Tag Archives: my childhood

Memory Lane: The Barylambda

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You’ve already asked yourselves, “What’s a barylambda?” It’s this animal pictured above, which exists no more. I love that picture, though. I’d swear it was shot in Edgar Woods, the way it used to be before Democrats paved over every square foot of it. That background does take me back!

This is one of my favorite prehistoric mammals. That long, powerfully-muscled tail looks like it ought to be on a dinosaur, not a mammal. I can’t think of any mammal today that has a tail to match it.

I was always delighted when my Free Prehistoric Monster in a box of Wheat Honeys or Rice Honeys turned out to be a barylambda. Like this one:

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*Sigh*  Even if we could get the barylambda back, we’d still need a woods to put him in. Our local Edgar Woods was just perfect, but it’s gone as surely as the barylambda.

I hope God remembers to put it back when he restores all things.

 


Memory Lane: The Game of ‘Schmo’

Just in case there isn’t another Democrat “debate” for a while, here’s something very similar to tide you over–the game of Schmo (http://www.craycraygames.com/?p=800).

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Remco produced this game in 1959. How well I remember those commercials! “I’m a schmo, and that ain’t good…” The object of the game was to see how could be the biggest nincompoop, or schmo. Events within the game featured forgetting one’s pants, stepping into wet cement, and other schmo-like misadventures.

I expect I’ll be sitting in a doctor’s waiting room while you read this.

Schmo, anyone?


Memory Lane: ‘Jocko’s Rocket Ship’

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Do any of you remember this–Jocko’s Rocket Ship, a TV show from 1958?

Douglas “Jocko” Henderson was one of the first African-American disc jockeys to make it big in radio, first in Philadelphia and then in New York, and for one season he was on TV. Jocko’s Rocket Ship came on after school, on Channel 13, New York, which some years later became our long-time PBS channel. Jocko was competition for American Bandstand.

At nine years old I had no interest whatsoever in rock ‘n’ roll–indeed, I never did get interested in it–but I couldn’t get enough of rocket ships. Sometimes you even saw Jocko in a space suit. So I was looking for outer space and alien planets and bug-eyed monsters, and all I got was crummy rock ‘n’ roll. Then I found out I was the only kid in my class who’d ever even heard of this show: my friend Marvin flatly refused to believe in its existence.

“Jocko” Henderson died in 2000. I’ll bet it’s been a good 50 years or more since I’ve thought of his show.


A Really Cool Prehistoric Critter

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I loved this creature from the first time I ever saw it–probably 6 years old, blissfully paging through an illustrated book on dinosaurs.

This is Diplocaulus, three feet long, and not a dinosaur but an amphibian. Dig that head! The first time my aunts took me to the American Museum of Natural History, and I saw the Diplocaulus fossils on display–just like in the pictures!–I could hardly contain my joy. And no other animal ever had a head like that.

These animals lived in Texas, in swamps and bayous which aren’t swamps and bayous anymore.

Now, imagine my surprise when I saw this picture:

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Holy cow! Somebody’s got a live Diplocaulus–right there, in a bucket!

But it was only a photo-shop job. In all the places that I’ve looked, I’ve never found a living Diplocaulus.

Please let me know if you do.


Unforgettable Images… from the Bible

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In Damascus the governor under Aretas the king kept the city of the Damascenes with a garrison, desirous to apprehend me: and through a window in a basket was I let down by the wall, and escaped his hands.     St. Paul, 2 Corinthians 11:32-33

In one of my earliest years in Sunday school–I think I might have been seven years old, or possibly six–our teacher used to teach from a printed handout that we could take home with us, a different one each week. Each one was illustrated with a large, color picture of the Bible story described in the lesson. I don’t remember being able to read these: the teacher or a family member (usually my Uncle Bernie) had to read it to me.

But I remember some of those pictures as if I’d only seen them yesterday. Remembered them for all this time. I guess you’d have to say they were an effective teaching tool.

Among the lessons I remember best was Paul’s escape from Damascus, after they were going to arrest him for preaching the Gospel there: how all the gates of the city were watched, so the disciples helped him get over the wall by letting him down in a basket. Probably a laundry basket.

No Greek or Roman historian would have recorded such a thing. It was undignified! What kind of hero has to escape his enemies in a basket? And if it did happen, the sooner it could be forgotten, the better.

But the Bible is true.

Do you honestly think this story of the basket would be in there, if it wasn’t true? Was that any way to pump up the stature of the leaders of the early church? “Wow, I wanna join! When the cops came for the leader, he got away in a laundry basket!” Yeah, right.  You couldn’t tell that story in a presidential campaign, unless you were telling it about your opponent.

Think about that. If you read the Bible and are familiar with its content, you’ll run out of time before you run out of examples.


‘More Memory Lane: “Fury”‘ (2016)

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This is the toy that served me when I played “Fury”

A 1950s American middle-class childhood–I wouldn’t trade it for gold.

Fury was a long-running TV show about an orphan boy, a horse nobody wanted, and the healing power of love.

https://leeduigon.com/2016/08/22/more-memory-lane-fury/

If you showed up in Hollywood with a script like this today, they’d think you’d lost your mind. Or they’d buy it and then find some way to make it dirty.

But for those of us who knew and loved this show, way back when, the memories are sweet.


Another Fantastic Gag That Didn’t Work

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Comic books in the 1950s advertised for all sorts of incredibly cool things you could send away for–X-ray glasses, Sea Monkeys, this little doohickey you could put in your mouth that would let you throw your voice like a professional ventriloquist… genuine authentic foot-locker full of these pitiful flat plastic soldiers…

And the Joy Buzzer.

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This little treasure, you wound it up and hid it in the palm of your hands, and when your victim shook hands with you, he’d get a loud buzzing shock that’d make him jump a foot in the air. We thought it might’ve been electric, but when my brother and I got our Joy Buzzers, we quickly discovered there was no electricity involved. In fact there wasn’t much of anything involved. If you and the victim really tried on purpose, you could get it to buzz. But usually nothing happened.

At least these things weren’t expensive.

To this day I remain skeptical of the worth of goods and services advertised in comic books.


Memory Lane: Marx Play Sets

I loved those play sets by the Marx Toy Co.! I didn’t have any of these carry-all cases, but I did have the Cape Kennedy play set when it was still called Cape Canaveral: and boy, those spring-powered rockets! You could actually put a dent in your ceiling. Like, “You’ll shoot your eye out!” But the threat was obvious even to us kids, and nobody shot his eye out with a Nike missile.

The commercial also shows Fort Apache, Noble Knights, and Boot Camp play sets. My favorite, not shown, was Dinosaurs and Cave Men.

These toys set my imagination on fire. For a while there I wanted to be a toy maker when I grew up, so I could design some really far-out play sets. But in the meantime I rejoiced in setting up the little plastic figurines and turning the set-up into a story.

Have they quite succeeded, yet, in putting the imagination into deep freeze? Would kids even know what to do with a play set anymore?

I remain hopeful: just give them time, and they’ll figure it out. Human nature as God created it, good and bad, will not be denied forever.

P.S.–Where did my video go? Can any of you see it?


Memory Lane: The Katzenjammer Kids

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The Katzenjammer Kids, at the hands of various artists and writers, were in newspapers and comic books for 109 years, starting in 1897, until 2006; and they’re still available in reprints.

They were in the Sunday color comics in my Grammy’s paper (but not ours), and I always looked forward to seeing what Hans and Fritz would get up to next. Looking back on it now, I wonder why they were so popular. Really, they weren’t nice at all–in fact, a couple of delinquents. Did they resonate with our sin nature, with some darkness in our souls? I can’t imagine trying to baby-sit for them: you might not live to tell about it.

Then again, perhaps they served a useful purpose, after all–an opportunity to let off steam without doing any harm. Hey, I watch the Three Stooges. That doesn’t mean I go around poking people in the eye and pulling chandeliers down from anybody’s ceiling. It means I laugh when they do it, because it’s so ridiculous. Maybe not as ridiculous as Okashii-yo-Cortez, but certainly more harmless.

I don’t know what I’d give to be at Grammy’s house again, reading the comics in her Sunday paper.


‘You Are My Sunshine’

This is among my very earliest memories: my father carrying me in his arms, rocking me, and singing this to me: You Are My Sunshine. And if I tried to sing it now, wit you well, it would make me cry. I dassn’t even play it on my harmonica.

I had these fantods, see, of undefined scary things assembling outside my bedroom window and whispering evilly among themselves, just waiting for me to fall asleep so they could come in and get me. So Daddy had to come and calm me down, which of course he always did.

I hope he knows how much I miss him.

And now I have to stop, because it’s getting to me.


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