More than 20 years ago I first heard someone say, “If I had known grandchildren were so much fun, I would have had them first!” Now, having my own grandkids, I resemble that remark.
The other day, our oldest granddaughter here in town spent the night with us. She loves to watch videos, so I suggested a DVD that I had bought for $1, containing several episodes from the “Howdy Doody” children’s show filmed in the late ‘50s. I wondered how Buffalo Bob Smith, Howdy, Phineas T. Bluster, Clarabell, Dilly Dally, and the Peanut Gallery would connect with the mind of a 21st century child.
To my delight, as grainy black-and-white images took me down Memory Lane to around 1957, Avery loved it. Strings clearly holding up Howdy Doody, Mr. Bluster and friends did not faze her at all, nor the silly slapstick comedy conducted by Buffalo Bob.
But what I had forgotten was how they cleverly interwove commercials into the context of the show. There were Buffalo Bob and Howdy extolling the virtues of Wonder Bread (and its “red, yellow and blue balloons”), Hostess cupcakes, and Tootsie Rolls. It’s no surprise I grew up consuming those products: Who wouldn’t trust good ole Buffalo Bob?
The next morning we went to buy some items for lunch. In the parking lot, in all its red, yellow and blue glory, was a Hostess Bakery truck. Avery spotted it right away, as well as the loaves of Wonder Bread and Hostess cupcakes in the baked goods aisle inside the store.
Our nation may be facing a monumental struggle right now, but we still have vintage Howdy Doody; Wonder Bread – and grandchildren. Things could be worse!
“Children’s children are a crown to the aged, and parents are the pride of their children” (Proverbs 17:6).