Monday, June 15, 2009

TV Bug

I don't know about you, but I watched a ton of TV when I was a
little girl. Television was fairly new and so fascinating back in the
fifties, as well as kinder and gentler. I guess it would be safe to say,
I was a complete "TV Bug". I watched from the moment I got up in
the morning, until the soaps came on in the afternoon, then again in
the evening after the nightly news.

The cartoons like Popeye, Tom Terrific, Rocky and Bullwinkle and
Mighty Mouse, were great, but what I really loved were the shows
with real actors. I adored some of them so much, I actually wanted
to BE them. Annette on the Mickey Mouse Show was one. How I
longed to have a set of those mouse ears of my very own and dance
around with that oh-so-cute Bobby.
Another character I wanted to be was Penny on Sky King. She
was the adorable niece of the airplane flying cowboy. Remember?
My hair was always kept cut short, but I longed to have a beautiful
pony tail like Penny. Sometimes, I would tie a sock on the back of my
head, like a bouncy pony tail, and jump into my plane to soar off into
the wild blue yonder.

Then there was Janet Lennon, the youngest of the singing Lennon
sisters, featured on The Lawrence Welk Show. She wore all those
pretty dresses with the stiff petticoats and sang with her doting
older sisters. How fun was that?

I never understood why I couldn't keep a Palomino horse, just like
Mr. Ed, in my bedroom. The closet door could be sawed in half, for
his head to poke out. Why not? He could help do things around the
house, like answer the phone and play ping pong with me.

But what I really wanted was to live in the Treasure House with my
beloved Captain Kangaroo. He would read me stories and make little
construction paper projects with his nifty shoe box kit. Bunny Rabbit,
Mr. Mouse, and Mr. Green Jeans would be there to hang around and
keep me company.

Looking back, watching so much TV wasn't all that bad. The Captain
inspired in me a love for literature and creativity. Annette and Janet
introduced me to vocal music. Penny spurred a longing for adventure.
And hey, even though I never had a real pet growing up, Mr. Ed gave
this city girl a love for animals. As Martha Stewart might say, TV was
"a good thing".

Television! Teacher, mother, secret lover.

~Homer Simpson, The Simpsons

This is a variation of "Blast from the Past" posts by my bloggy
friends Derrick and Weaver. Hop on over and take a look at their
adorable childhood pics and posts!
top photo: Willow, TV Bug, 1959


  1. love it! used to watch Captain Kangaroo and Mr Greenjeans! I always wanted to be on Land of the Lost or Bring em' back Alive. Ok, A-team too.

  2. I liked that variation willow - it is lovely to read about you as a child. TV doesn't seem to have done you any harm at all. Lovely post.

  3. So nice to remember some of the television shows of the past. Captain Kangaroo for me encouraged a desire to create things. I loved the sound of cutting a piece of construction paper and if I think really hard I can still hear the sound. Even commercials from the past inspired me to try to cook, mix or make something. We had to mix our Kool-aid and oh yes, Fizzies.

  4. Jojo, I loved Kool-Aid and Fizzies were just the coolest things ever!!

  5. So Beautiful moments to remember of Past !! I Really loved your blog and post..Thanks for sharing..Also I Have Started My Own Website And Would Like You To Have A Look At It.I Would Love To Have Your Comments On That Also.Unseen Rajasthan

  6. Nice posting. Great to find out about other people's childhoods.

    I loved children's TV too but we didn't get any of those shows here in the UK. In fact we didn't get a lot of TV, I think it was from 4 until 5 and only on the BBC if I remember correctly. It was in the 'sixties that they increased the programmes as more channels came along.

    I doubt if the programmes did any harm, the ones they made back then that I watched were really good.

  7. I'm one of the 2 million Americans who just lost their TV signals. I got the coupon for the box but didn't have an extra $40 to buy it (I know, I'm pathetic) and now my coupon has expired. Ah well, perhaps I can survive not watching General Hospital. I grew up on the same shows, I forgot about the Lennon Sisters, but I remember having a terrible crush on the Everly Brothers and watching them on maybe Bandstand.

  8. My favorite was Mr Rogers. I always wanted to live in that castle with the puppets. I can't remember the name of it though.
    I also loved Captain Kangaroo and Land of the Lost. Oh and don't forget the Brady Bunch. Marcia Marcia Marcia!!!


  9. a wonderful time, willow. Annette. So confident. 'I'm Annette!' She knew who she was. ;)

  10. Cutie child! We didn't have television until I was about ten years old but I do remember the Mouse kids and Roy rodgers- and the commercials- the baby Pea commercials with little peas toddling around in diapers..who could forget!
    This is such a fun poste.

  11. Cute photo of you as a TV bug, Willow! I watched pretty much all of those shows, too. We lived in the NY metropolitan area, growing up, but in the suburbs, in NJ. I remember being a little kid when someone called and I answered the phone. They asked if my dad was home, and I said "No, he comes home after Sandy Becker and before Mouseketeers." (Sandy Becker was a NY area show.) I had no idea of time, just what show he arrived home after! I loved Capt Kangaroo and Mr. Greenjeans. I also loved Mighty Mouse and The Lone Ranger and Tonto.

  12. Nice TV memories! Now I'm thinking about the differences between what you watched in the 50's, what I watched in the 70's, and what the offspring watched in the 90's...

  13. This was wonderful fun Willow, thanks.

  14. There are so many shows that I grew up watching, from The Monkees, to The Brady Bunch, but one memory that I cherish is sitting around as a family on Sunday nights watching "The Waltons".

  15. I loved Captain Kangaroo, especially the moose and the ping pong balls. I remember the advent of Sesame Street and the Electric Company, but it wasn't long until The Monkees and then The Partridge Family quickly became favorites. Thanks for bringing back some terrific memories, Willow!

  16. I'm a huge TV junkie myself. I love going to different places and times with different people. I find it difficult to reign myself in when it comes to TV; I tend to overuse my DVR. Heh!

    Any new shows that you watch now?

  17. I had the same bug only [growing up in England] I had different Symptoms!

  18. "What time is it, kids?"

    "It's Howdy Doody time!"

    Ah yes, the Golden Age of TV in the 50s and early 60s. I still love I Love Lucy and you can guarantee I'll fall to the floor helpless with laughter if someone say "Niagara Falls! Slowly I turn, step by step, inch by inch!" And yes, I was another fan of Captain Kangaroo. What a time it was.

  19. No mistaking who that is in the first pic. You have always been so good looking, Willow!

    At my house, TV was forbidden. We didn't even own one until after Martin Luther King was assassinated. At that point, they decided we needed one in order to keep informed.

    But we were not allowed to watch any of the shows. My father said it would turn our minds to mush. Little did he know that within a decade, all his kids would be smoking so much marijuana that it wouldn't matter how much TV we watched. Ha!

    Following in my parents' footsteps, I never owned my own TV until September 12, 2001.

  20. Such an adorable kid,
    I can see you right there,
    in front of that old TV set! :-)

    I was already in school when I saw my first TV show. Flipper, Fury, Lassie, Bonanza (the Cartwrights - gosh I loved them all!), those were the ones we were allowed to watch at a neighbor's house, once a week.

  21. I think the tradition carried on many more years, too...I remember the TV always being on! And after you left the house, a little black and white set was actually set on the dining room table! We would get shushed if we talked during the evening news while we ate dinner!

  22. We weren't allowed to watch TV much -- BUT -- Annette, I loved her!!! And, of course, Captain Kangaroo!!! I can still here that music in my head! :-) And your picture is adorable! :-)

  23. I wanted "mouse ears" too! and never missed an episode of the Captain! Absolutely adored this post. Thanks for the walk down memory lane!

  24. Yes. Yes! YES!! You're speakin' my language. As an only child there were times the only friends I had to play with, other than those in my head, were the ones on tv. And I had a set of Mouseketeer ears purchased at Disneyland a few weeks after it opened. Unfortunately they were left in storage when we moved to Hawaii and I never saw them again. I hope someone out there has them and appreciates my loss.

    Now, what about My Friend Flicka and Fury? Or all the great tv westerns including Sugarfoot. Does anybody beside me remember Sugarfoot? I don't want to scare you, but the actor Will Hutchens went on to become a...saying this softly...clown.

    I think my love for all of these old things spurred my collecting of ephemera and old photos which eventually led me here to you.

    Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

  25. Tattered, yes! I LOVED both My Friend Flicka and Fury!! For some reason they escaped me when I was writing this post.

  26. And what about the theme song for Captain Kangaroo? I swear if iTunes would sell it I'd buy it!

  27. Hey, Tattered, click on Captain Kangaroo in the body of my post. Then in my previous post, click on the link at the bottom. That tune is UNforgetable!!!

  28. This is for Maureen: Everly Brothers. Sigh. I had a huge crush on them when I was little and would drive my folks nut singing "Bird Dog" over and over.

    When I lived in Los Angeles I used to see Phil Everly shopping. I ran into him in Toys R Us, the grocery store, laundromat. My knees used to shake. Then I'd rush home and scream to roommate "I just saw Phil Everly in front of me with a grocery cart!."

  29. Ohhhhhhhhhhhh! Sigh. I'm 5 years old again and the world isn't nearly as big and scary as I see it to be now. Thank you! I'll keep this on my desktop so I can click on it when I get stressed.

  30. It is wonderful, isn't it? I may just have to put it on my sidebar.

  31. Cute kid pic, Willow!

    I loved Fury and My Friend Flicka! And remember when Capt. Kangaroo would put the piece of Saran Wrap on the TV screen and you were supposed to do it too and draw on it with a crayon? And, yes, I remember that sound of him cutting the construction paper.

    I had older teenage sisters, so I always had to fight with them to get to watch Mr. Cartoon in the afternoon. They always wanted to watch American Bandstand.

    I did a post about the Lennon Sisters a couple of weeks ago if you want to check it out.

  32. I loved Captain Kangaroo, too. He and his show weren't patronizingly "cutesy" just because I was a kid.

    Oh, how I wish tv shows were still that innocent and led the imagination on a good path.

    Thanks, Willow.

  33. that little TV Bug is a cutie!
    I never missed Mr.Ed and I was in love with Adam on Bonanza!!

  34. Perhaps I'm too old, but what about Winky Dink? Or the original Soupy Sales where he dressed like a bum?

  35. Love this post! My family got TV only after I begged and begged to be able to watch Elizabeth's coronation in 1953 -- I was 10. The show I remember are Life of Reilly, Father Knows Best, I Love Lucy, Ed Sullivan, Ramar of the Jungle, Sky King . . . and the big Disney one - the same one that did Davy Crockett et al.

  36. We may be slightly different in age, Willow, but I was a Captain Kangaroo fanatic! I loved Mr. Greenjeans! It was a long, long time ago, but between Captain Kangaroo and Canada's own, "Friendly Giant", I was captivated by t.v. (and still am, rather).


  37. That was a fun blast from the past!

  38. Just adorable. What a darling little girl you were. And I so agree with you about the TV shows. I can still remember Captain Kangeroo reading A million Cats and Caps for Sale and Make Way for Ducklings. What grand memories! Thank you.

  39. I have always been an early riser and I remember getting up very early Saturday morning, putting the television on and waiting for the cartoons and cowboys. They always began with The U.S. Airforce Blue, The Yellow Rose of Texas and America, The Beautiful. I live in Canada, but I still remember the words to all those tunes. Thank you for reminding me about Sky King (reach for Nabisco, partners). =D

  40. I love this post and your new avatar Willow! I can still remember when colour TV first came out and my father saying that we would never get one as it wasn't necessary. Actually my father says that TV was the death of culture and social activities in our little town as overnight all the old social groups died as people stayed in to watch shows. I was addicted to an Australian children's show (Adventure Island) I still get a wonderful feeling every time I think of it. The shows today are not as good in my opinion as the editing is so fast that I think the swift cuts aren't so good for children when their brain is still developing. I wanted a pair of Mouse ears too!
    Btw,this is Primrose. I now have started my own humble Blog after many years of lurking around.

  41. Same deal as Winifred's comments here Willow. I grew up in the Clare Valley region of South Australia & all we got was a public broadcasting station that commenced at 6p.m. As Aussie TV was in its infancy we got heaps of B&W Brit shows like Steptoe & Son & Dr. Who. So it was such a treat to holiday in the city with my Gran & see flash U.S. shows like The Mickey Mouse Club.

    Being a '56 vintage my very favourite was The Hathaways, that 'interesting' family that had chimps instead of kids! I begged my parents for a couple of my own, but they weren't forthcoming.

    Little did I know that I would eventually get 5 of them to play with disguised as our sons!
    Millie ^_^

  42. I watched many of the same shows but I didn't have the sharp memory of them or their impact on me...I love the old time feel of this post. I guess some of us lived through TV saturation and came out just fine...I wonder how todays shows are impacting children? Most that I see are pretty poor...I much prefer to watch movies. <3

  43. Willow - I had the Captain a few years after you, but he was still one of my favorites.

    Even though clowns are creepy; Bozo had an awesome show and the best cartoons.

    Great post! So effortless.

  44. oh, I do remember Annette and Penny and Mr Ed - I wanted to be Annette and Penny also - alas - I never actually wanted a horse, but I loved the TV show Mr.Ed. - you were a cute cute child!

  45. Wasn't Popeye good especially Olive Oil?

  46. A lot of the programmes you mentioned came to Cuba in the late 70s and early 880s, so I got to know Huckleberry Hooooooooound, Yogi Bear and Pixie and Dixie. Many thanks for the memories.

    Greetings from London.

  47. willow,
    you and i are about the same age, and i can relate....oh, i can relate!!

    as a matter of fact, i am attaching a sock to the back of my head and heading out to do some errands.

    lol xxx

  48. What a cutie pie!
    I remember Annette too!

    You chose the perfect quote. Homer Simpson is the ultimate philosopher...

  49. I did grow up on the Mickey Mouse Club in reruns, as well as the cartoons. And I do have a volume of Sky King (haven't watched it, yet )also, MMC week 1( Oct3-7,1955 ). All is slowly coming on to DVD....

  50. I always thought Captain Kangaroo was immortal. My kids watch all of these programs and I watched a few myself like Gunsmoke and The Rifleman.

  51. This was an incredible blast from the past! Some of these I had forgotten but never Captain Kangaroo. I do remember standing in front of the tv reciting with the commercial, "I want my Maypo!" Some kind of hot cereal. It was my buzz line for quite a cool while. :)

  52. I thought it was Diane not Dee Dee .. but I had pretty much the same connections except I had that pony tail and wanted short curls!

  53. Remember when bunny rabbit would get the captain to pull on that rope and thousands of ping pong balls would drop from above?.

    I loved Annette's set mouse ears too. ;-)

  54. adorable photo, willow! i recognized you instantly. sky king was one of my favorite shows as well. i remember that one of their sponsors was nestle and the commercial featured that singing puppet dog "n - e - s - t - l - e - s nestle's spells the very best choooooooocolate!". i also liked lassie (cried like a baby every time lassie returned home after being lost, etc.) and password! my grandma watched a lot of game shows together!!

    fun trip down memory lane, willow!

  55. Such a cute picture of you! I loved Penny and Annette too. And Rin-Tin-Tin! I really wanted to be Velvet in the series (I never saw the movie with Elizabeth Taylor until I was older) "National Velvet."
    Very Fun Post!

    Remember Spoolies?

  56. What a darling photo...I'm sure we would have all chipped in and bought you the horse!
    I wanted to ride in my own buckboard and get rid of Dale Evans. Also dreamed of slow dances on Bandstand! Wonderful post!

  57. We liked all the same shows and characters. I always ask people if they remember 'Sky King'. I like your creative 'sock' ponytail. Thanks for the walk down memory lane.

  58. My mind is still back in the old days this morn and now I'm thinking about American Bandstand. I actually know someone who danced on the show when it moved to California. She was also a background dancer on Shindig and was a go-go dancer at a club on Sunset. When I found out I knew someone who'd danced on Shindig I was stunned. I asked her, "Did you have shimmy dresses?" She said, "Yes, two." I was green with envy. When I told my doctor about this friend she was green with envy. Most people just look at me funny when I sigh and talk about a shimmy dress. Always wanted go-go boots and a shimmy dress. Good times. Good times.

  59. Aaah, yes, I remember them all!
    And dashing home from school to take in every second of American Bandstand!
    Knew all their names,,,Pat Morliterri,and all the regulars,,and I thought they were so cool!
    The Bop,,
    The Stroll,,,
    "it has a great beat, I give it a ten!"

  60. I loved all the same shows, Willow. My sister and I adored Mr. Ed! We also liked SPIN & MARTY on the MICKEY MOUSE CLUB and FURY on Saturday mornings.
    Just last month, the Colonel asked me to get a few Bullwinkles from Netflix. They have it! You probably know that Captain Kangaroo was also Clarabelle the clown on THE HOWDY DOODIE SHOW. I was watching the final show when Clarabelle -- who never uttered a word --actually spoke instead of honking his horn. He leaned close up and into the camera and whispered, "Goodbye, kids." If my memory is right, it was the closing scene of the show. Maybe some of your blogger buddies can help me out on that one.

  61. Correction:
    Howdy Doody is the correct spelling.

  62. Reading through your post, and then the comments, makes me thing about how TV can unite us . . .because we share that same store of memories.

    I wonder when The Lawrence Welk show went to color? We always watched that at my grandparent's house.

  63. Dancing Bear and Mr. Ed!!
    Oh, I loved them!!

  64. I credit Captain Kangaroo with my love of all things crafty. When I had children I made sure they always had all the construction paper and glue they wanted.

  65. Thanks for the mention, Willow! A nice 'slant' on our posts. Mr Ed. is the only one of your friends with whom I'm familiar even though we got lots of American programmes. TV was gentler in those days, even if Tom was being flattend by a hammer-weilding Jerry!!

  66. Ah, the TV memories. How delightful!
    My mother actually dated the dancing bear on captain kangaroo for a short time.
    What a claim to fame huh?

  67. awww... love the picture. Yes, I watched lots of tellie as a kid but now I don't even own one!! Funny that. I do watch lots of movies though and prefer to read to get my news anyway.

    I used to watch Gilligan's Island when visiting States adn so loved it. Then at home we'd watch Waltons and Little house on the Prarie. I still recall the theme songs. Ahhh..I adored those shows. Yes, call me utterly sappy, I know.

  68. What a wonderful bit of nostalgia. I remember all of those and I remember the Carol Burnett Show with Tim Conway and Harvey Korman. I have a video of Conway and Korman on my blog entry "Open Wide and say AAAHHH".
    Thanks for sharing and bringing back some great memories!

  69. I hope this works, I don't know if you have seen these skits on SNL but they make me laugh hysterically just thinking about them!

    here's the link because i cannot embed the video:

  70. Katie, yes! I've seen one of those and they are hilarious!!!! I'll go take a peek at this one...


Inject a few raisins of conversation into the tasteless dough of existence.
― O. Henry (and me)