Thursday, October 9, 2008

memory flash back- the captain

1960's were defined by many TV memories for of the dearest was watching Captain Kangaroo. I sure wish they would come out with a DVD set of these shows. I would use grocery budget money to buy it. ---Here's the part where I go into a dream state with a cartoon-type bubble above my head---"Sorry family, it looks like ketchup sandwiches again tonight! But remember, you get to watch one of my favorite childhood shows anytime you wish in exchange for a slight sacrifice of another cold red sandwich." OK so it is a crazy exaggeration. I am sometimes known for those. But seriously, back to the memory of the Captain...

I absolutely LOVED the regular show segments including Grandfather Clock and Mr. Moose and Bunny Rabbit and the Dancing Bear. As I got wiser, I realized that they were not real but indeed were puppets or people in costume. No matter. I was willing to try to keep alive the smoke and mirror illusion for my own sake and enjoyment. Kind of like the year after you find out there is no Santa or Easter Bunny, yet you pretend there is still so the fun can (hopefully) continue.

Mr. Green Jeans was also a trusty sidekick. As a child, the routines of the show were predictable and comforting. Always some jokes, always some cartoons, always some learning- though that was disguised as pure fun. The character of the Town Clown was one that I did not fully enjoy until years later when the memory proved to be sweet after all.

Even the commercialization was tied in to the appeal of the show. With Kellogg's as a sponsor and some clever age appropriate images, our mornings were filled with cereal excitement as we waited with anticipation for the Kellogg's train to come around the bend. Those were the days of really super neat-o prizes right inside the cereal box. I would dig to the bottom of a brand new box to find the buried treasure of a prize and ultimately leave the box with bulging sides that do not allow it to close properly. "Oh well, I guess a second bowl is in order to make the box close better!!" I remember my Mom usually buying the off-brands of cereal more often than the brand names (IE. Kellogg's) unless she had a coupon and the store was running a weekly special. Have you come across a vintage cereal coupon? They were for 8 cents off or some ridiculous amount. I guess name brand cereal didn't cost enough to require selling a kidney like it does now (I also often buy off-brand cereal!).

As an aside ~even though it is center, haha~ I have stumbled across a wonderful place on the net that is all about vintage advertising...loads of print ads and stories to go along. There is so much to see; I am taking it in one little visit at a time. Some of the stuff from years gone by is truly politically incorrect and causes you to ponder, "What were we thinking as a society?" You may have noticed if you visit my Etsy at all, that I am a fan of all things advertising and general ephemera too. I have recently found some vintage packaging which strikes my fancy.
Ok, Ok...back to the subject matter of this post...

I do not remember this specific episode, but it looks strangely a lot like my home today. We seem to be Bunny Central with all of E's long eared pets.
Perhaps my favorite memories of watching Captain Kangaroo are the many books he shared with us. I had the sense that he was only reading them to me, though obviously he was reading to all the other thousands of kids sitting in front of the console TV, probably so close to the screen they would ruin their eyes (Mom always said!!)... besides, he had to hold a captive audience through the end of the show to sell a lot of that cereal that required an 8 cents off coupon!!!
These are just some of the books I now own that he read to me and some more from that era that fill me with delight and that warm fuzzy feeling. See if there are any that you count among your favorite memory flash backs.


penny in illinois said...

I'm 53, and what I remember most was Mr. Green Jeans keys! I don't remember much else, except the music, I can still hear the theme to the show. I so enjoy your blog and enjoy so many of the same things you do. Thanks for the memories. Penny

Anonymous said...

OMG! OMG! OMG! I looooved Capt. K. and Mr. Greenjeans. I grew up in Philadelphia and we also had Gene London ( at least I think that was his name) and the Golden Fleece. I just stumbled on your blog and I think I'll be here all night dwelling on Memory Lane.

What a fabulous blog!

Angie Hall Haviland said...

HEE HEE...we had the book Ping growing up (in fact my Mom still has it at her house for the grandkids). Our copy is a bit different...when we got it someone had marked through all the times it said the oriental river name and wrote in Mississippi River instead ROFL.