Thursday, September 22, 2022

It’s funny, the things you remember

I don't mean funny ha-ha, I mean funny peculiar.

I remember that before Bob Keeshan played Captain Kangaroo on TV he was the original Clarabell the Clown on Howdy Doody.

I remember that when I played clarinet in the Mansfield (Texas) High School band back in the 1950s, Marshall Tyson played alto saxophone, Dianne Phillips played tenor saxophone, and Bruce Hornell played baritone saxophone. John Galloway, Jerry Willis, and Jerry Harmon played trumpet and the latter Jerry's twin brother Terry played tuba. Kenneth Green played snare drum. There were a lot of other people in the band but I don't remember them or what they played.

I remember when there were nine planets in our solar system.

I remember that when Lady Diana Spencer married Prince Charles and became the Princess of Wales she bobbled the order of his names during their exchange of vows, saying "I take thee, Charles Arthur Philip George" instead of what she ought to have said, "I take thee, Charles Philip Arthur George" and I remember wondering whether the marriage was therefore not valid.

I remember watching the Democratic National Convention on our black-and-white television set in the summer of 1956 when newly-chosen candidate for the presidency Governor Adlai Stevenson of Illinois let the delegates decide who his Vice Presidential running mate would be. They chose Senator Estes Kefauver of Tennessee over someone I had never heard of, Senator John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts.

I remember that Adlai Stevenson, when asked how he felt after losing to Dwight D. Eisenhower, cited Abraham Lincoln's remark after losing an election, that it reminded him of the little boy who stubbed his toe in the dark and said he was too old to cry but it hurt too much to laugh. I cannot remember whether he said this in 1952 or 1956 but he lost to Eisenhower both times.

I remember seeing Olga Korbut and Mary Lou Retton and Nadia Comaneci win gold medals in gymnastics at various Summer Olympic Games.

I remember Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean's spectacular ice dancing to the music of Maurice Ravel's Bolero in the 1984 Winter Olympics in Sarajevo. They wore lavender.

I remember attending two musical productions at the Texas State Fair in Dallas in the mid-1950s. In one, Victor Herbert's operetta Naughty Marietta, I remember Patrice Munsel singing "Ah, Sweet Mystery Of Life, At Last I've Found You". In the other, Rodgers & Hammerstein's South Pacific, I remember Kay Armen as Bloody Mary singing both "Happy Talk" and "Bali Ha'i". I have no memory at all of who portrayed Ensign Nellie Forbush or French expatriate Emile De Becque but undoubtedly they sang "I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Out Of My Hair" and "Some Enchanted Evening", respectively.

My most vivid memory from the world of sports is a tie between (a) Atlanta Braves TV announcer Skip Caray yelling "Braves win! Braves win! Braves win!" in 1992 after Sid Bream slid into home base in the bottom of the ninth inning of the seventh game of the National League Championship Series and (b) University of Georgia announcer Larry Munson yelling "Lindsay Scott! Lindsay Scott! Lindsay Scott!" in 1980 after the 93-yard winning touchdown play near the end of the fourth quarter in the Georgia-Florida game that year.

Here is a knock-knock joke for you.

Who's there?
Sam and Janet.
Sam and Janet who?
(singing) Sam and Janet evening you may see a stranger, you may see a stranger across a crowded room.

I'm guessing you will remember this knock-knock joke.


  1. Let's forget the knock-knock joke, shall we, but I do remember that at junior school there was a shelf full of Bobbsey Twins books in the classroom. I later learnt they were very popular in the US but I've never seen them anywhere else in the OK.

    1. Tasker, the Bobbsey Twins! Two sets of twins, actually. Nan and Bert (older) and Flossie and Freddie (younger). Something for everybody, Family-friendly, I suppose. I remember reading some of them when I was very young. As I grew older they seemed too childish, too tame, and intended more for girl readers. Maybe not, but that's how I remember them as I was getting more interested in things like Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island. I looked them up just now and the series lasted from 1904 to 1975 with 72 books in all, plus there was another series of 30 books in the eighties and ninties. Younger folk here have probably never heard of them.

    2. P.S. to Tasker, I'm assuming you meant the UK and not Oklahoma.

    3. Apologies - fingers can't keep up with thoughts. I did indeed mean the UK where the wind comes sweepin' down the plain.

  2. I do remember the knock-knock joke. For some reason it is one that stays in the mind. I have so many vivid memories of the 50's and 60's but I can't always remember what was said to me 5 minutes ago. Not fair.

    1. Emma (or is it Lynn?), I hear you. I hope someone will figure out why our long-term memory stays and our short-term memory goes and develop a pill we can take to correct that.

  3. I never knew that Deorge was King Charles's fourth christian name.

    We have an odd programme on TV in Britain called "Gogglebox" in which selected ordinary citizens reflect upon what they are watching on the TV. Often it is funny and sometimes heartwarming.

    This week Jenny confessed that she had been concerned for Charles's well-being when she saw the words "King Charles III" appear on screen. She thought it announced that the new monarch was ill!

    1. YP (Neil), it was a simple typo; you don't hve to be snarky. On the other hand, perhaps you do.

      Easily mistaking the roman numeral 'III' for the word 'ill' is one of the primary reasons I dislike Ariel font (or whtever it is).

  4. I also remember Diana mixing up the names.
    I remember seeing a wrinkle in my otherwise perfectly made bed and thinking there was a spider hiding in the bed.

    1. kylie, your comment reminded me of the old Scottish saying, "From ghoulies and ghosties and wee-legged beasties and things that go bump in the night, Lord deliver us." (I think I got that right.) I have learned to semi-tolerate small spiders because they dine on even smaller bugs. But here's hoping we both keep a wide berth from black widows and brown recluses and whatever you have that is exclusive to Australia.

  5. If you told your knock knock joke to Kiki and Brittany, I bet they wouldn't get it, never having heard the song,

    1. Debby, you are undoubtedly right. But I mentioned Kiki and Brittany in a different post that hadn't yet been written when I wrote this post. I might have been confused if I were anyone other than myself.

      I notice from your profile that you are from Pennsylvania. My mother grew up in Montgomery County (suburban Philadelphie) and her brother practiced medicine not far from Harrisburg.


<b> Wordplay is good for the soul</b>

I have enjoyed playing with words since I was a child. It probably began when I saw the following riddle on the last page of Boys' Li...