Alligator Jackson takes you back to the good ol' days when life was simple!

 

Quisp: 70's Sugar 

Alien Quisp flew into Earth in 60's and 70's.  After a 30 year absence Quaker brought the cereal back in limited stores and on internet.  My favorite cereal as a kid.

Stuckey's: A classic roadside slice of Americana 

The good Ol' days...road trips...family vacation.  Loading up the big ole Chrysler Newport with my parents and brothers and heading to the home of The Gateway Arch...St.  Louis.  Well, my grandparents lived in East St.  Louis.

 

The trip was long and often uncomfortable but I'd keep my eyes peeled out on the road looking for Stuckey's.  Stuckey's totally fascinated me.  The amazing souvenir/ c-store started as a pecan road side stand.  The pecan candy took off and led to an interesting roadside stop where you never knew what you would find.

 

I'd wait all trip looking forward to what Interesting candy and souvenir I would pick.  Stuckey's left but are back.  I haven't been to one of the 115 out there now but the thought of Stuckey's takes me back to the old road trips...fa.ily, souvenirs, and pecan candy.  How I'd like to pile into the old Newport and visit Stuckey's with my family one more time.

Mister Softee Cooled Off Our Summers 

As a little boy growing up in Cincinnati, Mister Softee's song was definitely music to my ears.  I would wait all day for that sound.  Something about Mister Softee's takes me back.  I saw him again in some parts of Cumberland in the seventies but it was the sno-cone man who ruled that town.  I only have seen Mister Softee's since in New York.  If I heard that sound again, I'd be put there on the side of the road with my money in hand.

When Pete Rose beat Bud Harrelson's Ass 

 

It is Major League Baseball post season time and it just is not the same for me.... Baseball was my first love.  I grew up cheering Pete Rose, Johnny Bench, and the rest of The Big Red Machine.  I had a Batting stance like Pete, I had his baseball cards, and I even drank his nasty chocolate drink.

I believe I got some of my work ethic from him.  I am not embarrassed to say I loved it when he kicked Bud's ass.

 

Baseball isn't t the same.  Maybe fans like me may care a little more if Pete ever gets put in The Hall of Fame.

 

Baseball lacks his personality.  Otherwise is full of guys like "Crush" Davis who batted 168 with a 7 year $121 million contract.  Baseball misses Pete.  Pete once said he'd play baseball for free.  He is 73 now and I bet he'd still bat 250.

 

 

Growing Up With McDonald's 

Even way back when I was a kid, McDonald's was the place kids wanted to eat.  This year, 2018, is Big Mac's 50th birthday.  Thee mega- popular sandwich was born in 1968

 

Topp's Baseball Cards taught us baby-boomers many skills 

Baseball Cards were not just collector's items when I was growing up.  They taught us young boys many skills.  One was the art of negotiation.  We learned how to negotiate and make deals by endless hours of trading cards.

 

My generation also "flipped" cards.  This was a form of kiddie gambling.  Each flipper would flip cards high into the air.  If your card landed with picture up and the other guys was down...you won the cards.  This was many future poker players first exposure to gambling.

 

Baseball cards also taught many of us "boomers" stalking tactics.  We would hound players at games or in malls or even send them cards in the mail to get them autographs.

Baseball cards were our toys.  We employed our imaginations and spurred our creativity by inventing countless number of games.

 

We learned to "pimp" up our cars by pimping up our bicycles by putting spokes in the wheels of our bikes.  Many Mickey Mantles and Willie Mays cards were sacrificed to pimp up bikes....today's card collector's cringe at the thought.

Many baseball fans got their start collecting cards.  Topp's helped baseball become our national past time.  Sadly, when Topp's lost their Monopoly...the popularity of cards and the game waned.

 

When cards became worth money, it seemed to take the innocence out of them.  I still remember seeing the first "pack" of spring and the excitement of realizing that cards were finally out after a long winter of waiting on them.  Baseball and baseball cards were my first love....another innocent thing ruined by money as the cards became valuable.

 

 

 

 

Local Children's TV Shows of 60's, 70's, and 80's 

Back in the old days stations tried to have some local programming in daytime before syndicated shows in evening and network programming at night.  I lived in 3 different markets that had popular local programming for kids.  I was born in Cincinnati in 1963 and grew up with the legendary Uncle Al Show in the morning.

George Clooney made an appearance in a skit at 8 years-old in 1970.  Here is a tribute to the wonderful career of Uncle Al Lewis.

 

Another Cincinnati show that my brother and I grew up watching on WXIX 19 in Cincinnati was The Larry Smith Puppets Show.  The stars were puppets, of course.  Hattie the Witch, Snarfie R. Dog, Nasty Old Thing,Hattie the Witch, Snarfie R. Dog, Nasty Old Thing hung out every weekday afternoon and played cartoons.  

Here is a clip featuring a Halloween special made in 1970 featuring Hattie The Witch and another WXIX on-air personality Cool Ghoul of Scream-In.  The Cool Ghoul(Dick Von Hoene) was known for his trademark shout and "Bleah, bleah, BLEAAAHHH!" and his inimitable tongue-fluttering "Bl-bl-bl-bl-bl-bl-bl-bl-bl-bl..."

When I moved to Cumberland, Md in 1970, I became a big fan of the Washington, Dc station Channel 20.  They had a block of afternoon kid shows hosted by Captain 20.  Captain 20 was first an astronaut and then an alien.

Tony Alexis was the second Captain 20

He was replaced by Dick Dyszel and became an alien from outer space.

Dick Dyszel also played Bozo The Clown on the morning kids show.

Dyszel was also Count Gore De Vol on Creature Feature.

 

When I moved to Huntington, WV in 1976, I discovered the local show Mr. Cartoon featuring Jule Huffman as Mr Cartoon.  Beeper was the sidekick and they entertained a studio full of children and played cartoons in between.

Now, most kids tune in Cartoon Network or The Disney Channel for their entertainment but back in the day local channels created their own characters in a quest for cheap, marketable kids entertainment...an in the process legends were born.  Every market had their own local characters and played classic cartoons.

70's Japanese anime 

Japanese anime 70 style.  My brother liked Marine Boy and I liked Speed Racer.  Ultra Man wasn't a cartoon but was comically dubbed in English voiceovers.

Marathon Candy Bar 

My favorite candy bar of all-time was The Marathon bar of the early 70s.  It melted way too easy and turned into an ooey gooey mess...which may be why it didn't stay around long.  Patrick Wayne, John Wayne's son was the cowboy in the commercial.

Evel Knievel: Daredevil king of 70's pop culture 

Evel Knievel was the Daredevil King of 70's Pop Culture as sailed over cars, buses, sharks, snakes, and even an ill-fated attempt to jump over Snake River Canyon in a rocket.  In his patriotic red, white, and blue jumpsuit, Evel and his motorcycle jumped into the hearts of American children.  Hardly, a role model, the legend says the hard drinking, pill-popping Daredevil broke over 400 bones.  He also beat a man half to death with a baseball bat even though Evel had two broken arms at the time from a failed jump.

 

But kids idolized  Evel...many imitated his stunts by jumping ditches on their bikes.  Those who had more sense played with their own Evel Knievel motorcycle.  Evel Knievel was our generation's Jackass or Ridiculousness....as kids tried to duplicate stunts they knew they should not be doing.