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ED NOTE: Our Blast From The Past page contains memories from 5 years to 100 years ago. I encourage all suscribers to submit their
memories, photos, and ideas to blast@mccartymetro.com to have them shared with our family.


CAPTAIN KANGAROO

As a kid growing up on Sussex, one of the "must see" TV shows was Captain Kangaroo. For you younger kids, Captain Kangaroo was a children's television series which aired weekday mornings on the CBS for nearly 30 years, from October 3, 1955 until December 8, 1984, making it the longest-running nationally broadcast children's television program of its day. In 1986, Public Television integrated some newly produced segments into reruns of past episodes, distributing the newer version of the series until 1993.

The show was conceived and the title character played by Bob Keeshan, who based the show on "the warm relationship between grandparents and children." Keeshan had portrayed the original Clarabell the Clown on The Howdy Doody Show when it aired on NBC. Captain Kangaroo had a loose structure, built around life in the "Treasure House" where the Captain (the name "kangaroo" came from the big pockets in his coat) would tell stories, meet guests, and indulge in silly stunts with regular characters, both humans and puppets.

The show was telecast live to the East Coast and the Midwest for its first four years and broadcast on kinescope for the West Coast, as Keeshan would not perform the show live three times a day, and was in black-and-white until 1966. The May 17, 1971 episode saw two major changes on the show: The Treasure House was renovated and renamed "The Captain's Place" and the Captain replaced his navy blue coat with a red coat. In September 1981, CBS shortened the hour-long show to a half-hour, briefly retitled it Wake Up with the Captain, and moved it to an earlier time slot; it was later moved to weekends in September 1982, and returned to an hour-long format. It was canceled by CBS at the end of 1984.

In the early years of the series, Keeshan wore make-up in order to look suitably old for the character, but the show ran for so long that by the end, he was wearing make-up to look younger. The show did not really have a format, other than the entire program taking place in and around the Treasure House, and having the Captain interacting with puppets, guests or other members of the cast. Even the opening sequence could change. The show would generally begin with the theme music starting up, then the Captain would unlock and open the doors of the Treasure House from the inside, and viewers would catch their first glimpse of him. Then he would put the Treasure House keys on a nail, and the music would stop. However, sometimes the Captain could not get the keys to stay on the nail, and when they fell off, the theme music would begin playing again.

One never knew exactly what would happen from one episode to the next, although at certain times of the year, such as the Christmas season, paper cutout versions of such stories as The Littlest Snowman would be shown.

The show also featured cartoons. A cartoon starring a funnel-capped shape-shifting boy named Tom Terrific was part of the show in the 1950s and 1960s. Other cartoons included Lariat Sam, Simon in the Land of Chalk Drawings, along with other educational cartoons. 

BLAST FROM THE PAST QUESTION
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What was your favorite educational show as a kid?
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Bill Nye
Captain Kangaroo
Electric Company
Mr. Rogers Nightborhood
Mr. Wizard
Schoolhouse Rock
Sesame Street


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LAST MONTH'S QUESTION

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What were your favorite amusement park rides to go on?

Matterhorn, Tilt a Whirl, Roller Coaster, Rotor, Carousel, Demon Drop, Zipper, Whip, Black Hole, Bumper Cars, Ferris Wheel, Mantis

The original theme song to Captain Kangaroo (titled "Puffin' Billy") was used from 1955 to 1974. It is also featured every month right here on the McCarty Metro in the adventures of Peanut & Jocko. In 1974, a new theme song titled "Good Morning, Captain" was composed for Captain Kangaroo, written by Robert L. Brush. During the brief Wake Up With the Captain era, a theme titled "Wake Up" was used. For the show's final two seasons and the later PBS run, Schoolhouse Rock mainstay Lynn Ahrens (who composed and performed a few Captain Kangaroo songs herself) wrote a new theme, entitled "Here Comes Captain Kangaroo". The theme song for All New Captain Kangaroo used the opening notes and part of the melody of the original theme as its introduction.

Many years after the end of the Captain Kangaroo show, in 1997Ė1998, a sequel revival series tentatively titled The All New Captain Kangaroo was attempted by Saban Entertainment. John McDonough played the Captain on this version, which was shot in Tampa, Florida. Keeshan was invited to appear as a special guest called "The Admiral," but after seeing sample episodes, he declined to appear or have any association with the new incarnation. It ran for one season and inspired a spin-off show, Mister Moose's Fun Time. In 2011, the trademark for "Captain Kangaroo" was acquired by The Cashin Comedy Co. In a blog, the Captain is portrayed by Pat Cashin..

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THESE ARTICLES TAKEN FROM OUR JULY 2002 ISSUE

DATELINE NEWS

Dateline Romeo, Michigan
The golf team of Rick-Kevin-Larry-Mike has two -- count em, two -- secret, mail-order weapons. The first is a Controller driver with a hitting face of armor-pierce metal, the hardest metal in golf. The ad says I might even drive over the green on some par 4's. Rick and Kevin bring to the table a new iron for approach shots. This club puts so much backspin on the ball that it will stop overshoots and and roll 'em right back toward the hole. Rick, Mike and Kevin are currently lobbying the golfing companies to merge their clubs so Mike's drives will automatically back up onto the green. But the team's best weapon is a non-mail-order surprise. It is Larry McCarty, who is bringing his natural, raw tee-off power -- along with his raw karaoke voice -- all the way from Tennessee. 

Dateline Left Coast
Mike and Karen McCarty took a trip to celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary. They flew to Seattle, then took a train to Vancouver, a ferry to Victoria, a ferry back to Seattle, and then ended up the trip flying to L.A. where Jerry and Kathlene showed the honeymooners a great time. Amazingly, the trip was accident-free for Mike, who only once fell backward off a ledge on the edge of an a sheer-drop overlook while trying to take a picture in Vancouver. Also amazingly, Mike only landed in a bush and did his best Maxwell Smart imitation when bouncing back up. We had a great time.

Dateline Shelby Township
The annual Fourth of July McCarty Picnic shifted to the Steve and Kristen McCarty house for the first time. The former hostess, Jean "Mum" McCarty, attended. Dennis McCarty and son Adam flew in for the event. The others drove to the scene. They included Rick McCarty and kids Erin and Kevin; Kelly and Margaret McCarty and their kids Brad, Austin and Chris plus Chrissie. The other Chris McCarty brought his parents, Mike and Karen, plus his sister Jill. And we can't forget the gracious hosts, Steve and Kristen plus Megan. There was lots of good food, talk, a few athletic contests and more, but nary a firework was shot off by the time Mike left.

Dateline Clinton Township
Kelly & Margaret would like to warn all of the Metro readers that Brad McCarty now has his drivers permit. All Mc's are cautioned to drive at their own risk. Actually, Brad is a pretty good driver. Here is a hidden camera photo of the inside of my van taken while Brad was driving.

JERRY'S WORLD

Well, itís summertime and that means the TV is going to be packed with lots of public service announcements about how to protect your little brats in the hot summer.  Just thinking about those summer sissies makes me hotter than the vinyl seats on my Dadís Vega in the summertime. When I was a kid, we waited for summer all year long and we didnít need no special rules to protect us.

You canít turn on the television without some warning telling you not to leave your pet in the car with no air conditioning. We never had air conditioning in the car when I grew up and I would have to sit in the hatchback while we took a 4 hour trip in 100 degree heat to Cadillac. One time, I went shopping with my Dad, and had to sit in the hatchback with no open window while he went to Farmer Jacks, Chatham, and A&P trying to save 20 cents on a 6 pack of Old Milwaukee. I got so dehydrated; I had to drink windshield washer solvent to survive. Sure I peed blue for a week, but I didnít care, I loved it!!  Because I was happy to go shopping with my Dad.

And these safety-conscious stupidos are always telling you to wear sun block.  When I was a kid we didnít even know what sun block was. We stayed outside until our skin started peeling and then we came inside. The only lotion weíd put on was the Mercurochrome that we would put on our skin after it peeled so much we would start to bleed. We were a peeling, bloody, sunburned mess but we didnít care, we loved it, because we didnít have to wear no sissy lotion.

And donít forget to give your kids plenty of water.  When I was a kid, we got water all the time. We played with the Water Weenie, the Slip Ďn Slide, and the Super Soaker. Anywhere there was wet slippery pavement youíd find us. And when that wasnít fun enough for my parents, they put a 3-foot pool on our cement patio and sat and watched us dive into the pool head first. Sure weíd scrape our face on the bottom of the pool and get a concussion, but we didnít care, we loved it!!

Come to think of it, I had a great time as a McCarty Kid in the summer.  But what do I know I was just a peeling, dazed, dehydrated, soggy kid with a closed head injury.

JULY 4 RECIPES

Steve's Famous Burgers & Dogs

INGREDIENTS: 1 lb. hamburger / 2 lbs. Lawrys Seasoning Salt

DIRECTIONS: Mix meat with 1 lb. Lawrys. Cook on grill while continuing to heave on the other pound of salt

INGREDIENTS: 1 dog (stray if possible) / 2 lbs. Lawrys Seasoning Salt

DIRECTIONS: Same directions as above

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Auntie Margaret's Dirt Cake

INGREDIENTS: 2 pounds of lard / 2 pounds of dirt (or potting soil)
1/2 pound earth worms painted to look like gummy worms

DIRECTIONS: Mix

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The New York Yankees set a Major League record for hitting home runs in 18 consecutive games. What decade did this happen in?

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1920's 1930's 1940's 1950's 1960's 1970's 1980's 1990's

YOUR NAME:

BLAST FROM THE PAST - DO YOU REMEMBER WHAT THESE WERE USED FOR?

Grandma with Sara, Amanda & Lauren in 1995


SUBMIT A PHOTO

Why not submit your old photos to the McCarty Metro! Just Attach them in an email to... McCarty Metro Photo

Guess This Cartoon Character From The Past

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Your Name:

Guess:

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LAST MONTH'S ANSWER WAS...

CECIL
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From Beanie & Cecil


Sorry... No One Got It Correct 


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What TV show was this character on?
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Your Name: 

Show: 

LAST MONTH'S ANSWER

Bonanza (Hop Sing)

Congratulations To: Margaret, Mike, Jerry

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