Christmas in Chicago

23 December 2009

When I was a kid every Christmas meant we got to see three great videos on Garfield Goose: Hardrock, Coco and Joe, Suzy Snowflake and Frosty the Snowman.  WGN stopped showing them in the early 1980’s as Frazier Thomas was made the ringmaster at Bozo’s Circus and Gar and the gang moved their home. The Christmas videos stopped being played for some reason. Then they sat in a vault unseen for ages. In 1992 the Museum of Broadcast Communications transferred the videos from 1/2-inch to 1/4-inch tape. In addition, patrons could go to the museum and watch them. That December I went down to the museum to see get re-acquainted with these old videos.

Back then to see them it was like borrowing microfilm from the library (anybody?). I had to surrender my driver’s license and they sent me to a tiny desk with a monitor no bigger than your typical laptop and a pair of headphones that looked like something John Lomax used in the 1930’s when he was recording Robert Johnson. Sitting there a tape played with the videos I hadn’t seen in 10 years or so. I felt like a kid again. The scary thing was that I remembered all the words. It’s odd how I can recall the words to songs I haven’t heard in a decade. yet I can’t remember when the last time I changed the battery on the smoke detector. (Just kidding, I disconnected that thing the day I moved in.)

In 1998, WGN aired a show called Bozo, Garfield and Friends. The three videos were shown again on television in beautiful mono. Thanks to the “Internets” and You Tube, I can watch them when ever I want and I do.

If you are from Chicago, these videos will make you smile and think of a simpler time. If you have kids and you show it to them they will say, “Mom that is the lamest thing I have ever seen.” If you are not from Chicago these videos may not make sense to you and you will say, “Hey Neil, no one cares about your childhood.”

My Christmas gift to you are the videos I watched on a console set as a kid in Rogers Park.

Enjoy your holidays, what ever they may be. I will still be blogging the next two weeks so check back often and thanks for reading. Oh, Happy Festivus!

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One Response to “Christmas in Chicago”

  1. Elliot Benn Says:

    dude great blog! and yes…this year i fired up WGG on xmas eve and watched these! My six year old lucy said, “dad what is this…why are there no colors?,…can we switch to the Diney channel?”

    I tried!!


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