Thursday, December 13, 2007

"Puff, The Magic Dragon"

© Kathleen Rietz, drawn in May 1972, at age 4 1/2
I loved this story when I was a child, and my mother used to sing the song to me. It aways ended so sadly though....Poor Puff.
I love to remember the wholesome entertainment we enjoyed from that era - Sesame Street and The Electric Company with their original casts (Rita Moreno and Morgan Freeman still look incredible and have gone on to be such gifted actors!! Who knew??), Burl Ives records for children, the wonderfully animated Christmas specials before everything became so gosh darn p.c., staying up to watch The Wizard of Oz on network t.v. every summer and being frightened by the original Willy Wonka movie (please get those Oompa-Loompas out of my head!).
What television and music did you enjoy as a child? What do you miss most?


  1. Hi Kathleen!!
    I loved Electric Company, too. I especially liked when there were two silhouettes of people and they each would say a part of a word. I remember that vividly!

    I also loved Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood (especially the part with the puppets) and Sesame Street, and Zoom!!

    Funny thing - - as a kid I loved Zoom. Now as an adult, one of my husbands' oldest friends is Neal from Zoom!! Funny.

    I also have to cop to loving Blue's Clues. (I used to watch it with the original Steve about 10 years ago, but have not watched in a long time.)

  2. Hi Kate,

    Wow you brought back many memories. I loved and couldn't wait each year for the Wizard of Oz to come on. And then my little favorite weekly show was H.R. Puff'n Stuff, does anyone remember that one?


  3. Kathy - Your hubby is friends with neal from Zoom??? I remember him! LOL! I loved their striped rugby shirts. : )

    Oh....Mr. Rogers...he was wonderful. I loved the puppets, too. But I think I liked Captain Kangaroo even more. His voice was so soothing, and he had such great stuff in his BIG carrots! Who didn't like Mr. Greenjeans?

    Yes, that was one of my favorite parts of Electric Cpmany, too, and also when Rita Moreno would yell "Hey you guuuuyyyyyyssss!!!"

    Thanks Kathy. You made me laugh. : )

    Teresa - Yes, I DO remember H.R. Puff'n Stuff. That was such a weird but wonderful show. Thanks Teresa!

  4. I used to love Electric Company too! I remeber a sketch with Morgan Freeman like if it was today. The song was:

    "see Sam...
    see Sam sit....
    see Sam sit in the sun....
    see Sam sit in the sun sipping soda"

    Do you remember that one?... he, he how fun :o)

  5. Growing up in Chicago, I lived for The Bozo Show. Around '78 or '79 my aunt scored tickets (it was like trying to get tix for Oprah now) and we went to see it live. Does anyone remember Bozo? Man, Larry Harmon was great as Bozo. Cookie was awesome.

    Kate: Captain Kangaroo was the best. My brother and sister thought he was boring, but I loved him. Remember Bill Cosby's Picture Pages?

    I also remember watching The Wizard of Oz and Willy Wonka every year. The whole family would get together for it, eat snacks...get scared by Oompa Loompas. So weird that we can watch it anytime we want now. Not the same.

    Speaking of Blue's Clues, I used to work on that show. One of the best things about it was story meetings. We all had some great conversations about the shows we loved as kids, and I think we put a lot of that into B.C. I guess being glued to the TV as a kid pays off. ;)

  6. This is a wonderful trip down memory lane Kate! I loved Electric Company! I recall the two silhouettes on either side of the screen would alternately say, "fffff" .... "ast" and simultaneously say, "fast!" "ffff" "ish" ... "fish"! That was my favorite! I was a budding nerd!

  7. Alicia: No, I do not remember that. I think everybody loved that show, though. It was actually kind of progressive for its time, if you think about it....the show featured a lot of minorities, 2 of which we still know very well today as respected actors. Same with Sesame Street. I think there were a lot of white kids introduced to cultural diversity back then and learning Spanish (at least counting and a few choice vocabulary words). That is one thing I actually liked about those shows and others on PBS. I actually had a HUGE crush on Gordon from Sesame Street.

    Sparky: Hey, nice to see you back here! Yes, i actually grew up in Peoria, IL, but we got Chicago channels and I watched Ray Rayner while getting reeady for school in the morning and Bozo. Bozo was HUGE!

    Cool story abourt Blues Clues! I actually did a lot of work with the "Barney" people as one of my first studio jobs out of school. They were nuts. : )

    Joan: Yep, I think that was a big highlight for many of us!
    Thanks everyone! This is so fun! I wish we all could have watched TV together back then!

  8. First of all, I adore your little puffy! You had a way with colors back then ;)

    TV: The Flintstones and the Brady Bunch come to mind.

    Music: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and The Jackson Five

    I miss the freedom of playing in the woods all day long.

  9. Get Zapped: Yes, of course, everyone watched The Brady Bunch, Jackson 5 and Partridge you have me thinking of shows like Love American Style (LOL), The Donny & Marie Show, Love Boat and Fantasy Island! Ha! I know it is beginning to sound like I watched a lot of TV. I didn't, actually, but I do remember all of these! Too funny. It would be hilarious to see reruns of all of those shows.

  10. i miss captain kangaroo and mr. greenjeans.

    i miss huckleberry hound and quick draw mcgraw.

    i remember when i was a little girl, my father was stationed at Misawa Air Base in the north of Honshuu Island in Japan. We used to watch the Lone Ranger on TV there...but i'd swear were were hearing the dialogue on our radio...armed forces radio...

  11. Kate, your drawing is wonderful. You're a natural born artist! The shows that meant a lot to me growing up were Captain Kangaroo, and Mr. Greenjeans too, and of course Tom Terrific and Phoebe the Wonder Dog! Remember them? And I was always late for school because I couldn't pull myself away from The 3 Stooges!I also loved Fractured Fairy Tales on the Rocky & Bullwinkle Show. And remember Mr. Peabody and Sherman? Wow, you've really got me going down memory lane here. Oh....and I was on Romper Room! (Yikes!!) And there was also Major Mudd (in Boston) and Rex Trailer, and I loved Bozo too. And here I thought my childhood was deprived :)

  12. I especially enjoyed a show called "3-2-1 Contact" which had lots of cool segments on nature and science experiments, etc. They also had a "drama" segment called "The Bloodhound Gang" which featured adolescent detectives solving mysteries via the use of invisible ink and other such phenomena fascinating to a 7 year old girl. Good times!... Elizabeth

  13. Electric Company isn't ringing any bells for me....maybe it wasn't shown in Australia. My age is showing here but I remember loving Andy Pandy and The Flower Pot Men when I was little. When I was a bit older, I loved the World of Disney which was a different show each week, The Brady Bunch, Flintstones, The Jetsons and Astro Boy were favourites too. My kids loved Romper Room and Sesame Street when they were little.

    OH, I just remembered another TV show I loved....The Munsters!

    Kate, when my nephew was a baby, my sister would sing him to sleep every night with "Puff, the Magic Dragon." I've always loved the song.

  14. As an adult I grew to love Sesame Street, and the Muppet Movie soundtrack is still one of my favorites. As a kid it was Captain Kangaroo, and a local tv show in South Louisiana named Polycarp, this old cajun man in a cabin who used to have a barrel, and when he took the lid off it this crazy music would play. We never knew what was inside. :-)

  15. omg. i'd forgotten about the waaaay back machine.

    i loved fractured fairie tales and the fables, too! heeeee

    i miss the olden days.

  16. Captain Kangaroo; Fractured Fairytales from Rocky and Bullwinkle; Howdy Doody; Sheri Lewis! Does anyone remember Sheir Lewis and Lamb Chop?
    Great way bring up the old memories!

  17. Good news. Sherri and Lambchop are on the Qubo channel on DishNetwork all the time.

    While there is no music or cuteness involved, I really miss Sammy Terry. He was the local late night ghoulie who used to scare the pants off of me when I was little with all his creepy B-movies.

  18. Oh! nice question Kathleen.
    I loved sesame street songs, the osmond's show and the pink panter music.
    Nice memories!
    Happy holidays from Italy.

  19. Captain Kangaroo! My brother and I watched him every day! At night I watched Jackie Gleason and I wanted him to be my dad. That cracks me up! How sweet it is...

  20. This is so awesome Kate. Yeah, I know what you're saying. The Electric Company and Sesame, Mr. Rodgers and Zoom Zoom--I grew up on all of that stuff. I read a repot recently that the classic Sesame episodes were deemed too "scary" for today's kids, yet look at what's on during the day, and the video games they play! Some bs about Oscar being too "depressed", etc, etc. What?!? Anyhow, Great post here. I actually look forward to getting all nostalgic and getting those old Sesame dvds soon, and speaking of Burl Ives, I watch the original animated (stop motion) Rudoulph around Christmas every year, on dvd. It still blows everything else away in my opinion.

  21. Thanks everyone! I loved reading your answers and took me for a ride down memory lane. I hope you all smiled as I did when I read everyone's answers.

  22. Serena mentioned Astro Boy! I was wondering if anyone beside me ever saw that? I'm probably reeeeeeaaaaaally dating myself, but did anyone ever watch Mighty Mouse? I wanted to marry him.

    Kate, I've seen you commenting around the IF community, and finally got around to visiting your blog. Wow! What a fantastic artist you are. Really wonderful stuff.

    Happy Holidays!!

  23. Hey "Sketched Out": Yes, I saw Mightly Mouse every day after school! An oldie but a goody!! Thanks for your really sweet comments. I am glad you enjoy my blog and my art! Happy Holidays to you also!

  24. H.R. Puff'n Stuff! I was in love with Jack Wild. Mr. Rogers was another favorite. I, too, remember the Xmas specials and Wizard of Oz. Thanks for the memories.


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