Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Romper, Bomper Stomper, Boo!


The other day I was thinking about watching TV when I was a little girl. I was five or six when we owned our first TV. Before that we listened to the big console radio in our living room. I know, I sound as old as the Waltons, don't I?

Even after we got the little TV, the radio remained a big source of entertainment and story telling for kids in the early 50s. I remember listening to Uncle Remus and Brer Rabbit and I can still remember my mom listening to a soap opera. ( Was it As The World Turns?) I was thinking about how much the media has changed for little kids. It is too bad really. One I was thinking of from the past was Romper Room. Do you remember it?

I sure do. Here is part of what wiki said about it.

"Each program would open with a greeting from the hostess and the Pledge of Allegiance. Then the hostess and her group of children would embark on 30 or 60 minutes of games, exercises, songs and moral lessons, which were regularly accompanied by background music. The young cast was rotated every two months and ranged from four to five years old.

Romper Room tried to teach its young charges to be polite. For instance, the hostesses were always addressed as "Miss." Many of the hostesses had prior experience in working with small children, as many were former kindergarten teachers.

The hostess would also serve milk and cookies to the children, with prayer offered before eating.

A recurring character was Mr. Do-Bee, an over-sized bumblebee who came to teach the children how to be well-behaved; he was noted for always starting his sentence with "Do Bee", as in the imperative "Do be"; for example, "Do Bee good boys and girls for your parents!"

There was also a "Mr. Don't Bee" to show children exactly what they should not do. Do-Bee balloons were also manufactured. Each balloon featured a painted sketch of Do-Bee on it. When the balloons were inflated and then released, they would fly around the room slowly emitting a buzzing sound.

The show used the then-popular Mattel Jack-in-the-box for its opening and closing titles, with its traditional nursery rhyme "Pop Goes the Weasel" theme song.

At the end of each broadcast, the hostess would look through a "magic mirror" – actually an open hoop with a handle, the size and shape of a hand mirror – recite the rhyme, "Romper, bomper, stomper boo. Tell me, tell me, tell me, do. Magic Mirror, tell me today, have all my friends had fun at play?"

She would then name the children she saw in "televisionland", saying, for example, "I can see Scotty and Kimberly and Julie and Jimmy and Kelly and Ed and Judy" and so on. Kids were encouraged to mail in their names, which would be read on the air – first names only.

This magic mirror thing is the part I remember the best. I was always hoping they would look in there and actually see me. It seemed they never did say my name. I was so surprised when I found this YouTube and it actually has my name mentioned. Who knew? I must have missed that day or something. Figures! It was nice to be remembered by name for regularly stopping in.

The lady below is Miss Barbara from the 80s. The one I remember is Miss Nancy from the 50s.

Along the same vein I would like to look into my magic mirror now and thank all of you who have told me that you enjoy reading my blog. I truly love knowing you are out there and it keeps me motivated to keep on writing to real people instead of feeling I am mumbling to myself in cyberspace. Thank you for your support and encouragement! That you would take the time to stop in here on your busy day, really touches my heart.

I see Mike and Connie, Mrs.Callabash, Lee, Con, Maureen and Lanette. I see Tracey, Nancy, Debbi, Faye and Michelle, and Michelle from way up north, Alan, Margaret from Edinburgh, and Marie. I see Justin, and Steve and Emily, and Marshall and Deanna, Tammy, Sara, and Scott, Loida, Laura, Missy, Jen and Vanessa, Laura and Julie and Tina and Janet, Nellie and Susie and Becky and Shaun, Linnea and Melissa, and Marilyn and Tom, Stephen, and Laura, and Jessica and Sally, and Kim and Chris, and Gary and Traci. There's David and Dave, Christine and Barbara and Mandy and Robin, Jeannette, and Jim and Kristi of Clayton, and Kristi from Brentwood and Christy of SoCal. I see Jennifer and Gail and Bethy and Emily and Beth and Bob and Mary Jane and Read, Lowell and Robert, and Janet and Barbara. I see Regina also known as Gina, Shelli and Helen Jean, Caroline and Nicki and Piper. There's Connor and Julia, Cathy, Cathi, and Kathy, Jane, Spencer, Ross, Chuck and Michelle and Diane. I see Virginia and Linda Ann and Brad. Then there's John and Jennifer, Stephen, Joel, Judi, Carol, Jimmy Ray and Travis. Can't forget Ron and Miss Spencer and Nancy and Deanna or Marianne and my new friend, Delia. If I have accidentally missed you, forgive me! If I don't know you are reading, please do say hi! (Michael Ball, that would be you, you know you check up on your fans!) A special thank you to all who have read our annual Christmas e-card and commented on it and to those of you who take time to comment on my blog...you are dear to my heart. You all are!

I hope YOU are having a special day! (Saying the Pledge and a prayer before cookies and milk helps and Do Bee polite!)

Thank you! ♥ ♥ ♥ Miss Bonnie

7 comments:

Sister Susie said...

What a nice post! I remember Capt. Kangaroo and Mr. Green Jeans as well as Mr. Rodgers!
Love to you and yours,
Susan

Bonnie said...

Regina Wrote:

"BONNIE, JUST WANT YOU TO KNOW THAT I AM A HUGE FAN OF YOUR BLOG. YOU ARE JUST A WONDERFUL WRITER AND A PERSON WHO SHARES HER THOUGHTS AND MEMORIES WITH SUCH OPENESS. I THINK YOU SHOULD WRITE A BOOK. I LOOK FORWARD TO YOUR BLOG EMAIL EVERY DAY.
I TOO REMEMBER MS NANCY. I REMEMBER THE EXCERCISE TIME. BEND AND STRETCH REACH FOR THE STARS. THERE IS JUPITER THERE IS MARS. YOU BRING SMILES TO ME EVERY DAY YOU JUST KEEP ON BLOGGING. LOVE, GINA

Bonnie said...

Gina, I love that you are reading and that your wrote back. I added your name in red to the post! Do you realize we have been friends for over 14 years now? Amazing, I love you!

Sister Susie said...

Oh! I forgot to say, Happy Mother's Day!
Susan

Marie said...

Oh Bonnie, thanks for the memories! I loved Romper Room as a child. I waited so patiently at the end of each show to hear my name. I never did, but I did today, so thanks for that! A dream come true! I also used to love some Canadian shows, The Friendly Giant, Chez Helene and Mr Dressup, and of course I adored Mr Rogers!! Love you loads! xxoo

LA Adams said...

I remember Miss Julie from Romper Room - thanks so much for bringing it all back. it was interesting to see a color version as we only had a black and white TV until I went to College and we had a color o TV in the dorm. I didn't realize Romper Room was even in color. Nice!

Deila said...

Yep, I remember, I remember that magic mirror. And some show where you would drink your milk to the green light and stop when it was red. What was that?