Walt Disney’s The Mickey Mouse Club debuted on TV in 1955 and was a mega-hit by 1956, airing on weekday afternoons. Remember?
I was only six or seven years old when I started watching this, and now I don’t know how I ever managed to sit through it. Really, all I wanted was the cartoons! Especially Donald Duck, or Goofy. If they played them at all, they played them near the end of the show so you had to watch all the singing and dancing. Those sequences seem just as long to me today as they seemed back then.
I wanted one of those Mouseketeer hats, but never got one–just a set of plastic slip-on Mickey Mouse ears. Why in the world did I watch this show? Beats me! Was it because mine was the first TV generation, and we all watched TV because that’s what you did? And whatever they put on the screen, you watched? Say it ain’t so, Joe.
I’ll never get back the time I spent watching this festival of nothing.
Today is the anniversary of the climactic moment of the Battle of Gettysburg–Pickett’s Charge. Having been unsuccessful in trying to break the Union Army on its flanks, Robert E. Lee attacked the middle of the line: and lost a whole infantry division, and the battle.
Remember this sinister figure? It’s The Blot, as in Mickey Mouse Outwits the Phantom Blot.
Originally published in 1939, the comic-strip serial has been reissued a number of times.
Before I was old enough to read a real novel, there was Mickey Mouse and The Blot, in one of those big, thick comic books that used to sell for 25 cents instead of 10. Oh, did that story rev up my imagination! I only got to read it once, because the comic book belonged to someone else in my family–it was so long ago, and I was so young, I don’t remember who–and I couldn’t take it home with me. But I never, never forgot that big black Blot stalking around, and brave Mickey going undercover for the police. I haven’t seen it since, but those images have stayed with me.
I dunno… We didn’t have computers, or smart phones, or video games. But some of the children’s entertainment, from my childhood–man, it was vivid! It probably had a lot to do with turning me into a writer: that, and God’s providence.
It was low-tech, sold for pennies–and it was great.