Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Big Grin II

Whee! My previous post was published to Captain Ernie's Cartoon Showboat in Captain Ernie's Seabag. Thanks Rich!

After Captain Ernie's Cartoon Showboat was over we kids had to switch over to Dark Shadows for our afternoon entertainment. When I was a kid it scared me. As an adult I tried watching it and just didn't get it. Now I am one of the biggest fans of very cheesy, bad horror movies.

Enter Vincent Hedges the Vampire and Acri's Creature Feature hosted by Chuck Acri in a leisure suit. The cheesiest, campiest late night horror film show I have ever seen. My Dad and I would stay up late, pop a big bowl of popcorn and watch the show. We saw great horror flicks like "The Mummy" and "Creature from the Black Lagoon" and some really bad ones who's names I cannot remember. The bits in between the movie were the funniest with Vincent Hedges, Emmit the Hunchback, Beauregard the Werewolf, The Missing Link, the Caveman, Bernie the Skull and Fang the Wonder Dog. The was fan art and viewer mail to become "Creep of the Week". Years later I became acquinted with Chuck's daughter. She was a friend of one of my roommates at the time. Which was kind of cool in it's own way.

Clicking around the site just floods me with all kinds of memories from my childhood, my teens and well, right up until I moved to Des Moines. I hadn't realized how much the television and radio stations and the people that worked there were such a large part of the fabric of my life. Forty years of my life. I'm forty-five now and we had moved to Davenport in 1968 shortly after my Dad returned from the Vietnam War.

These people came into your living room every day at least three times a day and they became, in a way, a part of your family. Dinner at six with Channel 6 was the norm at my house. You felt a little sad when some one would move to a different station, move on to a different market or into an unseen position with the station. You would have a little thrill when some one you liked from a different station would move over to your favorite station. When you would see them out in the real world you would just stop and stare with your mouth hanging open. Ya, that would be me when I saw Jim King from WQAD and his family out shopping at whatever Seasonal Concepts was in a previous life.

I consider myself quite lucky that in the twenty some odd years of waitressing and bar tending I got to meet a lot of the local celebs, become acquaintances with a few, friends with others. Which led to me ending up in a few news bits because they knew I was a bit of a ham.

All sounds a little pompous doesn't it? But no, they sparked a lot of memories from my life too long to list here that brought laughter and tears.

And a big grin.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A Big Giant Grin

That's what I got today when I happened upon the website to Captain Ernie's Cartoon Showboat. This year marks the Golden anniversary of the very popular local kids cartoon show that came out of WOC in Davenport, IA.

I was looking for images of paddle wheelers in Davenport, IA. What I am specifically looking for is website with vintage photos from around the Eastern Iowa/Western Illinois area. I had it bookmarked before I had to reformat my computer. I was looking for the photo that had led me to that site to begin with and instead I found my childhood.

I'm sure just about every broadcast area in the country had a local kids show with cartoons and a great character host. Sitting at school, watching the clock for the last bell so you could run home with your friends either to one of their homes or yours, piling on the sofa, the chairs and the floor to watch your favoritist show in the whole wide world. Ours growing up in the Quad Cities was Captain Ernie's Cartoon Showboat. The show ran the classic Looney Tunes, Hannah Barbara and Three Stooges and in between there was our beloved Captain Ernie. Oh how we were envious of those kids on the bleachers who actually got to be on the show.

Most of us got to go on the Captain Ernie show usually through our Brownie/Girl Scout or Cub Scout/Boy Scout troops. I was one of those lucky ones. How I hoped we would go on my birthday, but alas, it was not to be so. How I hoped he would pick me to talk to, but again, it was not to be so. I think he picked Marjorie and Lisa. I know for sure he picked Lisa Klemme for a photo that is on the website. It is Ernie Mims aka Captain Ernie with three Brownies. They are Lisa, for some reason I have never forgotton her after all these years, and I think Marjorie Majors and Michelle Muenster.

I remember my Aunt telling me that Captain Ernie lived down the street from her. Everytime we would drive over to her house I would scan the houses hoping to catch a glimpse, wondering if the front door with the anchor on it was his.

I was gutted when the last show aired on August 2nd, 1974. I remember what Captain Ernie said at the end of the show. That this was going to be the last for awhile, the Dixie Belle was going into dry dock for some repairs and we will be back some day. Thirty-four years later I'm still waiting for that some day.

Almost twenty years later I was having dinner with some friends at the Filling Station when Ernie Mims came in. I was a little girl again. I gushed to my friends, "Oh my gawd, it's Captain Ernie!" I had to quickly explain to them who he was because they did not grow up around the area, the one of my friends stands up and shouts over to Mr. Mims, "Hey Captain Ernie!" Mr. Mims turned around with a big grin, waved and said, "Hiya kids!" I nearly died.

Something I didn't know until I was reading the website was that Vern Gielow had been the Captain of the Dixie Belle previous to Ernie Mims. That floored me. Mr. Gielow had been a customer of mine at the various restaurants I had work in over the years. It had just never come up in the conversations I guess.

Happy Birthday to the Cartoon Showboat. Happy belated Birthday to Ernie Mims. Neither of you will ever be forgotten by the baby boomers that grew up in the Quad Cities during that era.

The website brings back so many other memories growing up in the Quad Cities and the local programming that I enjoyed so much. More on those later.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Gauntlet/ arm warmers

I own clothes that I will never fit into again in my lifetime so what was I saving them for? My deluded mind kept telling me I would fit into them again. HA! So, I rewashed them all and started ripping out seams to salvage the material for making other things! Today I bring you the first of my projects from all that material, the gauntlet/arm warmers made from denim jeans, a blouse from the 80's and cotton jacket lining and the lace that was attached to said lining and buttons from Gramma's button box.


They look better on human arms than on 1 liter pop bottles. Mark wasn't willing to play nicely and besides that he takes really crappy photos. I have issues with digital cameras, I have to take the picture quick before the camera shuts down. Seems what ever is in digital watches is in digital cameras, duh, and something inside me doesn't work well with what is in digital things.

The blouse material is a weird greeny, blackish gold with black flowers and the reverse is a negative effect of black with the weird gold flowers. I lined the top with the front of the blouse material and the folded down bottom with the reverse side of the blouse. The loops are made with some of the cotton material. I had to add the loops rather than buttonholes because I under estimated the chubbiness of my arms. *smirk* I was going for a rough sewn look since I wanted them to have a kind of Steampunk goodness to them.

My first project, well actually my third, I made a couple of fleece hats that I haven't quite figured out how to photograph them, but these are the ones I am most proud of right now.