Monday, November 16, 2009

On Childhood Icons

When we were hanging out in Seattle, we had occasion to drive by an iconographic slice of children's entertainment history, and that was the statues erected in honour of JP Patches. I have to confess that, growing up in Newfoundland, I had no idea who JP Patches WAS because, while the show did play in Canada, like many things, it didn't make it across the Gulf of St. Lawrence. So it wasn't until I met Paul and Lisa that JP Patches was on my radar. And then when Mister Man came into my life, he waxed poetic about JP Patches and EVEN received an action figure of the man himself!

But when we pulled up to the statues, I loudly asked "which one is JP?" My question was greeted with horrified shrieks. HOW could I POSSIBLY not know "WHICH ONE WAS JP PATCHES?"

I lurked around both figures, trying to figure out who was who, when Mister Man's voice, dripping in absolute mockery said "Um. He's the one with the PATCHES?" (that'd be the guy with the clown face... to this day, I still have no idea who chumly with the dread locks is...)

And then, a magical thing happened as every adult in the car insisted upon having their photograph taken in the ICUTV monitor.

And THAT brought back a really great childhood memory of Romper Room with Miss Ann. She didn't have an ICUTV monitor. Nope. She had some sort of rigid lasso thingie that she would use to peer right into my living room.

Miss Ann would look through this round thing and say "And I see Brian and Susie and Joey and..." etc. And I waited for several years for her to say "and Teri". But she never did.

So even though JP Patches makes one heckuva scary looking clown statue, I fully understood why it was so important for Mister Man, and Paul and Lisa to line up and put their heads through the monitor... Because it was proof somehow that JP had seen them all along.....

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