I happened to have Sesame Street on the brain for the past few days, on the surface of things, seemingly out of no where. But I know not seemingly. Never trust a fart*, never dismiss coincidence.
I caught a tossaway news blurb about today being the anniversary of the 1969 inaugural broadcast of Sesame Street. Later in the day, I got a voice mail message from my mom pointing out the same. Long before she entered the teaching profession into which she would pour three decades of dedication, the bulk of which was focused on the specific matter of development of reading skills among her young charges, she was honing her skills on a couple of test cases: my brother and me.
I don’t recall the event that was the first Sesame Street broadcast; precisely in the same manner that recollection of the moon landing—three months and change prior—escapes me fully (I turned three in the fall of 1969), both are to this day honored and momentous events, and for both I and my brother were deliberately seated before the tube to watch unfold.
Again, I don’t recall it. I just remember Sesame Street as one of those consistent, inherently decent backdrop-to-life forces, reinforcing my developing cognitive and linguistic skills, and instilling some fundamental lessons in how to treat others with kindness and respect. And how when you do that—look!—it returns to you.
Golden rule sort of stuff, by any other name. And I suspect that those early lessons have returned to mind over the past few days as it’s become pretty clear that when and where rubber meets road, there are a whole lot folks who profess adherence to the teachings of a certain unnamed dominant spiritual figure but who are woefully inept at putting those teachings into practice.
But a couple very small scale delights happened to pop up as I did my armchair due diligence on the matter of the Sesame Street anniversary.
The first is local:
OAKLAND, Calif., Nov 10, 2008 (BUSINESS WIRE) — Bob McGrath, who has entertained millions of children and parents alike for 38 years as “Bob” on Sesame Street, has been named grand marshal of the Comcast Oakland Holiday Parade, which will be held on Saturday, Dec. 6.
The parade, which is coined “America’s Children’s Parade” and contains some 90 entertaining units, will march down the streets of Oakland beginning at 2 p.m. beginning at 11th and Broadway, working its way up to 20th and Broadway, and then turning right to Lake Merritt.
I am in agony at the likelihood that I will be required to work that day; this parade will pass mere blocks away from my apartment. I’d like to wave to Bob.
And, secondly, there’s this
, having occurred on the same November 1969 day as Sesame Street’s launch:
Today in Entertainment History
In 1969, “Sesame Street” made its debut on PBS.
Also in 1969, “Led Zeppelin 2″ was certified gold
I love that. I don’t think that I can possibly adequately convey how much. Or why.
*ATTRIBUTION: per friend Gabrielle, the entire triad of advice conveyed to her some time back was: never pass by a urinal, never ignore an erection, never trust a fart.