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Raised on PBS and Little Debbie . . . Part 1

February 7, 2013

super groverI have never been a sky is falling sort-of gal.  So, it came as a big shock to me following the sad and recent scandal involving the Elmo muppeteer from Sesame Street, when I heard a reporter speculate that the longtime program’s future was in jeopardy.  My first thought was, “What in the mayonnaise?”

I agree that the turn of events was heartbreaking, but to think that a huge part of American childhood was going to come crashing down over a personnel change was ludicrous.  I consider myself somewhat of a Sesame Street expert since our literal birth-days are ten days apart.  I really have grown up with all the characters, and I have loved introducing them first, to my much younger sister and then to each of my children over the years.

Not all on the changes on my favorite street have brought bliss in my household.  I will never forget the debate that four-year-old Reed and I had about Snuffleupagus.  For the life of me, I could not understand how the grown-ups could suddenly see him, when he was “imaginary” when I grew up.  Reed, of course, thought I was the crazy one. Apparently a few things changed over my college years.

Don’t get me wrong the addition of new characters, such as Elmo, Baby Bear, and Abby Cadabby brought new life and angles to the show, but my heart was still wrapped around the originals: Big Bird, Bert & Ernie, Oscar, Count, and my personal favorite, Grover.  I still believe that Snuffey was better imaginary.  I can’t look at a rubber duck without breaking into song.  As a pigeon fancier, I convinced our kids to name our first female, Bernice, after Bert’s favorite. I have always wanted to take a tour of Oscar’s trash can, and frankly still do.   Even though, I can’t find it on the internet, the Count enumerating telephone rings complete with lightning and thunder will hands-down be one of my favorites.

With the arrivals of the new friends, my old friends seemed to get less “star” coverage.  The one I felt the most sorry for was Grover because he seemed to live in Elmo’s shadow.  As far as I am concerned, that loveable, laughable blue monster is the embodiment of Sesame Street.  Don’t get me wrong, Elmo is great.  I love him too, but who among us does not love a furry blue superhero who can exasperate a man with a fly in his soup.  Many of my childhood giggles came from his antics.  Thinking of them now, a smile breaks onto my face.

With all the other “junk” on television, I love that there is a safe place that my and my children’s imaginations to explore and grow.  I have never lived there or even visited, but one thing is certain, I don’t believe that Sesame Street is going away anytime soon.   I am hoping that someday in the far future, ( – just in case, my kids are reading today) that I will introduce  my grandchildren to my old friends, as well.  Along with all the other great lessons they will learn, I hope that they too hear, “I, Super Grover, am here to help.  And how can I help you?”  – just like millions before them, including me!

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