Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Childhood on TV

So yesterday I survived driving an import. Lightning did not strike me down, nor did union members appear out of nowhere and start beating me with pickets. My dad would be horrified, though.

I actually enjoyed driving a little, older car. It brought me back to when I drove the old boats I had in high school - just the feel of the narrow plastic steering wheel, well worn and slightly begrimed, the feel of the effort involved whenever I tried to coax a little pick up out of the engine.

This all came about because of another painful visit to the dealership that involved sudden, surprise services that needed to be done (again) and a part that did not come in when it was supposed to because of a computer error (again). But I've bored enough people with the story so I won't repeat it all again. Suffice it to say that I have a wonderful, wonderful coworker and friend in Jen, who thought nothing of loaning me her car for the duration of the car-related agonies.

In other, more enjoyable news, I had another fun day with Rachel on Saturday. A day that involved childhood memories, random celebrity sightings, a dead room, learning that Mississauga is much bigger than we thought, CSI, and caffeinated poutine. Good times.

The highlight really had to be the childhood memories portion of the program, though. When I thought about the CBC museum, I thought I would see things like old radio microphones, tapes, maybe some hockey memorabilia. And there was all of that. But, there was also this:

Casey and Finnegan's treehouse

Oh, the excitement! Here, in front of me, were dozens of childhood memories. Memories of learning how to make little horses out of pipe cleaners and toilet paper tubes, how to draw on big sheets of paper. And nothing turning out nearly as good as the stuff Mr Dressup made, even though it looked so easy when he did it. And, of course, memories of the Tickle Trunk.

Tickle Trunk
The magic of the Tickle Trunk was that no matter what Mr Dressup wanted, no matter how impromptu the game or the play, the perfect costume and props would be in the Tickle Trunk. And always located right at the top. Nothing like my own toy box, where whatever I wanted had always snaked its way to the bottom, and to get it out meant emptying all of the contents of the box.

Tickle Trunk Close Up

I loved Mr Dressup growing up. He had everything - crafts, puppets, drawing, jokes, play acting, a treehouse, and guests coming to visit and change things up whenever they got a little dull. I had my love for Sesame Street, too, but found the little snippets in between muppet segments a little too repetitive sometimes - after the Muppet Report with Kermit Thee Frog (here) on Rapunzel in her tower, I'd often pull out the colouring books while the pinball counted to twelve. And Mr Rogers I always hated. My mother confirms that the only part of Mr Rogers I watched was the part where he fed his goldfish, right at the beginning. Why I found that part interesting, though, I have no idea. The trolley was okay, too, but the weird little puppets through the door were just creepy.

Mr Dressup with Casey and Finnegan and the other, less important puppets
Nope, Mr Dressup was my guy. When he died a few years ago, CBC radio had people calling in with their memories of him, and I cried in my car as I listened. I never really watched him after Casey and Finnegan left the show - I think that was when I was starting to get a little too old for it (or thought I was, anyway) and maybe transitioning to the Sweet Valley portion of my adolescence. I never liked the new puppets, so my one disappointment on Saturday was the absence of Casey and Finnegan themselves. I was happy enough to not see the strange alligator and stringy, old bird woman, though. Or that scary looking owl with the shifty eyes.

The other surprise memory was the Friendly Giant. Complete with the castle with its drawbridge, and the high-tech animation of the cow jumping over the moon. When I was little, this was another of my favourite shows.

I loved the opening, with the little seating arrangement being moved around - the big armchair for the two people to curl up in, and the rocking chair, for somebody who likes to rock. I liked Geoffrey the Giraffe, but I was always a little suspicious of him, too - he looks like he's always thinking about something shifty. And Rusty the rooster kind of freaked me out, in his little sack hanging on the wall. What else was in that sack? Why did he have to stay in there? Was he being punished for something?

The Friendly Giant and Cronies

And finally, a geek memory. But maybe I'll leave that for another day and a shorter post.

1 comment:

Rachel said...

Love it!

And, what do you mean my running a red light wasn't the highlight of the day?

I think I need to get a rocking chair. Because I'm a someone who likes to rock.