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Posts Tagged ‘howdy Doody Show

Five year old Linda wanted one thing and one thing only:

“I wanna be in the Peanut Gallery of the “Howdy Doody Show! “  I wanna meet Buffalo Bob and laugh with Clarabell – yell at Mr. Bluster and gawk at the beautiful Princess Summerfall  Winterspring. 

Monday through Friday I was glued to this oddly shaped box watching these characters in black and white, hoping, praying, begging to be a part of the Peanut Gallery.

And then, like magic, I came home from  first grade on a Thursday and mom said the tickets had arrived and that both me (age 6 now) and brother Mitch (age 3) were going to be in the Peanut Gallery in three weeks.

I was happy, but didn’t know if I could actually wait three weeks.  I felt a funny knot in my stomach every day while asking mom, “how much longer?”

 “Tomorrow?   Are we going tomorrow?  The day after tomorrow?”

Eternity finally arrived.  We got into Dad’s car and drove from our Brighton Beach, Brooklyn apartment house all the way to “the city” which was Manhattan – to a place called Rockefeller Center.  I had to put up with endless details – but I knew it would be worth it.  I’d just like to say I didn’t think my brother should go because he was only three but mom told me to be quiet – in a very loving way.

I could barely breathe.  We were standing outside a room where people were counting us and taking us away from our moms and dads – and leading us – oh god – leading us to that very same Peanut Gallery I watched on TV every day.   As they moved us into rows, I again complained that Mitchell was too young but no one was listening to bossy me.

As they seated us, we were told that this was a very special day because Buffalo Bob, Howdy Doody, Mr. Bluster and the treasured Princess were all on vacation.  And that Clarabell would be running the show.

“What???”  I started screaming – we’re not going to see Howdy and Buffalo Bob?”

“No dear,” said some mean lady with big black glasses who was trying to shut me up – you’re going to see Clarabell so pay attention now!”

Clarabell walked out and asked as Bob normally did:  “What time is it?”

I did not respond with the normal “It’s Howdy Doody time,” because it wasn’t.  Instead I screamed – “It’s NOT Howdy Doody time!  It’s not.  Don’t let them trick you.”

The mean woman then tried to get us to sing the theme song – but I wouldn’t.  I was tricked and I was mad!  I actually caused a bit of a commotion so that mean lady moved my brother and I to the very back corner of the Peanut Gallery.

In all the days I watched the show – the main characters NEVER took a vacation.  I was sure I’d done something wrong and cried all the way home in the back of my dad’s car, asking “Why?  How could this happen?” And although I continued watching the show most days, my heart was no longer in it.  I focused more on “Captain Video” which was on right afterwards.


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