling oaf” dad stereotype that’s prevalent on TV, he wrote, “You can find dumb dads in . . . sitcoms from ‘Leave It To Beaver’ to ‘All in the Family’ to ‘Married . . . with Children’ to ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’ and an enduring legacy of commercials since the 1950s.”

“Leave It To Beaver”? Does he mean Ward Cleaver? Ward was a farmer’s son from good Midwestern stock, where he learned important skills such as painting garages and replacing appliance cords. He graduated from State College and married his school sweetheart, June. Ward was part of the Greatest Generation, surveying for the Seabees  and single-handedly winning the war in the Pacific (according to his adoring son).

Ward had a solid white-collar job from which he came home every night about 5:30 so he could have dinner with his family and ask about his kids’ days. He tried to protect his sons from bad influences such as Larry Mondello and Eddie Haskell, often meted out sage advice and, unfortunately, had to punish — nonviolently but fairly, of course — his boys’ errant ways.

Yes, Ward drank a lot of coffee, ducked out on Saturday chores for a round of golf and sometimes carried a cigarette pack in his pocket, but a “dumb dad”? Maybe Prevost meant Fred Rutherford? C’mon, do a little research before besmirching a cultural icon. 

John  P. Williams, Alexandria