Can You Tell Me How To Get...

to Sesame Street?

Where would I be without Sesame Street?  Where would countless people be without Big Bird, Ernie & Bert, Oscar, Grover, Cookie Monster, etc.?    And I can't forget Bob, Gordon, Susan, Maria, Luis or Mr. Hooper.

The show premiered 45 years ago today and I was watching.  I just about the right age.  I may not remember the details of that first show, but I have it on DVD and when I watched it again it was charming (and a little dull too, but then things were different in 1969).  If I recall, the show aired twice a day on our PBS station (channel 13) and I watched the same episode in the morning (10 AM?) and afternoon (4 PM?).  I can vaguely recall watching on the television in my parent's room, so Sesame Street was black and white to me most days.  I did watch in the living room some times, which meant it was all in glorious color.  Those were definitely different days!

Sesame Street shaped my childhood and as a result shaped my life.  I learned from the show years after I was past their "target demographic."  I watched when my brother watched and learned some Spanish phrases as a result.  I watched with my brother and it brought us closer together.

When I think of Bert and his bottle cap collection or Ernie and his Rubber Duckie I can't help but smile.  I think most people of "my generation"' can sing at least the chorus of "Rubber Duckie."  (It was, after all, a top 20 hit! How many "kids" shows can say that?)  When thinking of the letter "C" doesn't everyone know that "C is for Cookie?"  (That's good enough for me!)

Things have changed on Sesame Street.  Some of my favorite characters (Guy Smiley and Sherlock Hemlock) have disappeared and been replaced by characters that aren't necessarily MY favorite (Elmo and Abby Cadabby).  As the world has changed in the past 45 years so has Sesame Street.  When I watched it with my son, there were things that I DIDN"T like (Too much "Elmo's World" and how could Ernie and Bert be CGI?).  But the show is NOT about me; it is about the kids. Sesame Street IS still engaging the toddler and preschool set.  After 45 years it is still relevant and teaching kids.

Do I mourn the loss of the "old school" Sesame Street?  Of course I do.  But I have my memories and DVDs of "Old School" Sesame Street.  And I know that future generations will have their memories of the show as well and if they went back and watched what I loved, it wouldn't move them the way it moved me.  I am of the opinion that each generation will look back with fondness on "their" Sesame Street, even if whatever is "current" does not move them.


Confession:  in the top of my son's closet are two large (the size of small toddler) Ernie and Bert stuffed toys.  I bought them long before my son was born.  (And in one case before I even met my husband.)  When he was little I let my son play with them, but they will always be mine.  One of my favorite photos is of my son, as a toddler, fast asleep on the floor in our living room, his head resting on Ernie.  (Let's face it Ernie makes a great pillow.)  Ernie and Bert may reside in the closet, but if I had they room they'd be out on display somewhere because we all need a little Ernie and Bert in our lives.  We all need a little Sesame Street.  That's why the show has been around for so long and hopefully will be there for generations to come.

Comments

  1. Was always one of my favorites, I think it taught me to read at an early age as well...they just don't make em like that anymore...

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