Underlying image from White Mountain Puzzles

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Every Saturday morning when we post one of our animations it reminds me of growing up in New York and watching cartoons on Saturday mornings.


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Careful, you are showing your age. That was back when there were only a handful of television channels and they had specific lineups, including Saturday mornings full of children's programming. It was long before there was the Cartoon Network. And, well before you could stream cartoons or watch them on smart phones.


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I don't want the history of cartoons; I want to reminisce about the simpler times. I remember sitting in front of our black and white TV in the playroom with a bowl full of cereal watching my favorite cartoons.


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I remember Mom had all the cereal on the bottom shelf of a kitchen cabinet so that we could make our own breakfast.


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Yes, and I tried so hard not to spill any milk but invariably did.


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Well, that may explain why I have always eaten my cereal dry. And, often straight out of the box.


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Gee, you were efficient even as a kid? Although, I have a hard time imagining you sugar loading on cereal and watching cartoons. Anyway, I can't remember us ever watching cartoons together.


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You are five years younger than me which, at that age, was a huge difference. Plus, we probably did not like the same shows. What did you watch?


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That's easy! The Flintstones, Magilla Gorilla, and Mister Magoo.


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The Flintstones was one of my favorites. That and The Jetsons. Did you know that The Flintstones started out as an animated show for adults? And, was the first animated show to air on primetime?


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You really are determined to give me the history of cartoons, aren't you?


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You brought up The Flintstones, not me. Anyway, the show's creators, William Hanna and Joseph Barbera, had created Tom and Jerry, and were certain there was a market for adult animation given the success of relationship-based sitcoms. Shows like I Love Lucy, The Honeymooners, The Donna Reed Show.


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Isn't that the same logic you used when you thought you could turn my crisis into a relationship-based sitcom?

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Yes. Especially when I realized there was an entire cast of supporting characters. But, we never would have hired an animation firm if Hasbro had not suggested it when we met with them.


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True. Regardless, I love that we post our animations on Saturday mornings. It's like going full circle!


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That is fine … as long as cereal is optional.
Photograph of Jackie Aguilera courtesy of Jackie Aguilera


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I have a confession to make, which I’m sure will make you roll your eyes.


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Interesting caveat and probably true.


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Every time we meet with Jackie (Aguilera) from the Mayor’s Office of Adult Literacy and hear what she’s doing in the world of adult education, I feel like I’m back in school and having to take copious notes.


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I am more than happy to send you “homework assignments” as I come across relevant articles and research.


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Thanks, but no thanks. I’ll stick to taking notes. But that does explain why you’re so knowledgeable about literacy.


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But, reading information is very different from being at the forefront of literacy innovation. And, if we had never met Jackie, I never would have realized how literacy is more than the dictionary definition, and encompasses more than just reading and writing.
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Photo by Lynda Sanchez on Unsplash

As Black knows, going to the movies is my escape (and even sends me research about it), but she also knows that it’s all about the popcorn. So, it should come as no surprise that’s how I like to celebrate my birthday. And even though she’s not one to “celebrate” birthdays, she does indulge (or maybe the word is “tolerate”) people who do, and whenever my birthday falls on a workday, she gives me “permission” to escape to the movies.

Which is what I’m doing today on my milestone birthday, and although the “rerun” part of this post (below the line) was from last November, some things never change. Except … this year, as I’ll be waiting for the movie to start (and waiting to start eating my popcorn as I refuse to eat even a single kernel beforehand), I know I’ll be wondering, “How did I get to be 60 years old?!”

It's a running joke in my family that the only reason I go to the movies is for the popcorn. And while that isn't 100% true, it's probably close as I can't remember a time when popcorn wasn't an essential part of the experience. (I'll admit I couldn't believe it when I recently read that South Korea's banning movie popcorn in the theater!)

I can still remember seeing "Young Frankenstein" when it was first released (in 1974) at the Massapequa movie theater, which was literally at one end of an old strip shopping center. It bore no resemblance to the multiplex cinemas of today, and the concession stand offerings were very limited. It was dark and a bit dingy, and the seats were old and uncomfortable. But I didn't care because the popcorn made up for it. And while I sat through multiple showings of the movie (hey, it's still one of my favorites), I was grateful that my dad had given me enough money to get multiple popcorns as in those days, there was no such thing as the big bucket, let alone free refills.

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Photos by Red


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I know you’ll roll your eyes, but it made me smile when I found not one, but two, of Daddy’s typewriters at Mom’s house. It just brought back so many memories.


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I remember the old black one, which is probably long gone, before Daddy “modernized” and got an electric one. I remember taking typing class. And, I remember pulling an all-nighter to write, or technically “type”, my M.B.A. thesis the night before it was due.


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I still can’t believe you did that. Too bad you couldn’t turn in the handwritten version.
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