This Friday, Bob Keeshan, better known as Captain Kangaroo passed away. Some people grew up with Sesame Street, some with Mr. Rogers, and while Mr. Rogers was a big part of my childhood, Captain Kangaroo was my show. The ping-pong balls, the knock-knock jokes, Mr. Greenjeans.... A great moment in my life was when I got my very own pair of green courduroy pants. I was Mr. Greenjeans! It was exciting to no end.
I had just finished my sophmore year of college, and was on my way to Michicagn to work at Cherry County Playhouse as an electrics intern. Two and a half months of long days, hard work and almost no money. But... Bob Keeshan was going to be playing the Wizard in "The Wizard of Oz". Wow... how often to get to work with a childhood hero? I'm not the kind of person who finds celebrities all that interesting, but it took me two weeks to work up the courage to introduce myself and ask for a picture. I'm glad I did.
Who is still showing children that little things can be more entertaining than the flash and glitter of Saturday morning cartoons. No matter how many times those ping-pong balls came down, it was still funny, and I'd rather hear one more bad knock-knock joke than see all the Techno-Pet-goh XZ blah blah blah in the world.
Here's to the Captain.