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<Later Recollections
Earlier Recollections>

Thu, 29 Sep 2005

When I watched 
Circle 4 Roundup the hosts were Gene Archer and Eddie McIntire.  Eddie played the ORGAN and Gene was the "emcee." Why are they not listed?  I don't even remember Joe Campbell and never heard of Jim Henson until the Muppet Show.


Wed, 28 Sep 2005
Thank you for this beautiful tribute to this wonderful man, 
Ranger Hal Shaw. I have frequently hummed the show's theme as I'm writing and had no idea where it was coming from. But his kindness, like that of the next generations' Fred Rogers, really inspired and guided us. Thanks for taking the time to put this beautiful piece together.

Cece Whittaker

Mon, 19 Sep 2005
I remember one year, 
Claire & Co Co were at the Ice Capades (1967 or 8?) and I got her autograph.  I was 7 years old, and it made my day!  I named my poodle Coco - after hers.  I remember watching her in the mornings before school, and thought she was so glamorous.  The places she took young viewers was amazing.

I am grateful to you for encapsulating on the internet the youth of people like myself. I remember Romper RoomClaire & Co Co, and Shirley Temple and Blondie movies on the weekends, and the Creature Feature that made me too scared to look under my bed.
I don't live 
in the DC area anymore - but got to return the summer of 2004 and was astonished at the changes.  I almost wished that I had left it as it was from 1965-1983.


Thu, 25 Aug 2005

I was the writer for the 
Uncle Artie Show, so I was delighted to see your website.  The show was incredibly unsophisticated.  Artie was a comic in strip clubs who was trying to go legit with the kiddie show.  He went on the air with the opening of WDCA-TV.  I came on board in June 1966 and lasted until September 1966 when I started college.  That's right - I was a high school senior and Artie's only writer.

Artie was a kind man.  The Batman/Bathroom story was true.  The show was live; having kids tell jokes at the end of the show when no commercials or cartoons were cued was high risk poker.  I used to tell Artie not to let the kids tell jokes, but if they did and he realized that a joke was inappropriate, to kill it and move on.  One day a kid offered the following joke, "What did Adolph Hitler say when he found out that Eva Braun was pregnant?"  I was out of camera range, but gesticulating wildly to cut away from the kid.  Artie say me and said, "Uncle Artie knows that joke.  Are there any other jokes?"  That started a rebellion among the kids who demanded to hear the punchline.  Artie, blood drained from his face, anticipating that he'd be back doing blue humor between strippers, begrudgingly aimed the microphone back at the kid, mumbling, "What did Hitler say?"  The kid answered: "Hotsy totsy, another nazi."  There was complete silence from the kids.  Finally, one kid said, "That's not funny."  The silence was interrupted by my going into gales of laughter in the studio.

As the writer, I really didn't have to do much: an opening, some intros to the cartoons, and a 3 minute monologue that Artie would do inside a refrigerator box with a tv-screen shaped window cut into it (this was called Milton the Live TV in honor of WDCA's station manager and former teen dance show host Milt Grant).  Three minutes of a static image inside a refrigerator box was deadly, but I did my best with a myriad of characters for Artie such as a cab driver (his idea) or a German inventor.  After Artie proofed the scripts, I would write up the cue cards - no TelePrompTer in those days.

George, our director, killed one of my jokes before we went over the air because it was inappropriate for a children's show.  Since no one ever got to hear it, it is time that it was made available to the public.  Artie was the German inventor in this Milton-the-Live-TV episode, and here's the joke.  "Ze zree blind mice came to me unt gave me $3000 for a giant knife to seek revenge of ze farmer's vife by cutting off her tail as she had done to zem.  Zree zousands dollars - that's an awful lot of money for an old vife's tail."

Our main sponsor was Children's Supermart (now known as Toys R Us).  Artie's hats, as indicated on your website, were his signature, so we had a contest where the kids could make their own Uncle Artie hat and win a gift coupon for Children's Supermart.  I had the distinction of wearing the giraffe costume (the sponsor's corporate logo) thus being the only live Geoffrey Giraffe that I am aware of in Toys R Us history.

Keep up the great job with the website. I had tremendous pleasure checking out all the links and flashing back to when I watched 
Pick TempleRanger HalCap'n TuggBill GormlyPete & His PalsBozoCousin Cupcake, and Sam & Friends.

Here's some super trivia for you: my first federal job was at the Department of Agriculture.  USDA had tie-ins with many of the shows - Hal was a USDA Forest Ranger (rather than a Department of Interior Park Ranger) and would appear on some of USDA's broadcasts.  Jim Henson's father was a entomologist with USDA.  And 
Jackson Weaver was the voice of Smokey Bear, a creature heavily featured on Johnson's show.  When Jack decided to retire from doing Smokey's voice, I recorded his farewell for national radio distribution, all of which he ad libbed.  Here's one of the highlights: "There comes a time in every bear's life when he should put down the shovel, hang up the hat, and let another little bear come along."  Jack was nearly in tears - he really took it that seriously.  At the time, USDA thought that a smaller, less authoritarian figure would be better than the paternalistic, bass voiced Smokey.  You may have noted that it was a failed campaign, right along with Woodsy the Owl.

Stan Levin

Kap adds: Stan has provided more info about Uncle Artie at the show's website.
Wed, 24 Aug 2005

Cap'n Tugg, I hear it's your birthday.  I was a fan of Captain Tugg when I was growing up, and I hope you have many more birthdays to come.  I remember in high school sitting around talking with classmates about favorite shows from childhood (I was born in 1957) and many of them mentioned your show.  One said "That parrot had me fooled for years, I thought it was real!"  (So did I.)  At least you're real!

Bob Sweeney

Tue, 23 Aug 2005

My father and brother and sister were on Cindy Lou's Melody Ranch show as youngsters. My dad won the quick draw contest and won an orchid for his mother. Is there ANY way possible to obtain through purchase a copy of that segment or show? 

Angela Murray

Kap's reply: Sorry...  Cindy Lou's show aired "live", so no surviving episodes are known to exist.
Tue, 9 Aug 2005 

There was one of 
Bill Gormly's characters I didn't see mentioned anywhere....
"Flatus T. Breezeway"
Of course my father told us what flatus was right away.  We all got a big laugh out of it.  I wonder, did the people watching ever write in or call in about that?  Any comments?
Carol Marsh
(born in Washington in 1947 and raised in the Washington metropolitan area)
Fri, 5 Aug 2005

Was happy to find the memories on your website. I had been looking for 
Billy Johnson's name for years now! Thank you!
On one of the 
Pete Jamerson shows (probably Pete & His Pals), he had two puppets as German characters. One spoke with a German accent. He had an underling named Schultz, who never spoke, but only responded by sneezing. The sneeze sound effect for Schultz was accomplished by a quick forced exhale through top teeth contacting a lower lip (I can do it, but it's hard to describe). I would like to know the name of the skits they did, and the speaking German's name.
Question for you all: there was an old cartoon series that we used to enjoy, back in the era of the cartoon character "Bosco", that starred a very tall thin guy and his buddy, a short guy (not sure if he was fat or not). I seem to remember one cartoon where they were riding a rickety old train, and fishing for their dinner between the rails. One of their cartoons may have included a stereotype of a Chinese guy. Any idea of a name for these guys or their series of cartoons?
Paul Deafenbaugh
Crofton, MD
Mon, 01 Aug 2005

For the last couple years I've been telling my husband about the "sputnik" thingie I had as a child.  It was a round thing with two funnel like projections on each end.  You put ice cream in the middle part put one end in a bottle of pop and presto! An ice cream float in a bottle.

He thought I was crazy.  I grew up in Oregon and he grew up in N.Y. City the hub of the universe.    How could I have something in hickville Oregon that this city slicker hadn't even heard of.

Well thanks to your website, which not only talks about the Fizznik/Astro float but shows a picture as well, my commitment papers have been shredded and I am now free to continue to gloat over my beloved hubby.

THANKS I knew I wasn't nuts....well not too nuts anyway.

Susan Scharf
Sun Jul 31, 2005

My memory of the early 
Sam & Friends show was that it came on  @ 6:25 right after Huntley/Brinkley WRC Channel 4 news.  I used to watch the news just to be sure not to miss it.  I rode the bus with a boy I called Sam & he called me Berniece, who was Sam's girlfriend.  I was sad to see no pictures of Berniece on your website of Sam & Friends, as she was my alter ego.  Later, I took on the Ms Piggy persona & even have some of the dolls.  I've often wondered what happened to my friend Sam from the bus.  Last I knew he was working @ Safeway in Culpeper, VA, but I think most of the area Safeways have gone on to their final reward just like Jim Henson...RIP.

Does anyone else remember Berniece? She was blond &, er, assertive, although not as voluptuous as Ms Piggy.

Thu, 28 Jul 2005 

What a wonderful site for memories!!  I turned 5 years old in January 6, 1958 and my birthday treat was a trip to the 
Pick Temple Show with my best friend, Barbara.  We both had brand new cowgirls outfits completed with shiny silver revolvers!  I have a picture of the two of us dressed up and ready to go to the show.
At the studio, all the chidren sat on hay bales under the wooden roof of the hayloft.  The show is something of a blur except for one part; I was chosen to ride the pony around the hayloft!!! (For all these years I thought the pony was named "Pickles," not "Piccolo"!)
I remember those 5 minutes vividly.  I told Pick my parents' names and that I intended to be a Congressional secretary when I was 24 years old.  I think this must have been my mother's secret ambition since I hadn't the slighest idea what a Congressional secretary was.  Pick boosted me up into the saddle, steadied the ponies head, then walked us around the hayloft.  We circled the back and headed around the other side where there was a wishing well.  I leaned over to look into it and Pick warned me not to fall in.  I reassured him that it was only a PAPER well, not at all dangerous.
Thank you for the many smiles your site has given to those of us who remember a sweet childhood TV show.
Janice (Cooper) Godlove
Mon, 25 Jul 2005 

...Just wanted to say how cool it was to find your site. ... they certainly don't make them like that any more.  As someone else mentioned, I'm 41 going on 8. Thanks for reminding me what it was like in the days of yore.

Tue, 19 Jul 2005 

What an unexpected trip through old memories I've had at your web site! I was looking for an image of "
Bozo the Clown" to put on a "thank you" card to my folks, when "Google" presented your site. I watched so many of those shows, and even appeared on "Pick Temple's Giant Ranch" for my 5th birthday in 1959...including getting to ride "Picolo" up to the camera and say my "Heidi's" to family and friends. I quickly recognized the "Pick and Lady" birthday card...I got at least one of them. My mother has an enormous cookie tin crammed with photos...I wouldn't be surprised if there was even a crinkly snapshot from my 5th birthday.

On another occasion than that Pick Temple birthday, I had the exquisite pleasure of squeezing 
Willard Scott's "nose" (he was in his "Bozo" regalia) at a promotional event at Glen Echo Amusement Park in that same era. Of course, the nose-squeezing gag was that, as a child squeezed his fake nose, Willard would honk a hidden horn...
Bill Schoonover
Fri, 15 Jul 2005 
I grew up in the Alexandria VA area and watched 
Romper Room with my older brother and sister in the late 60's and early 70's.  I have this vision of a man dressed in a black graduation cap & gown.  I think his name was Professor Cool or Professor School.  I also remember a witch that kept coming out that we could see and he kept looking for her.  Was this a clip from Romper Room ?  I have asked and asked and no one my age remembers this. Maybe I was dreaming????

Karen Phelps

Kappy states: The answer to your question can be found at our "sister" website for Baltimore kids' shows. Visit the CrabCityKidsTV site at and click on  Channel 2 - WMAR.
Wed, 6 Jul 2005

I love your website!  It brings back many a fond memory.   Have you ever thought of putting a book together?  I'll bet it would sell very well in the DC area.

Fred Claridge
Modesto, CA

Kap responds: The KaptainKidshow website is my ever-growing interactive book.... free for everyone!

Thu, 30 Jun 2005

One night I was confronted with a situation beyond my control and I really don't know if I handled it at all.

WTTG did have an evening program schedule. The Arnold Fine Show, the Les Sands Show, Club Video and The Happy Am I Preacher and His Choir, Elder Lightfoot Solomon Micheaux. Eventuallly Mathew Warren came along to do the 15-minute, 11 O'clock News. He did a superior job bringing interest to a more or less one shot visual presentation with news from the UPI wire.
I recall I usually "called it a day" as Matt went on the air. Going down the steps from the Mezzanine to 11th Street, N.W. I usually said " goodnight" to the phone operator on duty and ducked out the door. On this occasion, as I was saying good night, a woman came through the door and asked for Matt Warren. As I looked her up and down, I noticed she had a chrome pistol pointing at me. I don't know what I did, but the experience was not pleasant. I think my shoes were shaking because my legs were shaking and I think I was almost scared to death and I didn't want my potential cowardice to show:

"Where's Matt Warren?" she said, "I want to see Matt Warren."
You can't see Matt now, he's on the air.
"I don't care, I want to see him now ...I've got to put a stop to what he's been doing to me"
What's he doing?

I was gradually moving around so the switchboard operator could see her gun and she would be engaging me rather than noticing the switchboard. I hoped Vickie would catch on and react.

"He's vibrating me"
Vibrating, through the TV?
"Through the TV and I can't stand it anymore, where's the studio, is it up these stairs?"
He's on the air. You can't get up there and this is no way to settle this. He's a nice guy and you can talk with him later.
Suddenly the potential shooter was distracted because two staff members started down the stairs as two policemen came through the door. Vickie, on duty as telephone operator, had made the emergency call deftly. Matt's potential "killer" sheepishly gave the gun to the cop.
The incident was over and I must have staggered off to the Raleigh Hotel Bar.

Gordon Williamson,
Creator of 
The Moppet Shop
Mon, 27 Jun 2005

I am a 50 year old man who was born in Washington, DC in 1955. I was watching Countdown Carnival when I was in 3rd grade growing up in DC, and will never forget the letters WTTG-TV. That's because, for one thing, that I had memorized the address on the show to send drawings for the Sidewalk Art Fair.

Though I didn't get the thrill of seeing my artwork on the show, I did receive an autographed portrait of 
Bill Gormly.
Well, guess what? It's the same picture I see on his webpage.

Yes it's true, I am one of the many children who had the pleasure of squeaking 
Bozo's nose, who returned the gesture, much to my surprise. (Always wondered how he squeaked my nose!) My brother, Bob, and I did not meet Bozo on his show, but during a downtown Christmas shopping trip with our Dad, while we, like most shoppers in DC, were looking at the popular window displays.  There, to our surprise, was Bozo, greeting all the children who came by (Lucky Us!) and exchanging nose squeaks. There was a TV camera man at the scene.

I also saw Cap'n Tug and Miss Connie in a DC parade, riding in a convertible and waving at everyone. A big sign on the car said WTTG-TV.

As I got older, and the people I work with got younger, I have become increasingly aware that the world I grew up in no longer exists.  Every day I meet and talk to people who don't remember Huckleberry Hound or Yogi Bear. (I remember seeing their pictures on Kellogg's cereal boxes!) I became very sad when I found that few people I know remember the Real McCoys, although most of them do remember Walter Brennen. Then one day, I found myself at a party where most of the guests were my age or older. It gave me great pleasure to be talking about "Grandpappy Amos and the girls and boys and the family known as the real McCoys." I almost broke down and cried. For some reason it gave me a great feeling of reassurance.

Now when it came to Cap'n Tugg, Ranger Hal, and Bill Gormley, I learned that only people who grew up in DC have ever heard of them. This discovery I have made soon after leaving the Washington area. It was nearly 30 years after moving to NC that I finally met someone here who remembers Cap'n Tugg. We spent the next hour and a half talking about it. 

During the last 10 years, it became a common occurrence that I'd be watching the news and learn that another person has died who I used to watch on TV. (The big one last year was Kaptain Kangaroo) Before I knew it, the nostalgia bug had bitten me.

Now I agree with people who say that we should live in the present, not the past, but that's not what the nostalgia bug is about. It's about remembering our childhood, and the world we grew up in. It's about history. It's not just the TV shows I remember, but the assassinations of John F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King, and the impact that had in our own lives. It's about the Civil Rights Movement, and the many changes it has made in our society. It's about seeing a man walk on the moon for the first time ever. I feel it is important for people who lived in these times to remember them, and better still, to write about them.

When I was a child, my parents bought watermelon from off a horse drawn wagon that came through our neighborhood, for us kids to enjoy in the summertime. Today I own a computer, a VCR, an answering machine, and a cordless phone. I also carry a plastic card in my wallet that I can put in an ATM and get cash. I live in the 21st century. The children in my family keep in touch by e-mail. I don't live in the past, I just remember it well, and teach the younger folks about it whenever they would listen.

When I found your website, it was like coming home. What a tremendous feeling of reassurance it gives me to know there are still people in this world who remember the world I grew up in.

Bill Widman (aka Wild Bill)
Pittsboro NC
Fri, 24 Jun 2005

Your site is wonderful!!!!!

Having been on 
Pick Temple, it really brings back memories. Now I something to show my kids and grandkids when I talk about these shows. I have a question. Where did you find this information? I am trying to find clips or stills from an old DC TV show called TV Beauty School. The hostess was Inger something. My aunt was a regular on the show and I was looking for info on it to have for an "It's Your Life" theme we are doing for her birthday. Any research leads would be helpful.

Patti Rego Belisle

Kap makes this suggestion:"As of October 2005, you can visit an online exhibit at the Library of American Broadcasting that profiles Inga Rundvold, the hostess that you are seeking. Just click:

Taking a Leading Role: Women in Broadcasting History 

Thu, 9 Jun 2005

I was on the  Pick Temple Show around 1952-53; and at the Giant Food store on Indian Head Highway in Glassmanor across from Eastover shopping center. It was not far from my house on Oxon Hill Rd. I lived in an old school house; near Fort Foot. I will never forget old Pick....I wore an all-black Hopalong Cassidy outfit; black hat and all. I started playing Guitar at age 8 and later on was on the Wing Ding show in 1966. The band was THE FALLEN ANGELS. Also i had a cousin that was on the Milt Grant show with a band; he was called 'Washington's own ELVIS'.

Wally Cook Jr.

Mon, 30 May 2005

I'm the webmaster of the website ~ The Rifleman....."Welcome to the McCain Ranch" which is located at
I have been presenting the story of each of that show's episodes at the rate of one episode a week and I have just added Episode 118
"Honest Abe" which featured an appearance by Pick Temple.
Fri, May 27, 2005

I remember a show called "The Magic Door" that aired in DC in the late '60s and perhaps into the early '70s, but I don't think it lasted that long.  It featured a hostess who would introduce cartoons or other pictures or shortsby opening up a little door in the wall at about head height.  They either started with or added a little puppet sidekick (I want to remember that heappeared from a round, porthole-like door on the other side of the hostessfrom the door itself, but I'm sure that's not right...) that originally had no name.  They held a contest to name the sidekick who they ultimately called "Jelly Bean" or "J.B." for short. ...

There was another host on between about 5:30 and 6:00 pm in the evenings in the early '70s who was sort of a creepy, horror-inspired guy.  He was always talking about his slave-driving boss who was actually a three-toed sloth, though he was never seen.  Two things I remember about that show were a contest to guess the name of something given a short clue each day (it turned out to be Theodore Roosevelt Island, which we had actually figured out from the clues but didn't send in since we couldn't find it on a map, even though we drove by a sign for it almost weekly!) and a game he was hawking called "International Muhle" (the u actually had an umlaut over it) which for a brief time was an impossible-to-find smash hit in the area.

Also, didn't 
Ranger Hal often issue an Indian greeting of "How" with his hand held up palm- out?  Or was that a different guy?  I always remembered a character named Ranger How (or Ranger Howe) but that must be wrong also.

Robert P. Churchill
Monday, May 23, 2005

I remember Ask-It-Basket.  I saw it at least once and remember hearing it advertised many times.  It aired weekends on WTOP-TV.  It was produced in association with either George Washington University or Georgetown, I forget which.

It was hosted by a woman ... probably a professer from one of the above institutions.  As I understood it, she'd reach into a basket, pull out a question, and pose it to young men and women seated behind desks.  It reminds me of "It's Academic," only earlier (before 1961) and with fewer on set students. So I guess you could call it a locally-produced quiz show with
college-level questions.  ...

My memory banks contain a recollection of an episode where Ask-It-Basket took a tour outside of  (the old) Broadcast House.  I can't say why. ...

Mark Rockman 
Weds, May 18, 2005

My sister was on the 
Pick Temple show around 1960 and to this day remembers quite a bit but wonders if it is possible to locate or get a copy of the tape of that show. Do the records have the names of the children that came on the shows & the years?
This website is terrific!  My sister and I have really enjoyed it. What great memories!

Mona Reid Spence
Tue, 3 May 2005

When I was a child I went on 
Pick Temple and I was chosen to ride Piccolo the Pony.  Mr. Temple asked me what I would do if I had a million dollars and I believe I said “buy all the peanut butter at the Giant Food Store.”  I could hear my mother and my aunt laughing in the background.  

Of course there are no reruns of 
Pick Temple on TV now. Where are the films of those shows?  Would I ever be able to see the film I was on?  I would love to watch it with my family.

I still have the birthday cards 
Pick Temple sent me from he and Lady.

Georgia McGraw
(formerly Georgia Lekakos)
Tue, 26 Apr 2005
I grew up in D.C. in the 1950's and remember going on the 
Pick Temple Show.  As I recall, the studio was at the Shoreham Hotel off Conn. Ave.  We wore our cowboy outfits and you fired your shooter at the camera to start the cartoon!  We also got a bag of goodies from, I think, the Giant grocery store.
Chris Dresden
San Jose, CA
Sun, 24 Apr 2005
I am Gordon Williamson... the first TV announcer south of the Mason-Dixon Line. Our station was WTTG, Channel 5, the first station to go on the air in Washington in mid-November of 1946.

I was hired as a part time announcer (the only announcer) because I was doing a morning show on WSID Radio and doing a kids hour on WARL Radio in Arlington. I was hired in October '46 and had the good luck to be the guy who said "WTTG, the DuMont Television Network station in the Nation's Capitol is on the air."  I was hired by Leslie G. Arries, Sr. prior to the coming of Walter Compton, the manager who relieved Arries, Sr., so he could go back to New York.
Beside the "Mickey Mouse" and "Felix the Cat" movies, we had some regulars on The Moppet Shop. There was Jim Spear, the Magician; ventriloquist Mike Mehalic; "Debora, the personality pup" (a cocker spaniel who did tricks); "Thunderbolt Left Hand" (a real live Native American who did Indian Dances); and several other participants on a less regular basis. At each program we had 20-25 local kids who also were part of the show.

The Moppet Shop star "Hoppity Skippity" (Jules Huber), was also the station's film director. I was also a producer-director of many other shows and did a late night news show at 11 pm, which was sent to the DuMont Network. Each day at 6:30 pm I introduced "FROM WASHINGTON IT'S  WALTER COMPTON & THE NEWS"... the first network TV newscast originating in Washington. I also co-produced with Arnold Fine, and directed the "Club Video" program which had the most famous guest of the time. I directed Billie Hoiliday in her first TV appearance outside of NY.
For the first 4 years, my show was called "The Moppet Shop... starring Hoppity Skippity" and not "The
Hoppity Skippity Show" until after I left the show to go into management. In 1953, not being too smart, I went to manager Walter Compton with a complaint that I was not making enough money. He replied the only way he could increase my take would be for me to begin selling ads.  So I started to sell and appear on the show too. There were times when selling and acting got in each others way  So I started to sell full-time and left the show.

Peter Jamerson replaced me for a while and I think there was someone else, but eventually it became a Jules Huber, (a very bright guy and wonderful friend).

Since the idea and the names "Moppet Shop" and "
Hoppity Skippity" were mine, I copywrited the format and have retained Hoppity Skippity as a corporate entity. At one tine I had a lawyer who wanted to sue Jim Henson. He said the "Muppet" name was close enough. I didn't like that idea at all.  
Actually I got the idea from Frank Faye, not one of my favorites, who was appearing on Broadway at the time in a little piece called "Harvey".

Pick Temple was with Channel 9 when I was in Washington. I spent 30 years in broadcasting and am a member of the Broadcast Pioneers.

Gordon Williamson
Sun, 24 Apr 2005
I would just like to say thank you for the very special memories I have of watching 
Romper Room.

I am now nearly 41, but thinking about it makes me feel warm inside.  I remember so clearly the day 
Miss Anne read out a letter from my sister Susette.

Now with 3 children of my own, I don't feel that there are the same quality of programs, which is sad.

Tue, 19 Apr 2005
When I was about 6 or 7 (I think), I was on an episode of the 
Claire & Co Co show which was filmed at the Smithsonian Institute.  The year would have been around 1965.

Does anyone have any recollection of this particular show and if so, is there anywhere I can get more information about it?  I would love to remember more about this show.

Joan Nolan
Fri, 15 Apr 2005

Your web site is "fun"tastic...thanks for maintaining it!  I am in my mid 40s now and moved here (Falls Church) in 1963.  Sometime in the early 60s, I recall watching Romper Room and still remember just one thing-- the special means of how the teacher could see us kids at home--thru the TV!!!  Funny and also prophetic!  
I was on the 
Ranger Hal show around a result of hosting a Muscular Dystrophy carnival in my neighborhood.  I was about 9 then.  The reward for having the carnival (I raised $9 approx), was to go on the show!  Do you know where the archives exist, if at all?  I would dearly love to see me, as a kid!!  I would pay!  :-)
I did contact Channel 9 but they said it was all thrown out when they moved to the new location.

Craig Day
 Mon, 11 Apr 2005

You will not beleive this.
I was having some memories of the good variety lately. Due to a very traumatic childhood my memories are not so pleasant and I have supressed many of them. There is one however that has stayed with me over the years and I thought it may have been a fabrication or wish type fantasy.
At about 7 to 9 years of age I was home alone from school ill one day.  Our phone in Severn, Md rang and I answered it.  
The called asked " Do you know who is this?" I answered, "
Bozo the Clown."  I had recognized the voice from a program I had watched for sometime. The caller said, "you are right" asked my name and said I had won a "Toychest full of Toys". It was a Radio Contest.
About a week later a box arrived at our home full of all kinds of toys and delightful things to play with.  There were 3 of us, brothers and sisters who raised each other while our mother was hospitalized in a State Facility for Mental Health.  Our father was a truck driver away from home most of the time.
This is the most vivid, happy memory I have from childhood. The year must have been 1961 or 62.  Every time I hear 
Willard Scott on the Weather I kept remembering this event. I searched a Biography of Willard that led me to your information.
A real dream come true would be to meet the Jolly Ole Man, 
Willard himself. What happiness he is responsible for we may never know, but he is sure a highlight in my life.
Barbara M Bellehumeur
Mon, 11 Apr 2005 
My grandmother, Juanita Monroe, was 
Pick Temple's maid at one time.

I was a newborn when he ended his show, but my grandmother "Nana" used to talk about it from time to time.  I'm assuming he was a nice person to her, she really did speak very highly of him.  She passed on September 10, 2001.  The day before the World Trade Center tragedy.

Sheila M. Sims
Fri, 8 Apr 2005
Wow! What great TV memories from my childhood, while growing up as a little kid in elementary school in the Fairlington section of Arlington. I do remember that on 
Countdown Carnival, Diver Dan's nemeses was actually Baron (not Barry) Barracuda. The rat fink collection on Countdown Carnival undoubtedly added to their poplarity among us third grade boys. I had a collection of the plastic rat finks from the bubblegum-style vending machines. These rat finks had a little round hole in their backs, which allowed them to be attached to a plastic ring that had a small post, so you could wear a different rat fink on the ring each day. In my collection were rat finks in a wide variety of  colors -- some had "real" whiskers -- most likely made of polyester or some such material.

I remember having the TV tuned to Channel 5 watching the 
Bill Gormly Show in the morning, while getting ready to walk to school. Then in the afternoon, we'd watch Countdown Carnival. Space Angel was probably my favorite of the Countdown Carnival cartoons, but I liked Hercules too. I cannot recall what cartoons were shown during the morning show, but I remember Bill made it great.

I forget if it was 
Bill Gormly or Cap'n Tugg who showed us kids a secret coded message, "2 GOOD 2 B FORGOTTEN!," which, of course, was translated as, "TOO GOOD TO BE FORGOTTEN!" in praise of the commercial product was being featured (Hostess Cupcakes? Heinz Soup?).  

Countdown Carnival was a great show to a little kid growing up in the DC suburbs in the early 1960's! I loved that show! Bill Gormly was indeed a very talented guy!

Tue, 5 Apr 2005

I grew up in Dumfries, Virginia (Prince William County), and I seem to be the only person who remembers this particular show, so I am trying to confirm that it did exist. It aired early Saturday mornings in 1981 or '82; I don't know on which channel. It was a live-action kids show that centered around four kids (two girls and two boys), and a friendly alien that I think was supposed to be male but was played by a woman, very David-Bowie-androgynous. I think that one of the kids' names was Malcolm and the alien's name might have been Roz. The kids dealt with Afterschool-Special-type problems such as Malcolm's video-game addiction, and then they would all get together and lipsync a pop song; the two I remember are "You Can Do Magic" or "Be Good Johnny." The show may have only aired a couple of times. I want to say it was called "Our Gang" or "Our House," but both of those are titles of different shows. Any ideas? Having wondered about this show for 20 years, I am starting to question my sanity! Any info you can provide would be appreciated. :)

Thu, 24 Mar 2005
Wow!  I could not beleive how much I forgot from Afternoon TV in the '70s.  Every afternoon was filled with fun watching 
Captain Chesapeake and Mondy the sea monster and Captain 20.  I also remember sitting up late watching Creature Feature on Saturday nights.  That was so much fun.  I wish TV were like that now.

Living in Frederick, we had the best of both worlds as we got clear reception from DC and Baltimore. I also remember 
Romper Room with Miss Sally and at the end of each show they would show how Hood College, here in Frederick, was a sponsor of the show.  The Bozo Show was also a favorite.  My best memory of that show was watching it with my older brother and he would accuse Bozo of switching the ping pong balls on the kids while they were trying to get them in the little red buckets to win a prize.  I still laugh about that.

I also remember a great show on Sundays called Wonderama.  Anyone remember that show?  I think it was a nationally syndicated show and I remember the little jingle..."Wakka du wakka du wakka du!"  I think I saw the Jackson 5 and Abba on there.  That was in the early to mid 70's.  I could be wrong about the musical guests though, but I have a faint memory. 

Anyway, thanks for the memories and the great site!

Darrell Russ
Frederick, MD

Mon, 21 Mar 2005

(The first "
Captain 20") John Kallimonis had been a theatre student of mine at Prince George's College in 1968 and my wife E. Raye LeValley designed the costumes for both him and Tony A (the second "Captain 20").
Guy LeValley
College Park MD
Sat, 19 Mar 2005

I recently ran across your website and was happy to see your picture of my grandfather, Art Lamb.  Unfortunately, he passed away when I was young, but I am glad to find sites that remember his work.

Sheila Lamb-Onton
Flagstaff, AZ
Sat, Mar 12 2005

I have enjoyed reading your website about Children's TV Hosts of the '50s and '60s.  It sure brings back memories. Believe it or not, I was thinking about 
Pick Temple, and wanted to know what ever happened to him.  I searched him out (actually googled an image) and linked to your site.
Pick used to come to my school (Patrick Henry Elementary in Arlington) and we thoroughly enjoyed his singing.  I remember one song in particular, "Come on Blue, I'll Be There, Too" that had the whole audience in tears.  It was about a man and his dog, Blue.  They were the best of friends for Blue's entire life--each verse ending with, "Come On Blue, I'll Be There, Too."  The last verse is about burying Ol' Blue---Go On Blue, I'll Be There, too.  Pick will always be remembered fondly by the children of the '50s.

I hope
 Pick Temple and Billy Johnson realized how they inspired an entire generation of guitar players.  We may not have actually picked up a guitar until the folk music movement of the mid-sixties, but the seeds were planted when we were watching those wonderful programs in the '50s.  I personally spent the early- through mid-seventies pickin' and singin' my way across the Pacific Northwest: Missoula, Boisie, Tacoma, Seattle....a real troubador!
Jackson Weaver enjoyed a long association with the U.S. Forest Service.  Not only was he the original voice of Smokey Bear, the U.S. Forest Service mascot, but each Christmas for many years Mr. Weaver donned a Santa suit for the Forest Service Christmas party which was attended by hundreds of children of Forest Service and Dept. of Agriculture employees.  (The U.S. Forest Service is a division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.)  Jackson Weaver was the BEST Santa, ever!

My father, Richard W. Mosher, was Chief of Audio-Visual for the U.S. Forest Service, and it was part of his job to handle the Smokey Bear public relations campaigns.  I have spent the day going through my Dad's old photos.  I was sure that I had one of 
Billy Johnson on the set, but I was wrong.  I do remember meeting him on several occasions.  He was very nice. 

Dad's career began in the late 30's with Disney (Fantasia--3-D Multi-Plane camera operator).  The multi-plane camera and two of its operators (including Dad) wound up in the OSS, housed in the old Paramount Building in New York.  Later to D.C.  When WWII ended, OSS photography staffers split into two groups.  One group became CIA and the other group went to the State Department.  Dad went to State Department and later transferred to the U.S. Forest Service where he made many, many films.  From cameraman, to director, to editor and supervising producer and finally to a department Chief.  He also had office space at the White House as a P.R. liason working for Pierre Salinger.
I have still photos of the shooting of the Smokey the Bear song being played by Eddy Arnold.  Local children dressed as campers are gathered around the "campfire" on the set as he sings. ... This took place around 1953 or 1954 and was filmed at a local studio.
I also have pictures from the mid-sixties when Lassie visited the White House during the Johnson administration.  Lassie received a Congressional Commendation for P.R. for the Forest Service.  At that time the story line had Lassie living with Forest Ranger Corey Stewart (played by Robert Bray). I have photos of Dad directing some location work as well as some with Rudd Weatherwax coaching Lassie.
Do you remember Professor Felix Von TopsNik or Topschnack (Sp?)?  He hosted the Three Stooges for awhile and was associated with Tops Drive-Inn... The professor wore a top hat and a monocle.  Spoke with a phony German accent.  Perhaps the reason he isn't well-remembered is because his character was so annoying!

As for Tops Drive-Inn, I remember the Sir Loiner--far superior to anything McD's cooks up today.  ... There was a Tops located near the intersection of Glebe Road and Arlington Boulevard (near St. Thomas Moore). I remember they not only had car hops, but inside there were tourquoise-colored phones at the tables for placing your order, and also those little mini-juke boxes at the tables.  How many people remember that Tops was the original server of Col. Sanders' Kentucky Fried Chicken made with Seven Secret Herbs and Spices?????
Here's another local memory:  DUCK PIN BOWLING!  First there was the two-story bowling alley located in the building housing the Arlington Theater at the intersection of Filmore and Columbia Pike.  This closed in the mid-sixties. But duck pin bowlers still had Play-More Lanes not far from Parkington--straight up Glebe Road.  Does Play-More Lanes still exist?  There were youth bowling teams for many years.  When I left the state to go to college, and mentioned "duck-pin" bowling, nobody knew what I was talking about.  The idea that there were three throws with small (5-8 lb.) bowling balls (hand-held--no finger holes) was completely foreign to people in other parts of the country.  Remember Johnny Bachelder's TV show featuring local teen duck-pin bowlers? 
Does Gifford's Ice Cream Parlor still exist?  I remember there were pony rides across the street (Columbia Pike at Bailey's Crossroads.) 
I'm really waxing nostalgic today.  Could probably go on and on.   Barcroft Park was THE place to play baseball and softball.  There were REAL dugouts.  It made us feel so "professional".  And the creek was still a real creek, not diverted to sewer pipes.
Marshall Hall Amusement Park could be reached by cruising on the S.S. Mount Vernon.  What a beautiful vessel.  In the early 60's it sank--its sides crushed by ice.  What a loss!  It was replaced by the S.S. George Washington--a school bus yellow eye-sore that had none of the charm of the Mount Vernon. 
...And Marshall Hall had SLOT MACHINES.  I'm sure that's the only reason my parents took me there.  That was the adult-draw.  As long as they were winning they gave me money to go on rides!  I believe the demise of the park began with the removal of the slot machines.  No more fun for the adults, so why bring the kids?
And last but not least:  Remember when you could buy a four-bedroom house for $25,000?
Anne Shears
March 5, 2005
I will be 51 this year, and feel like a kid.  I loved the 
Cap'n Tugg show, and remember it like yesterday.  
I am so glad for the Internet because it is like living inside the Library.  I downloaded information about
Cap'n Tugg, and learned so much by seeing through my young-boy eyes as well as my adult eyes.
Thank you for your valuable website, and God bless Mr. 
Lee Reynolds wherever he is!
Michael Humphreys
Montgomery Village, MD 

Sat, 29 Jan 2005    

I just looked at your site on children's TV in the 1950s in D.C. I was born and raised in Washington and remember all--or almost all--of the  programs and personalities you've mentioned or profiled. But what brought me to the site was a search for Bill Wells, who hosted the "Bill Wells Tells" and "Black Phantom" shows.

I was a devoted viewer of "Bill Wells Tells,"  because he was an excellent storyteller with considerable artistic ability, and the centerpiece of "Bill Wells Tells" was his reading, with his own illustrations, of classic stories such as "Treasure Island" and "Tom Sawyer." He would also give drawing instruction, and in fact taught me to draw in perspective.

As I recall, he, like 
Pick Temple, had a companion dog--in his case a St. Bernard named Charmondely, pronounced "Chumlee."

He also hosted "The Black Phantom," a rather silly program in which he dressed in tight pants, a big black cape, and a bat-shaped mask--he fooled nobody, He was clearly Bill Wells.

I once wrote to him, asking if I could come  and see a live broadcast of "Bill Wells Tells," and he actually called me
on the phone and explained that there was no live audience for the show because it was done in a very small studio where there was hardly room for him and Charmondely and the crew, but he invited me to "The Black Phantom." I  was thrilled to have spoken on the phone with a man who I thought must have the best life imaginable, telling stories and drawing on TV.  

Unfortunately, by the time I went to the broadcast, the role had been taken over by another host whose name I don't know but who was pretty lackluster after Bill.

I was very puzzled by Bill's sudden disappearance from television, and  it wasn't until some time later that I was told he'd been arrested in a  police raid. At the age of eleven I had no idea what this meant, but later on  my mother told me somewhat circuitously that it had been a raid on a gay bar or at a gay party. I have no idea whether this is true--I have no reason to
doubt it, and it would certainly explain his sudden departure. Such an event would certainly have instantly destroyed the career of a children's TV personality in the fifties. It's interesting to me that I absolutely didn't care about this part of his personality; he'd shown himself to be a kind and caring person, and that was all that mattered to me, notwithstanding that so-called "queers" were almost universally vilified in that time and place.

So I do from time to time think of him and wonder what became of him.  I'd be grateful for any information.

David Wade Smith

Kap adds: George Awlyward was reportedly the other host of "The Black Phantom".  
Thu, 13 Jan 2005

I was on 
Grandpa's Place in late '50s or early '60s.  I still remember drawing a horse on Grandpa's board.  While the camera zoomed in, or close up, (I don't think they could zoom in those days)  in on my horse, it hit Lee (Grandpa) out cold.  I then introduced the cartoon while they helped Grandpa.  I was about 12 years old and it has been my 15 seconds of fame.
Tim Whiteman

Kap adds: I checked with "Grandpa" himself, Lee Reynolds, and he does not recall ever having been knocked-out cold on TV.
Wed, 12 Jan 2005

I'm trying to find out information on a childrens TV show in the early to mid-1950s in the Washington DC area.  The show had a small indian character named Herky and he had a human friend that played the guitar and sang "Up the Lazy River " in the opening of the show.  You could purchase this little Rubber Indian (which I have kept all these years) by mail .. No one believes me . Help if you can forward information. 
Terry Warfield

Kap delivers: The human friend was  Billy Johnson. I contacted Mr. Johnson and he offered this explanation:
"Herky" was used when I first went on the air at
WTOP.  It was a rubber replica of the mascot for the Cleveland Indians that had a sort of jerky movement and exaggerated Indian features. I used a Genty-like chatter with it.  Genty was to come later. 

name "Herky" came in this way: a baseball catcher for the Cincinnati Reds in the 
late '30s was named Hershberger.  His antics behind home plate led to the nickname of "Herky Jerky" by the baseball announcer.  An avid Reds fan, I listened to radio when I could.  When I decided to use this rubber mascot on my new show, the peculiar movement of its rubber motions brought to mind "Herky" the baseball player.

The doll became quite popular in a very short time and it occured to me that my using the Cleveland Indians "logo" without permission might lead to
complications.  Thus Genty and Wally were quickly created by my wife, introduced to the show, and the short presence of "Herky" was gone.

  Billy Johnson, "The Singing Woodsman"
The Cleveland Reds' Herky Mascot c.1950
Tues Jan 11, 2005

In the early 60's there was a man named David Ginsburg who had a show dog named Rusty. They performed in many of the local theaters for several years. Do you have any information on this  particular show?

I have several promotional pictures of "Uncle Dave and Rusty" "Putting on the Dog". (This could have been the name of their show.) He was connected to the Sidney Lust Theaters in DC and MD. They performed live shows in old art deco theaters that my parents and grandparents told me about. Their involvement with him was during the 50's and 60's. My sister has a few pictures of them and her where he used her in the show maybe 1962 time frame. David Ginsburg was born in 1904 and died in 1990. Up until 1982 he performed Christmas shows for Coca Cola Company parties and several local nursing homes.

There could be more performances but I do not know. I feel that at some point he may have been somewhat of a local celebrity. Maybe someone can remember him or his show.

Cindy Hansen

Kap replies: I've been told that
Uncle Dave used to put-on shows at the Hyattsville movie theatre in the late '30s or early '40s,. He would also conduct Duncan yo-yo contests.
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Kappy's Top Twenty
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Bozo the Clown
Billy Johnson
Billy Johnson
Lee Reynolds as Cap'n Tugg
Cap'n Tugg
Howard Huge of Kids' Break
Kids' Break
Dick Dyszel as the third Captain 20
Captain 20
Pete Jamerson 1977 by Trisha Katson, GMU
Pete & His Pals
Cindy Lou Dahl of Melody Ranch
Cindy Lou's Ranch
Pick Temple and Lady
Pick Temple
Claire Lyons and Co Co
Claire & Co Co
Hal Shaw as DC's Ranger Hal
Ranger Hal
Bob Porter as Cousin Cupcake
Cousin Cupcake
Miss Connie on Romper Room
Romper Room
Bill Gormley of Countdown Carnival
Countdown Carnival
Sam & Friends
Lee Reynolds as Grandpa
Grandpa's Place
Curly, Larry and Moe as The Three Stooges
Three Stooges
Jules Huber as Hoppity Skippity
Hoppity Skippity
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Time For Science
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