Thursday, June 21, 2007

Nostalgia

The Beige One is hosting this week's Blogger's Roundtable. His chosen topic is 'what makes you feel nostalgic'. Join in the conversation!

I have compiled my own list of items the induce nostalgia in me. My specs for such a list are that we're speaking of items (people and pets are not things). More specifically, I'm stipulating mass produced things (e.g. personal photos, and that sweater X knitted for you doesn't count). For myself I'm discounting stuffed animals, because when I was a kid, I infused so much personality into them, I count them as people or pets, not as mass produced items. As always, extra points for rarities!!!

My list of most nostalgic items . . .

1) Recently, I have rediscovered my love of one of my favorite toys when I was a kid, the Viewmaster. I suppose I love the toy so much because I love to travel, and I've always considered Viewmasters to be a primitive virtual-sightseeing type of device.

2) There are numerous cartoons that you rarely see anymore, partially because of political correctness, and related societal changes. Amongst my favorites is Dough for the Do-Do, sometimes referred to as Porky in Wackyland.

3) Other cartoons include very early Daffy Duck cartoons, where he is REALLY looney. Unfortunately, I can't remember the name of any of the specific cartoons, but there is one where he sings a song that begins, "Oh, people call me Daffy, they say that I am gooney, but just because I'm happy is no sign I'm looney toony."

4) Further cartooniness includes a Tom & Jerry cartoon directed by Chuck Jones, where Jerry has access to invisible paint and hi-jinx ensue. The toon ends with each of them attacking each other with scissors, cutting each other's fur so it looks like they're wearing bikinis. The two of them laugh so hard, they lean on each other like chums.

5) My family's favorite music to listen to when I was growing up was musicals, so I actually get nostalgic listening to several musical soundtracks, 1776, Pete's Dragon, Pippin, Shenandoah, Tom Sawyer, etc.

6) When I was a kid, we had an LP (that's Long Playing Record, or 33 1/3 for you youngsters) for a briefly run kid's TV show called The Mouse Factory. It was a Disney venture, but it was headed by Ward Kimball, one of Walt Disney's right hand men. Ward Kimball is a bit more trippy, goofy, and surreal in comparison to other Disney animators. I practically wore this record out on my portable record player when I was a kid.

7) My father's parents retired to Florida, about three hours south of Orlando, so every year, when my family would go to visit, we would stop at Walt Disney World. My brother had a record of music from the Magic Kingdom that my sister and I practically wore out. There was also a small picture disc of the Main Street Electrical Parade, which features the Baroque Hoedown theme.

8) My father was a bachelor during the golden age of the HiFi, and before he got married, records were some of his favorite indulgences. Probably the greatest records in his collection was Delerium in HiFi by Elsa Popping and her Pixieland Band. The music is basically cheezy fifties, French big band pop arrangements. That being said, the recording using all sorts of technical tricks, like speeding up a trombone solo to get a slide trumpet, recording vocals backwards, etc. to create a really great album. One of my favorite albums to listen to and dance like an idiot.

9) Also in my father's collection was a bunch of forty-fives for Fire House Five Plus Two, which was another Ward Kimball / Disney crossover. Firehouse Five Plus Two is a Dixieland Jazz Group made up of Disney animators, including Ward Kimball on Trombone (both myself and my father played trombone). Very fun records.

10) I was a huge fan of Sesame Street when I was a kid. In fact, my Mom would often indulge me, and let watch the same episode twice a day, much to the consternation of my brother and sister. They'd come home from school wanting to watch the Mickey Mouse Club, and I'd wanna watch the same episode of Sesame Street that I had seen during lunch. My favorite bits were the "Muppet News Flash" (my Dad always watched the news when he came home, so I was sort of emulated my Dad on this one), "Guy Smiley", and anything with Grover or Cookie Monster.

11) Finally, while this list starts with being nostalgic over Saturday mornings, I'll end it with Saturday nights. We'd often go to 4 o'clock Saturday (Catholic) Mass. Since my brother was the organist, we'd meet up with him back by the rectory. Since I'm from Wisconsin, Father Schmidt's (the senior priest) signature Saturday night dinner involved very fragrant sauerkraut, so we'd wait in the sauerkraut vapors for my brother, go home and have dinner. Then we'd catch the end of Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom, and then onto The Wonderful World of Disney. Treats might include Baumeister's Root Beer or Orange Soda. For snacks, Mom may make ground chuck oven roasted on half rolls, or the king of kings, home made pizza with green olives!

2 comments:

Pyschosinlove said...

I miss Saturday mornings and The Krofft Supershow (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0074014/). My favorite shows were:

* Dr. Shrinker
* Wonderbug
* HR Pufnstuf
* Land of the Lost (mmmm Holly)

Yay for YouTube. Now I can go buy Trix cereal and watch these fine shows on my computer.

edwardcoli said...

Yeah, those were pretty good, though I don't remember Wonderbug. Ironically, my cranium has gradually shaped itself to be like a Sleezstack's!