Feb 11, 2007

Field Trip Down Memory Lane

McDonald's History Page

I'm not even sure now what got me off on this tangent or walk down Memory Lane. "My McDonald's," was in Arlington, Virginia. It sat next to "Chocolate City," a name referencing, the black part of town. A local store, you know where you could buy penny candy and pickled pigs' feet was called Chocolate City. It was a black owned store, so I believed it was a name, not given in a derogatory manner. But it was a stones throw away from where my Grandpa lived. We lived right up the street from there, in my parents first apartment. It was at my McDonald's, that I first met Ronald McDonald. He gave me a balloon and told me to be a good girl. It was Williard Scott, dressed as Ronald (see story below) and he smiled at me and made me really smile as he hugged me and said, in my ear, "I just know you are a good girl."
I went to St.Phillips for 2nd and 3rd grade and it is there that I met Ranger Hal. A picture in the community section of a D.C newspaper that is gone now and I can't think of the name to save my soul, showed a knock kneed, long haired, little girl, looking up, smiling. I thought I was a real celebrity after that and when my Grandpa Micky asked me to sign his clipping, I'm quite sure that I was beyond incorrigible, after that, I was a Star! Just a few short days after that, I was watching Romper Room...

A recurring character was Mr. Do Bee, an oversized bumblebee who came to teach the children how to be well-behaved; he was noted for always starting his sentence with "Do Bee," as in the imperative "Do be"; for example, "Do Bee good boys and girls for your parents!"

At the end of each broadcast, the hostess would look through a "magic mirror" (in reality, a face-sized open hoop with a handle) and name the children she saw in "Televisionland."

She said, "I see Barbara and Michael," and I was more than convinced that she saw me, as my brother, Mike was sitting right beside me. It had to be us, right? Then, Musketeers show would come on. I'd dutifully dig through the big red toy box my Grandpa made. I'd usually have to untangle my Slinkie, wrapped around the ears and try to get it straightened out before the commercials for Ivory soap or Muleteam Borax were over. This is why "Soap Opera's,"
have that name because of the sponsorship of soap companies, namely Proctor and Gamble. I am just full of it...these useless facts. Yes, it"s hell to be me sometimes!
Yes, those were the good ol' days, when Penny Candy was exactly that and if you were given a nickel you were shittin' in tall cotton.
Back then, the Coca Cola machines were like self-serve, you put a dime in and it opened up the whole case. On your honor, you took one 16 oz. bottle out, popped the cap off the opener affixed to the machine and took your barefoot self, back out on to the hot blacktop, gushy under foot, skipping along and felt like life was good.

Of course, I was way too cool smokin', puffing away on a candy cigarette. It's no wonder, I got winded doing Double Dutch, lungs full of candy residue.

If I had to pick or was able to decide how my own kids or your kids would grow up, I'd take 'em back to those days when the only time you were really stuck in the house, watching T.V., was when it was raining or snowing so bad, even the dog was allowed in. Imagination ruled and there were only a few battery operated toys. You got your ass beat cause you didn't want to go in and your Mom would find you hiding and take a nearby switch to your ass, in front of God and everyone. Speaking of God, yes I am that old...God and I went to High School together.

Back when you could by a Hamburger for .15 cents...

Willard Herman Scott, Jr. (born March 7, 1934) is an American media personality and author best known for his work on NBC's Today show.

Born in Alexandria, Virginia,(the next town over from where I was born and raised) Scott attended American University in Washington, D.C. and was a member of the Alpha Sigma Phi Fraternity, Beta Chi Chapter. While there, he met Ed Walker. The two hosted a program on the university radio station WAMU-AM for two years, before moving to WRC-AM in 1953. Their program, The Joy Boys, remained on WRC until 1972 when they moved to cross-town station WWDC for another two years.

Scott spent the 1960s balancing his radio career with jobs as the host of children's television programs. He appeared on local television playing characters such as Commander Retro and Bozo the Clown. Another role he played during this time was that of Ronald McDonald, whom he created and was hired to portray for a McDonald's franchise in Washington, D.C.
Here's a sound bite from one of his early commercials...

Ronald McDonald, In Any Language He Means "Fun!"

Ronald McDonald waving his hand. "The smile known around the world," In his first TV appearance in 1963 the happy clown was portrayed by none other than Willard Scott. Check out McDonaldland for more Ronald McDonald information and fun.

Scott played Ronald in the first three television ads featuring the character. According to Morgan Spurlock in the documentary film Super Size Me, he claims McDonald's fired Scott on account of his weight giving McDonald's a bad image.

Read more about Williard Scott

Kaptain Kangaroo visits Ranger Hal

To Read More
D.C./Va. Memories

Slinkie Love


Rob K said...

God, Babs,

You're really emptying out the old memory banks: Romper Room, Captain Kangaroo, penny candy!?!

Let's do the time warp again!

Babsbitchin said...

Rob K, sweety, I was thinking about you just this am when I started this post. Somehow, it took me hours to do as I was going to visit when I was done. Hope you're well, I'll drop by. Got any flour I can borrow? tehe!

CanadianSwiss said...

Ahhh. Yes, the good ol' days. It was indeed a wonderful time. I was also one of the kids that never wanted in (except for dinner and a few favorite TV shows). I was almost always outdoors playing.

You know, I wonder what today's kids will remember 30 years from now. Spending hours playing Gameboy?

Babsbitchin said...

CS, I can't imagine it can be much except maybe who they played with on their X-Box. I hadn't thought of that, I was too busy recalling all the good times playing in the woods or kick the can, tag and on and on. You're right!

Webmiztris said...

damn, this post was chock full of information! ronald mcdonald used to look totally lame...lol

I always LOVED candy cigs! I wish I could switch back to candy cigs now, but once you get hooked on the real ones, there's no going back... :D

Babsbitchin said...

Webmiztris, chock full o'chunky bullshit, lol! I know what you mean about the cigs. Lately, I've been smoking like I'm going to the electric chair, any minute!

.Ophelia. said...

aww. this post is sweet. I was right there in my barefeet too! except it was prolly a past life or something...

and webmiztris is right, ronald was lameO back then. I think a little more scary too.

Babsbitchin said...

ophelia, those were the days my friend, we thought they'd never end, we'd sing and dance forever and a day...