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Tuesday, December 19

A Legend Has Passed Away


When I heard on the news last night that Joseph Barbera had passed away, I commented to the husband, "He must have been a hundred years old!" Close. 95.

Then we got to reminiscing about silent cartoons that were on really early in the morning when we were kids: Koko the clown and Farmer Gray, not to mention we early rising kids also had the choice of watching American Farmer and Victory at Sea which were boring as hell and not animated. It was either that or test patterns. (Does anyone in the NY area remember this?)

I grew up deprived. We watched "The Wonderful World of Color" on Sunday nights in black and white. But then again, we also played outside because there wasn't much on television during the day except reruns of Lucy, The Gale Storm Show, Topper, The Bob Cummings Show and My Little Margie (how do I remember this? is my short term memory failing?) We ate a lot of crap (candy was cheap but made of real sugar) and we burned it off walking back and forth to the candy store, 5 miles in the snow, uphill both ways. We were lean and mean with rotten teeth. Kids today have no clue how lucky they are. We didn't even have a color TV until 1973 when I bought one for the family with my summer job money. My dad felt guilty and paid me back.

Where was I? Oh yes. Hannah/Barbera invented Tom and Jerry if you like cat and mouse cartoons, but they were best noted for their talkies that began in the 60's like the Flintstones and the Jetsons which were cartoon versions of the Honeymooners taking place in different eras but with the same premise: the buffoon husband and the sensible wife. Wonder what that was supposed to mean?

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