#bloganuary: Breakfast of Champions!

From the East Coast Business office in Framingham, Massachusetts, here’s today’s prompt: Write about what makes you feel strong.

Hmmm… I’m not sure that anything does these days. I mean, I’m handicapped, so I’m limited in what I can do. Maybe I need to eat my Wheaties…

The woman hosting Ding Dong School was Frances Horwich, who had a Master’s in Education from Columbia and her Doctorate in Education from Northwestern. At the time she was invited to audition for the job, she was the head of the Education Department at Roosevelt College (now Roosevelt University) in Chicago. Wikipedia tells us that she was an experienced nursery school teacher, but had little experience with television, none of which included working to a classroom with no kids in it. She was scared, but auditioned and won the part, and agreed to give it a try. The show started as a local children’s show on WNBQ-TV (now WMAQ-TV) in 1952 and won a Peabody Award, so they made it a weekday show that went out across the NBC Television Network in 1953. She was named Head of Children’s Television for NBC in 1954, and moved to New York in 1955. Sadly, the show was canceled in 1956 to make room for The Price Is Right.

What that has to do with me feeling strong, I don’t know, but I’m sure Dr. Horwich felt strong when her career in TV took off.

We used to eat Wheaties, and as I remember they weren’t very tasty. I much preferred the taste of Cheerios…

Remember the shitstorm that ensued after that was shown? Some people didn’t just see it as a little girl asking her mother if Cheerios is good for her father’s heart, and the hilarity that ensues when the father wakes up from his nap finding himself covered in Cheerios. Some people couldn’t see past the fact that the little girl had a White mother and a Black father. I mean, this is 2022, and mixed-race marriage and children are common. Some saw it as a way to force people to accept interracial marriage as more desirable than marriage between two people of the same race. I saw it as a way to use an adorable child actress in a commercial.

I’m feelin’ pretty strong right now…

#bloganuary: These Dreams

Today’ss prompt, from the International Sales Office in Lagos, Nigeria: Write about a dream you remember.

My dreams really don’t make a whole lot of sense. Since the stroke, they’re very vivid and I don’t remember them well. About the best I can do is this:

My dreams lately have taken place in a cubicle farm, where I know everyone even though I’ve met few of them, if anyone. Outside the cubicle farm is a store of some kind, maybe a grocery store or a drug store, maybe even a convenience store where I buy Dr Pepper and Benson & Hedges Menthol cigarettes (even though I quit smoking years ago, and don’t remember smoking Benson & Hedges Menthols). Occasionally I’m asked to join a meeting, in an office with a broken toilet in the corner. If I have to go to the bathroom at some point, the urinals are these amazing contraptions that can do many things, although I just relieve myself in them. There are signs on the wall that explain the functioning of the urinals, which I don’t bother reading because I don’t need any other function.

In other words, just a typical day in my head.

#bloganuary: Words of Wisdom From The Bard of Baltimore

Today’s prompt, from the winter office in Hancock/Houghton, Michigan: What is your favorite quote and why?

H. L. Mencken at his curmudgeonly best. I think we all know people like this, who assume that because something is better at one thing, it’ll be better at everything.

I was in Singapore a few years ago, and one day at lunch I bought a can of Bandung, which is a mix of rose syrup and evaporated milk. I figured it can’t be that bad. It was. But I drank it anyway. Live and learn…

#bloganuary: High School Days

New Trier West High School, Northfield, Illinois, My alma mater

From the main vault in Monroe, Louisiana comes today’s question: If you could, what year would you time travel to and why?

I’d set the time machine for July 1, 1971. That was right after we moved to Northfield, Illinois and a couple of months before I was to start my sophomore year as a transfer student at New Trier West High School. The reason for this is simple: I would want to help my younger self do a better job of getting through that transitional year. I didn’t do such a good job of it: I was cocky, thought I was God’s gift to women, drank too much soda, smoked too much, and wasted a lot of time dreaming about being a great guitarist rather than doing the woodshedding and actually becoming a great guitarist. It was all in my power, and what can I say? I blew it. I’d like to go back and fix it. I realize that one shouldn’t screw with history, but as I said in a recent post, that wouldn’t stop me.

#bloganuary: My Favorite Picture

Today’s prompt, from the maintenance department in Gulfport, Mississippi: What is your favorite photo you’ve ever taken?

I am, pardon my French, the sh*ttiest photographer on Earth, and have gotten even worse now that my right hand doesn’t work and everything on Earth is set up for right-handed people. So I don’t have a favorite photo that I’ve taken.

However, there are two meanings of "you’ve ever taken":

  • pictures where I’ve held the camera and pressed the shutter
  • pictures taken of me

I’m going with the latter.

L-R: Kip, Aunt Cash, me, Fabulous Auntie Jill, Jim

I have two older cousins from whom I got the majority of sportcoats when I was younger, because both of them had about 5,000 sportcoats in their wardrobes, for whatever reason. In one batch, I received a fedora, and liked it, so Mom decided to outfit Jim and Kip with fedoras as well. And of course, it being the ’60’s, we all had trench coats.

So here we are on Easter morning, circa 1965. It’s colder than a penguin’s backside, like it always was in Chicago on Easter, and we haven’t eaten since early that morning, because in those days you had to fast for three hours before Communion (can’t have Jesus fall into a belly full of Rice Krispies, after all), which meant that, by the time Mom and Dad got their rear ends out of bed barely in time for the 12:15 Mass at St. Ignatius (which was literally one block from home: we lived at 6459, church was at 6559), we hadn’t eaten in almost six hours and were in imminent danger of going into hypoglycemic shock. And Mom decides she wants pictures of us, dressed in our Easter best. So we’re all a little aggravated and want to get in and have breakfast.

I call this picture "The Three Franks," because this was around the time Ol’ Blue Eyes was in his fedora and trench coat phase. And, for the record, I seriously doubt we ever wore the hats again…