Sunday, January 25, 2009

Meeska Mooska Mouseketeer

The original Mickey Mouse Club aired in 1955. How sweet the little mice were, but in reality it was big show business and the kids were forced to grow up in a hurry. It was the second television series by Disney and helped finance and promote the building of Disneyland.
When the producers started casting for the roles, Disney specifically instructed them not to hire professional types. He didn't want the Shirley Temple look, he wanted real kids.
The lucky ones who made the final cut were required to sign contracts for a year for a weekly salary of 185.00. That was to be a flat rate and not a dime of extra money was paid to do photo shoots, publicity appearances and recording sessions. The option was that you and your attending parent could be dropped if your conduct in the studio was less then mannerly and polite.
Annette Funicello wanted to change her name, but Disney wouldn't let her. He was convinced the name Annette would always be remembered.
Some of the mice never made it past 2 weeks or so. Dallas Johnson was fired for crying when the camera was on him and Paul Peterson was cut for punching a casting director in the stomach. Mickey Rooney Junior and his brother were canned for wrecking havoc in the paint department.
Only a few of the mice achieved great fame. Annette Funicello went on to star in the Beach Party movies, Bobby Burgess became a dancer on the Lawrence Welk show and Sharon Baird was the person inside the Charlie The Owl costume on the New Zoo Review. Cubby O'Brian worked with the Carpenters and the Carol Burnett Show as a talented drummer.
Remember the Mousketeer roll call when each mouse would introduce themselves? At the end, I would call out my own name while watching the show in my "mouse ears."
Jimmy Dodd was the host and head Mouseketeer and Roy Williams, who was a staff artist, was the big Mousketeer.
After 4 years, the show was canceled. Believe it or not, Disney studios were not making a profit on the merchandise. After cancelling, ABC refused to let Disney air the show on another network. So, a law suit was field, Disney won, but he had to agree not to air the Mousketeer Club or Zorro on any other network.
Wow, that's alot of cheese. Now put on your mouse ears and enjoy a clip from the end of the show!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Miss Frances, Miss Frances, Let's Watch Ding Dong School!

Some of my readers talk highly of Miss Frances and her Ding Dong School. It's the real deal. No cheesy characters or fancy props. Actually, by today's standards, Miss Frances is rather frightening, but back then, she was just like chicken noodle soup.
Now class, today we have a special treat, it's the 1953 episode of the Ding Dong school. Sit back and grab a beer or some hot milk and enjoy.

Frances Rappaport Horwich was born in Ottawa Ohio in 1907 and died 2001 at the age of 94. The Ding Dong school started out in Chicago, but became popular so quickly, the broadcast became nationwide.In 1954 Frances won the George Peabody Award.But in 1956 the show was canceled in favor of The Price Is Right. Miss Frances is famous for her uncompromising principals. She would not endorse any products children couldn't use or advertise toys that glorified violence. It's too bad children's shows today can't convey that certain element of simple innocence.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Back On The Road Again

April 20, 1969

Dear Daddy,
We are finally out of Kansas! It's sure alot bigger than Ohio. But what's cool is, we are in Colorado! Wow, can you believe it! I never thought I would be in Colorado.
What a trip this state is but I still haven't seen a mountain yet. When I see one, I am going to just trip out! We met some people from Kentucky who are hitching out to Los Angeles. We are going to hang with them for awhile. Don't worry, everything is cool and I am fine. I took a nice hot shower yesterday at the dorm of some college.
Now I'm good to go. Well, I will keep you updated about my travels and will call as soon as I can panhandle some change at the next service station.
Love and Peace,

Jack Kerouac (Face, On the Road Quote) Art Poster Print - 24" X 36"

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The Times, They Are A Changin'

We're going to take a nice walk down memory lane, and I am sure it will be alot of fun. Put on your hiking boots and lets get started!

Remember when we had to wear those ugly gym uniforms?

It took five minutes for the TV to warm up.

Your mom was always at home when you got off the bus.

Remember when a quarter was a decent allowance and you would reach in a muddy gutter for a penny?

Remember those nylons your mom wore that came in two pieces?

I remember all the teachers always got dressed up.
You got your gas pumped, windshield cleaned, and oil checked without even asking. Air was free and you got trading stamps too!

A 57 Chevy was everyone's dream cruise, peel out, make out, lay rubber, and people went steady. No one ever asked where the keys were because they were always in the car, in the ignition and the doors were never locked.

Stuff from the store came without safety caps and hermetic seals because no one yet tried to poison a perfect stranger.
Being sent to the principal's office was nothing compared to the impending doom you were going to face when you got home.

Remember the milkman delivered milk in glass jars with cardboard stoppers?

I remember the dial phones and telephone numbers were a word prefix (Raymond 4-501)
We had party lines and your mom made you put dimes in your loafers just in case you needed to use the phone booth.

Catching fireflys in a jar was the highlight of a summers evening.

The worst thing you could catch from the opposite sex was "cooties."

Wow! what a trip! I could go on and on:
The drug of choice was flavored chewable aspirin.
War was a card game.
The ulitmate weapons were slingshots and water balloons.
The worst embarrassment was getting picked last for a team.
Doctors made house calls.
Mimeograph paper (wow, it smelled good, too)
Decisions were made by saying, "eeny-meeny-miney-mo."
That's it! My dogs are tired from this long walk down memory lane.
Did I miss any thing?

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier!

Don't you just love it? Kids these days have nothing to compare with Davy Crockett.
Fess Parker starred as Davy and Buddy Ebsen played his pal George Russell.
This was not your typical TV western, it was a craze. It all stemmed from just 5 episodes from 1954-1955.
They were:
Davy Crockett, Indian Fighter
Davy Crockett Goes to Congress
Davy Crockett at the Alamo
Davy Crockett's Keelboat Race
Davy Crockett and the River Pirates
Everyone loved Davy, young and old. His coonskin caps sold like hotcakes and about 100 million dollars worth of merchandise sold. The Ballad of Davy Crockett was a hit and about 8 million records were hot off the press.
As a matter of fact, I had one. A little yellow record. I had a coonskin cap too.
Surprising enough, being a girl growing up in the fifties, I screamed bloody murder until I got one.
Davy Crockett, another genius success by non other than Walt Disney.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Good Morning Captain!

How perfect is that? Do you realize that Captain Kangaroo was the longest running children's show? It spanned from 1955-1984. Remember his pals, Mr. Green Jeans. Mr. Moose, Bunny Rabbit and Grandfather Clock? It all took place in the Treasure House.
Bob Keeshan was the Captian and before that he was Clarabelle on the Howdie Doody Show.
Think about it. Television was brand new and millions of kids were watching. Their moms were buying the toys, cereal, and Poll Parrot shoes he endorsed. Unfortunately, Keeshan was fired and Clarabelle was replaced. You can't fool a kid when it comes to a clown. They knew he was an impostor and wrote the stations in a rage. The real Clarabelle was rehired, but then fired again after two weeks over a money dispute.
At the age 28, Bob Keeshan became the Captain. Remember Mr. Moose dropping all the ping pong balls at the punch line of his knock knock jokes? Wasn't Mr. Rabbit so cute when the Captain fed him carrots? Grandfather Clock was the resident poet and Dancing Bear was just too cool.
Bob Keeshan was all about the kids. He was an advocate of children's education and learning. He can never be replaced.

Good Morning, Captain: Fifty Wonderful Years with Bob Keeshan, TV's Captain KangarooGood Morning Captain -Captain Kangaroo Original Cast Music from the CBS TV Show!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Kool-Aid Kool-Aid, Tastes Great, We Want Kool-Aid, Can't Wait!

Remember drinking Kool-Aid? The sweet fruity drink that dyed your teeth and tongue, and your mom got upset when you spilled it on your clothes?
According to Wikipedia:
"Kool-Aid was invented by Edwin Perkins and his wife Kitty in Hastings, Nebraska, USA. Its predecessor was a liquid concentrate called Fruit Smack. (smack?) To reduce shipping costs, in 1927, Perkins discovered a way to remove the liquid from Fruit Smack, leaving only a powder. This powder was named Kool-Ade. A few years later, it was renamed 'Kool-Aid', due to a change in U.S. government regulations regarding the need for fruit juice in products using the suffix "-ade"[citation needed][dubious – discuss]. Perkins moved his production to Chicago in 1931 and Kool-Aid was sold to General Foods in 1953.

Hastings still celebrates a yearly summer festival called Kool-Aid Dayson the second weekend in August, in honor of their city's claim to fame.

Advertising and promotion
The mascot of Kool-Aid, Kool-Aid Man (aka The Big Man), is a large anthropomorphic frosty pitcher filled with Kool-Aid (usually cherry, though other flavors have been used). He was introduced in Kool-Aid advertising shortly after General Foods acquired the brand. In TV and print ads, Kool-Aid Man was known for bursting suddenly through walls, seemingly summoned by the making and imbibing of Kool-Aid by children. His catch phrase is "Oh, yeah!" For many years, the Kool-Aid Man was portrayed by a live-action actor in a giant pitcher suit; starting in the mid-1990s, the character was computer-generated. The most recent Kool-Aid commercial, however, features a new actor in a whole-new pitcher costume."
Originally, Kool-Aid sold for 10 cents a packet, but during the depression, Perkins cut the price in half to 5 cents so families could afford it.
This sweet drink has left a legacy in our culture. Did you know that because of the Jonestown massacre and cyanide laced grape Kool-Aid being the drink of choice, coined the saying, "Don't drink the Kool-Aid." That basically means, don't trust any group of people that you think tend to be a little kooky.
Other than drinking the stuff, Kool-Aid has a variety of uses:
Fabric dyes, great for tie dying tee shirts.
Yarn dyes.
Frosting's, just add Cool Whip.
Fruity lip gloss, add to petroleum jelly and heat.
Lemonade flavor to remove iron stains from the bath tub.
Orange flavor to run through the dishwasher as a cleaner.
Water color paints.
Hair dye.
Face paints.
The list is endless and to think we drank it and stained our insides a variety of psychedelic colors.
Most importantly, don't forget Ken Keasy's Kool-Aid acid test presented by his Merry Pranksters.
Kool-Aid anyone?