Electric Grandmother

Maggie Croft's Personal Journal young spirit, wire-wrapped
spark electric grandmother
arc against the night

-- Lon Prater
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Last week, courtesy of the K-Spot, we had a viewing of The Pirates of Penzance and The Pirate Movie, both of which I'd seen as a young 'un.

Kevin Kline did a marvelous job as the Pirate King in Penzance, and The Pirate Movie was just as awful as it was the first time around when I was so young. I am also amazed at the ability of youth to totally miss all the totally glaring innuendo. I mean, how could one miss TPM's Pirate King's cod piece? I mean really? And yet I did. The first time around...


Sarah commented on using The Electric Company in her class when she was a teacher. This made me think of my father, so I must tell the story.

My father was in special education for over twenty years. Maybe closer to thirty. He taught during the early 70's, then went into a form of consulting (which is a story for another time) and then went into administration in the '80's into the '90's.

During his teaching years in the '70's, his class would watch The Electric Company. The kids totally dug the show, and Dad and his aide would sit in the back of the class and giggle at the more advanced jokes.

That's the thing about shows like The Electric Company -- there's something for everyone. I love shows where the adults are entertained as well as the kids with good, intelligent, fun humor. There's not a lot of shows out there like that anymore, AFAIK. And there should be.

But I digress...

Around the time I was born, my father decided to get his doctorate. He stayed home with me and did his coursework and research while my mother worked primarily outside of the home. Everyday he and I would watch The Electric Company together, once I was about two years of age. Of course, I also watched Sesame Street and Mr. Rogers*. By this time, TEC was purely in reruns, having quit production about a year before I was born. Which is, of course, a Very Sad Thing.

Still, TEC provides some great memories, and may be why I am so fond of Spider-man even today.


I really like sharing the media and experiences from my childhood with my own kids. Avi and I have read some of the Narnia books together (which my mother read to me when I was his age), see some of the movies and TV shows I love so much as a kid, have gone to the zoo, hung out in wading pools, played at the park, ridden bikes, and eaten ice cream cones.

It is not my hope to give him a perfectly happy and peaceful and safe childhood. But I'd like him to have a more safe and happy childhood than the one I had. He won't be immune from fear, but I hope he won't have to deal with some of the fears I dealt with.

Though it still is something that concerns me, I am beginning to believe that I won't turn into my mother and her family and do the things to my kids that they did to me. It's a good feeling. It's something I've been worried about for a lot of years.


And no, the kids didn't watch The Pirate Movie. And I'm not sure they need to. I'm surprised I saw it as a child. My father was usually so particular about such things...


The check for "El Remedio" came last Friday with my copy of the contract. Talk about speedy delivery!

*Which is actually kind of odd. I wonder if my memory is somewhat faulty on this. When I was older I certainly (ordinarily) wouldn't have been allowed two hours of TV most days. And my father was a specialist in child development ... would he have been concerned with two hours of TV a day in the late '70's? Memory is an interesting thing. I wonder what my parents remember?

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