Friday, August 25, 2006

(9) October 5, 1964 Mr. Peppermint is cooler than the Beatles

1964: First Class Stamp $0.05 cents
Good Friday Earthquake in Alaska
"A Moveable Feast" by Ernest Hemingway released after his death
The Beatles arrive in the United States (yea, yea, yea)
"Bewitched" and "The Addams Family" Debut
"The Unsinkable Molly Brown" released in theaters
Ah, the Beatles. This was the year they invaded America, on lunchboxes, pins, and all over the radio. I was a little young at seven to really be swept up in the "crazed fandom" but I remember watching them on television and promising my stepfather's scandalized southern Baptist mother I would never listen to evil "rock and roll." A promise I broke pretty quickly, as this was the year of my first record player. My first real record was "The Sound of Music", which I listened to so many times I break out in hives today just thinking about it.
This was also the year that Jerry Haynes aka "Mr.Peppermint," a Dallas children's show legend, attended my birthday party in full on Mr. Peppermint drag. He also brought along a box with his finger puppet "Mr. Wiggly Worm" in it. Now, Mr. Wiggly Worm got tiny little letters and presents sent in from children all over Dallas for his worm hole house, and the interaction with him at my birthday party set me off in my obsession with tiny little toys acquired through gumball machines. I have seen Mr. Haynes acting in many venues later in life, but every time I see him in anything I can't get past thinking of him as "Mr. Peppermint. " Talk about typecasting, but I am sure there are worse fates. Here he is with Mr. Wiggly Worm's tiny mailbox.

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