One big Segway.....
For some reason I started to think of my youth, what came to mind? Movies, Cowboys and Cartoons and Radio. It used to be a treat to go to the movies, like most boys I enjoyed the westerns, Hopalong Cassidy, Roy Rodgers. There was Dale Evans but the boys were not too interested in her, Girls were always strange to young males, we wanted shoot em up action, not that yucky romance stuff.
Oh, the movies. The good guys wore white hats and if I remember rode white horses. Black hats for the bad guy’s. Good always triumphed! On the radio was the “Lone ranger”, stretching here a bit was “Sgt Preston of the Yukon.” Not a cowboy, no horse but he did have a dog. That has to count for something. You know, a boy and his dog. As I look back it was rather naive, but still good clean fun and hopefully imparted a good attitude into the empty slates of the juvenile mind. Ya don’t like that, Ya wanna go outside four eyes. I’ll punch ya silly.
Another favorite form of entertainment, CARTOON’S. Well, I might as well start off by insulting some cartoon afficionados, Walt Disney characters. Micky Mouse! What a wimpy character. I never found this character funny! However I must admit he was good in the movie Fantasia. Disney’s other character Donald Duck was not too bad. He attracted some laughs.
However he was way down from my personal favorite, the king of cartoon characters. I present “Bug’s Bunny”. Now this was one funny dude.
You ever hear the expression “Every thing I learned about life I learned from__________” ! Well in that blank I entered BUGS BUNNY!
I kid you not! He always managed to outsmart out maneuver his opponents,
always came out on top. It is too him I owe
my appreciation of classical music! It stems from Bug’s cartoons. I still remember a scene of where a stanza from a Wagnerian opera was sung by Elmer Fudd, the lyrics started with “Kill the Wabbit, kill the wabbit.” Of course I can’t forget his friends. What a cast, Elmer Fudd, Marvin the Martian, Yosemite Sam.
Now for my favorite form of entertainment, Radio! What memories this brings back. Radio was a real treat, I remember the family sitting around that massive piece of furniture called a radio. Of course as a kid I would be lying on the floor. One could close one’s eyes and be transported to another world. The range of shows ran the gamut, cowboys, science fiction, mysteries, crime drama’s and of course romance and the soap operas. Of course as to the latter, no red blooded American male ever listened to them, but all Mom’s followed these series with religious fever.
Some will now say, what’s different? Families still sit around the TV for entertainment and we still get a variety of shows. You wanna know what the difference is, that grey matter between your ears.
In there is something called imagination! Your mind can create some real horrible scenes. I can remember as a young boy going to bed and afraid to turn off the lights after a particular frightening show. Mental images from a scary show scared the hell out of me. Seeing something is not a scary as imagining it. Actually, I do wish they would bring back drama on radio, it should be good PR for any radio network, imagine a large group of budding writers willing to submit their work with minimal or no reimbursement, just to have their work performed! Talk about providing inexpensive and quality shows. Never happen, there are no people that can think outside the box in the entertainment field.
I gotta stop here. When it comes to radio I have to think of one individual. Now comes the Seqway. I just realized what and who this narrative is about. Jean Shepherd. Most readers will be too young to know this name. One second thought, maybe you will. If you ever saw the movie “A Christmas Story”, he wrote it and his was the voice of little Ralphie. The classic story of a Mom telling a kid he can’t have a BB gun, “you’ll shoot your eyes out.”
He had a Saturday night show on WOR in New York, I think it ran from 9 to midnight. He did this show with no script, just stream of consciousness. He was not a comedian, rather a Humourist. He made one laugh by pointing out the absurdities of life. His philosophy was that one can never understand an age by it’s great literature. You have to know the trivia to interpret an age. I never met this man but I realized that I am copying him, in concept, style and subject matter. This man was my hero in my formative years. One could almost say I am a reincarnation of him, of course about 95% of his talent got lost in the transition.
This is a tribute to you, Jean. There are still people who fondly remember you. I hope you continue to write in heaven, I was going to say I’d love to read what you write about in heaven, BUT, I will wait a while. Let you accumulate a few more writings. No offense.
Good night, Mr Shepherd, where ever you are.
(PS, that last line, I believe the statute of limitations has run out, so I will plagiarize)