The internet provides me with a constant stream of "do you remember the 50's" blogs and pictures. I revisit Howdy Doody, Bandstand and Captain Kangeroo. Then I remembered Romper Room. For those of you who do not have a clue, Romper Room was a show for preschoolers. It featured a teacher, about ten, 4-5 year olds and a very big plastic bee called DooBee. DooBee was the moral conscience , and would remind the children to be a good friend, be kind, and listen to your parents.
At the end of each show, the teacher would look into her magic mirror, and name all the friends she saw that day. I swear she NEVER saw me. She never said my name. Maybe she said my name on a day I was not watching. My mother insisted she said my name, but even then I knew it was ALL make believe. Even little I knew the score.
My mother received a phone call that a neighbor's son, was going to be a guest on Romper Room. This was BIG. What made this more surprising was, this was a very poorly behaved wild child. He kicked, and bit, he hit and ran. He was the right size and age- but nothing like the passive children who appeared on T.V. I must have been a preschooler myself to be home watching this event. We tuned in and heard the famous, " Romper bomper stomper boo, tell me tell me tell me do".
There was our neighbor, small head, large glasses, sweet smile. The teacher was wearing a shirt waist dress, and short curly hair. The children danced with DooBee, he stood perfectly still. The children marched, he ran. I thought I saw him kick the bee. I did see the teacher push him once, to get him to stand in line. Strangely he did not return for the rest of the week. I guess he got stung. Romper Room the true birth of reality T.V. Welcome to the 50's.
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