Saturday Morning Memories

I guess this is two blogs in one day but this is really Saturday’s blog. It just makes sense to post this on Saturday morning, even if most of it no longer applies.

BTW:before we begin a few of you may have followed my blog way back on My Space or even that old Yahoo! site (wonder if it still exists?). From time to time some stuff will be repeated. Sorry in advance if you’ve heard it before but I have some new readers. And thanks for being with me all this time.

Nostalgia is a funny thing. Too little of it and you become a trend hopper with nothing that really sticks or becomes “you”. The bigger danger is too much of it. The sure sign that you are “old” isn’t age or really health but when you look into the past more than enjoying the present or anticipating the future. Its when we refuse to change or adapt that we stop growing. To be honest (in Facebook-ese TBH) I tend to enjoy things in the past, reliving and enjoying the things I use to enjoy. I am a history teacher after all. As Ecclesiastes 7:10 says Don’t long for “the good old days.” This is not wise. (NLT) The past is a nice place to visit but to live there is a problem. I think I have balance now, open to things new, liking the things that make me unique and remembering all of this (entertainment and such) is vanity. There for a moment but only love lasts forever. Love requires human contact and looking forward to that, not to getting that new Shazam DVD set in the mail (can’t wait LOL).

OK, so that balance thing still needs a bit of work.

Nonetheless I know Saturday morning has a special meaning to me and I would think many others. For school students and most working people (though non-traditional hours and shifts are more common now than in the past) Saturday is the beginning of the weekend, a respite from the toils of life. A chance to enjoy the fruit of our labor. I think your enjoyment of this blog will be directly proportional to your age. With that in mind here are some of the things I’ve enjoyed on Saturday morning in times past.

Shopping

Walmart isn’t the first superstore. They had them in the 70s. Saturday is a common shopping day because many people are off (and Sundays is a church day for some, more so back in the 70s). I remember my family’s Saturday trips to Siegal’s or Sawyer’s. Similar to Walmart (or Target) Supercenters today you could buy groceries, shop for clothes and pick up other doo dads like records, jewelry or toys.

While my grandparents and mom shopped for groceries I went off and looked around. My interests depended on my age and phases. Sometimes it was electric trains as I looked at the train sets, buildings, cars and mini signs. At other times it was the view master and all those reels. Remember those? I really liked the ones that were based on cartoons. But instead of the reels being reproduced from the cartoons they did the stop action stuff like a Rankin-Bass Christmas special. Except it was just stop of course. I still have those reels, it was neat to see Bugs Bunny in 3-D. That was the View Master’s big selling point: 3-D. So it made sense. Of course the other big thing was records. I spent many an hour in the record department. For awhile I got a 45 every week from the likes of Meat Loaf, Wings, Bee Gees and many others. I was spoiled in a way but I didn’t have a big allowance or anything. And my Memere (grandmother) always made sure I felt guilty about whatever I bought. It taught me about the value of money (imagine how big a spendthrift I would have been without it).

Cartoons

Yes, the Saturday morning staple for many years (parents want to sleep, kids are home, the idea thinks itself up). These days with 24 hour cartoon networks Saturday morning is no longer special in that area (only a few stations run a special Saturday morning cartoon block and those are older shows).

My favorite of course was the Looney Tunes Show. Not just a series of cartoons, this 90 minute (in its heyday) show had a big production number with all the characters and fun bumper segments (before and after the cartoon shoots) as well. I liked the Bugs Bunny cartoons and the Coyote / Road Runner ones. Sylvester and Tweety were OK, I hated when Pepe Le Pew or speedy Gonzalez came on.

I also enjoyed the semi-cartoonish live action Shazam series of the mid 70s. Not much action but a nice show where young Billy Batson (along with his guardian Mentor) would turn into Shazam to help people with life’s mundane (for a superhero) issues. They had a moral message at the end just to make sure the kiddies got it.

In the early 2Ks the Disney Channel (or the now ABC Family Channel) had a great block of Marvel cartoons. The highlight was the 90s X-Men series. A great and complex series that did a great job (as far as I’ve heard) following the comics. “The Dark Phoenix Saga” was my intro to this series, a great place to start. They also had a Hulk animate series and two Spidermans, an 80s one and a 90s one.

Yeah, I’m too old for cartoons, whatever! 🙂

Wrestling

I used to be a wrestling fan too (I see you pulling away). Wrestling is now a prime time weeknight affair but back then it was on during the weekend, most often on Saturday morning (or noon). Sunday mornings / mid afternoon was also common. And it was only an hour long. I watched the WWF in the early 80s and loved it. Even when every match was one-sided. When I moved to Florida I was quite disappointed that I wouldn’t get to see the WWF anymore (wrestling was a regional sport then, even the WWF). But truth be told the Mid-Atlantic wrestling at noon on Saturday was at least as good (but six weeks behind, if it got preempted they wouldn’t skip that show but rather fell a week further behind) and the Florida wrestling at 7 PM on Saturday wasn’t as professional but much better in terms of excitement. About 18 months after I moved we finally got cable. I remember the glorious day when the WWF returned to my TV screen via cable. Then a few weeks later a local station picked up the WWF.

BTW: the Mid-Atlantic wrestling show had the best lead in ever – Star Trek. These days I like Star Trek much more, even then I really liked Star Trek too.

American Top 40

The original countdown. I enjoy listening to these today on Sirius / XM. Back then it was broadcast on the weekends (including Saturday and Sunday morning in my area). Obviously the common thread was that the songs were popular but I did get an appreciation for many genres of music. I thought nothing of playing Gap Band, Wings, Bee Gees, Human League and Foreigner back to back. Of course for awhile I was a hard rock guy until I rediscovered my love for other genres. It was the thing music fans listened to, they played many songs I didn’t hear on my local station. I’m not sure how good a guy Casey Kasem is (do a search on Youtube) but he seemed like a nice guy on the radio.

How ironic, the thing I still really enjoy (70s and 80s pop music) got the shortest entry. I guess its a simple concept without many details.

What i wonder is how did I do all these things on Saturday morning. The wrestling was on at noon but the other stuff was all Saturday morning. I guess maybe it came in phases. Or I did a little of each around the shopping trips.

This was on Sunday morning in my neck of the woods but does anyone remember The Baseball Bunch. With Johnny Bench and “Baseball Wizard” Tommy Lasorda?

Hope you enjoyed the trip down memory lane. Tomorrow is church, I’ll be there you should be too. Church isn’t what we worship or the basis of our faith, we (or at least) I go to church as an expression of my faith in God. Where else can you keep in touch with a big group of your fellow Christians? Not to mention hearing a God inspired message? Don’t miss out. See you later.

Link to view master as an example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KbpW4uPxIlk Note: mine didn’t talk but it has the visuals I was trying to describe. I had some of those.

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