Thursday, August 27, 2009
A local news story this evening brought me back in time; a time of youth and innocence.
Well, maybe not a time of innocence...
It was in the summer of 1970 that I discovered one of the most unique establishments on the coast of Maine. According to their website, “Perry's Nut House has been referred to as a Maine Institution since 1927 when I.L. Perry first opened his doors to sell pecans and other assorted nuts.”
I was part of a motley crew of campers and counselors from a small boys’ camp in Friendship, Maine off for a day trip to Fort Knox where we had searched – in vain – for hidden treasures. Although I, and presumably the rest of my crew, knew full well that the massive edifice built at the mouth of the Penobscot River to protect the City of Bangor from British attack after the War of 1812 was not the place with all the gold, my fellow staff and I attempted to confuse the young lads by insisting that we search every inch of the fort including a trip down into the bowels of the site in search of the precious mineral.
In those days I was learning the art form of how to keep little boys busy, content and tired. Busy boys stay out of trouble and content boys would not write unflattering letters to parents. The "tired" part paid off for the staff when we could call lights out at 9:00 pm and have a few hours of rest and recovery from the “little darlings” before crashing ourselves.
There was only so much Fort Knox to go around that day and by 2:30 we had pretty much seen everything there was to see. The boat back to camp would not be ready until five o’clock so several hours still had to be occupied.
Leading the excursion was Old Man John, the feisty and coarse former camp director who recently had turned over the reigns of the camp to his 28 year old son and taken the role as chief sage and bus driver. But the Old Man still had quite few tricks up his sleeve for killing time; he could write a book. Wherever I traveled with that man in the years that followed he never ceased to amaze me by finding the most unique and “off the beaten track” places that would make any all American boy drool.
That year we were introduced to Perry’s Nut House. Located along busy US Route 1 just north of the port city of Belfast, Perry’s complex of brightly painted yellow building surrounded by a menagerie of strange and exotic “curiosities” can’t be missed. Seemingly from a time long ago, the Perry’s of 1970 sported a larger-than-life bear, elephant, and wooden Indian. And that was just on the outside of the building. Once inside, Perry’s was the kind a place every kid would love and contained the kind of stuff every camp counselor dreaded. That was probably why Old Man John made a lengthy speech warning campers and staff that no one was to buy any contraband. Before we exited the camp bus, the Old Man pulled me aside and told me to keep my eyes on a few of the seniors who would no doubt defy the warning and try to fill their pockets with itchy powder, rubber turds and black soap.
I watched the more recalcitrant members of the brood with extra-sharp, hawk-eyes but Perry’s was a very distracting venue. Apart from the racks and racks of every Maine-related souvenir one could imagine, stacks of candy and goodies that would make a dentist smile, Perry’s was filled with a collection of odd and amazing collectibles including a 10 foot long snake skin, stuffed animals of all shapes and sizes, including alligators and giraffes, a large, menacing gorilla, and yes, even a “man-eating clam!”. Add to this an unlimited supply of comic books and games, fun house stuff like mirrors that made you look two feet tall and quickly all time was lost.
An hour later, and many dollars lighter, the camp boys and staff were back on the bus heading down US 1 satiated and content. Filled with candy and ice cream, more than a few youngsters didn’t finish their supper that night.
And despite the staff’s best efforts, the next morning we all recoiled in disgust when a realistic-looking puddle of rubber vomit was discovered on one of the dining room tables.
The camp director never did find out who put it there, but it would be a couple of years before we would visit Perry’s Nut House again.
See the news story about Perry's Nut House
Perry's Nut House website
Saturday, August 15, 2009
A friend circulated an e-mail chain letter asking people to add their name and the name of their favorite TV show from their youth. Kinda of an interesting list actually. While I was doing the laundry today I decided to use IMDB to find out info about the ones on the list. I know, this definitely qualifies as something done by "somebody who has too much time on his hands."
What can I say... other than I am not responsible for spelling...
Martha--Dinah Shore Show
Billy--.Six Million Dollar Man
Kay--Friday night fights!! (Sorry not a TV series per se, no record found)
Carol--Streets of San Francisco
Lisa--Here Comes the Brides
Twyla--I Remember Mama Note: there was a movie of this same name - 1949 TV show was called "Mama"
Ruth--.The Red Skelton Show
Chriss-- Lassie - aka - "Timmy and Lassie," "Jeff's Collie"
Beth--Burns and Allen aka - "The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show"
Lynda-- What's My Line Note: multiple versions - first 1950
Marg--The Lone Ranger
Lynn -- The Ed Sullivan Show aka "The Toast of the Town"
Betty -- You Are There (1953)
Deborah -- Marcus Welby,M.D.
Becky -- WKRP in Cincinnati
Beth -- The Flying Nun
Kristy -- Welcome Back Kotter
Thaise -- The Facts of Life
Tam -- HR Pufnstuf Note: Not to be confused with H.R. Pufnstuff which is a new movie
Jill -- Emergency aka "Emergency One"
Valerie-- Wonder Woman
Debbie-- Knots Landing
Bonnie -- 30 Something aka "Thirtysomething"
Toney -- Surf Side Six
Carolyn -- Name that Tune Note multiple versions - first 1953
Gena -- Dallas
Doris -- Falcon Crest
Michelle -- Romper Room aka "Romper Room and Friends" - Mulitple versions, first 1953
Kathy -- Ray Rayner Note: wow, rare, could you mean "Ray Rayner and His Friends?"
Candy -- Benji FAIL: not a TV show
Dana -- Laugh In aka "Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In"
Ann -- I Dream of Jeanie - This was a movie, the TV show was "I Dream of Jeannie"
Lisa -- Sanford and Son
Jill --Brisco County Jr. - Wow, Jill, you must be a kid still! This show from 1993
Lois -- Bewitched
Gayle -- M.A.S.H.
Juanita -- Flipper Note: multiple versions and movies
Donna -- Rin Tin Tin aka "The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin"
Janet D -- Fury Note: mulitple movies of the same name
Chris -- Howdy Doody Note: also a predecesor - "Puppet Playhouse" plus multiple sequels: It's Howdy Doody Time (1987) (TV); The New Howdy Doody Show" (1976) (TV series); Howdy Doody and His Magic Hat (1954)
Carl -- Bat Masterson
Gloria -- The Addams Family Note: multiple versions and movies of the same name - first 1964
Rich -- Hill Street Blues
Fannie -- Cagney and Lacey Note: multiple sequels
Katie -- The Jeffersons
Cathy R -- The Andy Griffith Show Note: multiple sequels plus reunions
Kim F -- The Monsters ( did you mean The Munsters?) - a British TV show from 1962
Yvonne -- The Carol Burnette Show Note: multiple versions - first 1967
Michele -- The Lawrence Welk Show (wanerful, wanerful!)
Sharon -- The Rookies
Angela -- The Courtship of Eddie's Father Note: Based on a movie and also sequels
Julie P -- MOD Squad Note: sequel and movies - first 1964
Michelle C -- Get Christy Love (I never heard of this before)
Gaynell D -- Leave It To Beaver
Norman -- Amos & Andy
Sherry -- Little House on the Prairie
Barbara -- Wagon Train
Madeline -- Perry Mason
Patsy -- The Golden Girls
Gina -- The Brady Bunch
Fay -- Nash Bridges - another babe!
Alice -- .Charlie's Angels
Donna -- The Wonderful World of Disney aka "Disneyland"
Bonnie -- The Sonny and Cher Show . (Note: I didn't know Steve Martin was the writer, did you?)
Victor -- Maude
Valerie -- 77 Sunset Strip Kookie, Kookie, lend me your comb!
Phyllis -- American Bandstand aka "Bandstand"
Stephanie -- Fantasy Island De Plane, de plane!
Beth -- The Midnight Special (Another one I had never heard of)
Jude -- Queen For A Day Many sequels - first 1951
Sylvia -- Zorro Many sequels, many movies, - first TV 1957
Denise -- Miami Vice
Richard -- The Cisco Kid several sequels - first 1950
John -- The Man from UNCLE
TY -- The Untouchables several sequels and movies - first 1959
Henry -- Star Trek several sequels and movies - first 1966
Vera -- Mickey Mouse Club several sequels - first 1955
Linda -- The Monkeys - presume you mean "The Monkees"
Dawn -- Family Affair - one sequel and multiple movies of the same name - first TV 1966
Kip -- Car 54 Where Are You?
George -- Maverick
Michael -- Sugarfoot
Thomas L -- Captain Video - there were two "Captain Video and His Video Rangers" (1949) and "Captain Video and His Cartoon Rangers" (1956)
MaryAnn -- Ozzie and Harriet aka "The Adventures of Ozzie & Harriet" (1952)
Sue -- 90210 again there were at least two series "Beverly Hills, 90210" (1990) and "90210" (2008), in any case you are also a babe.
Mary -- Father Knows Best
Jill -- Gidget
Rhonda -- McCloud
Tammy -- Twilight Zone
Judy -- ZOOM - first 1972, many sequels
LAMOINE -- HIGHWAY TO HEAVEN
Leigh -- Ultra Man could you mean Ultraman (Japanese) 1972?
Sandi -- My Three Sons
Jason -- All in the Family
Randi -- Dark Shadows
Tanya -- Dawson's Creek
Ahlai -- Good Times
Theresa -- Mr. ED first 1961
Dana -- The Partridge Family
Millie -- Password first 1961
Zenna -- Mary Tyler Moore
Bob -- Superman aka "Adventures of Superman" (1952)
Floyd -- Kukla Fran and Ollie
Sherry -- Laverne and Shirley
Janet -- Studio One aka "Westinghouse Studio One"
Wendy-- I love Lucy
Lee-- Flash Gorden many sequels and movies
Delores-- Night Gallery
Tonja-- PettiCoat Junction
Shari -- The Dean Martin Show
Marjory-- MAGNUM PI
Jackie -- The Cosby’s - do you mean "The Cosby Show" (1984)?
Stef ---.Full House
Julia -- Boy Meets World
Kate -- Pee Wee Herman aka Pee-wee's Big Adventure (1985)
Brittni -- Fraggle Rock!
Kara -- 7th Heaven
Katherine -- Saved by the Bell
Brianne -- Pound Puppies
Emily -- Sesame Street (Dah!)
JOSH-- the fall guy
Clark -- Combat
Wayne -- Adam 12
Elouise -- Gilligan’s Island
ELLEN-- PUNKY BREWSTER!!!!
RUBY-- HAPPY DAYS!
Ted -- Lost in Space
Diana P -- Green Acres
Sherri J -- Beverly Hillbillies
Gail -- Fury!
Betty Lu -- McMillan & Wife (Rock Hudson)
Sharron -- Mannix
Lori -- Quantum Leap
Mary-- Sky King (my favorite: "From out of the clear blue of the western sky comes Sky King" )
Barbara -- Dick Van Dyke Show
Val -- Silver Spoons
Fran -- Three’s Company
Sann-- Land of the Lost Note: mulitple sequels - first 1974
Cordero -- Mork & Mindy - "naanu naanu!"
Renetta -- What's Happening..
Corrine -- Hawaii 50 - - - Aloha (actually Hawaii Five-O)
Janelle -- The LOVE boat!
Mary -- Get Smart
Matilda -- Hart to Hart
Leslie -- Webster
Regina -- Mr. Belvedere
Prexie --The Lorretta Young Show aka "The New Loretta Young Show" (1962) (Note there was an earlier show (1953) called "Letter to Loretta"
Hilda -- The Dating Game multiple sequels - first 1965
Susan S -- My Little Margie
John (Me)-- Fireball XL-5 (only cause the good ones were all taken
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