A Legend Leaves Us in 2010 ~ Edward Kean

Portrait of Buffalo Bob Smith and Howdy Doody:...
Image via Wikipedia

This blog posting is inspired by my friend Steve Heimoff, and has nothing what-so-ever to do with wine, but is worth documenting

SETTING THE STAGE: In my December 30 post that included CapaBunga (a new closure for wine bottles),  Steve wrote to me, “It’s not really relevant to your post, but when I first saw ‘CapaBunga’ I misread it as “CowaBunga.” Remember that?

To which I answered, “CowaBunga, do I ever!”

What neither of us knew at the time is that we had misspelled the word, which I just learned today. It’s was actually “Kowabonga,” but we were close. Neither of us had thought about that one since the 1950s.

THIS MORNING: Another writer pal Lynn Alley and I were in Emails back and forth, trying to make sense of the George W. Bush years in office.

I told her the following:

“Bush was a puppet. When he was in office, I tried to PhotoShop the following, but couldn’t get a high enough resolution photo of the Howdy Doody crew.”

Howdy Doody – George W.

Buffalo Bob – Dick Cheney

Mr. Bluster – Donald Rumsfeld

Clarabell the Clown – Colin Powel (who finally came to his senses, thankfully)

Princess Summerfall Winterspring – Condoleezza Rice

Peanut gallery – all of us who were living in Doodyville… held captive in disbelief and fantasy land

Chief Thunderthud (head of the Ooragnak tribe of Native Americans (kangaroo spelled backward. Edward Kean originated Thunderthud’s greeting “Kowabonga!”) – George Bush Senior

I continued: “What a great lampoon, if I had ever been able to pull it off in Photoshop; instead, it still lives inside my head… And now yours.”

She returned:

As they say  OMG……this is good!  I had forgotten (or maybe never knew) about the Ooragnak tribe!  Is that true?  And does anyone know where Kean got “Kowabonga” from?

I returned to her:

The tribe was also made up by the originators, and God only knows where Kean got his inspiration… Most likely a great imagination. He was the show’s writer.

From Wikipedia: “Kean was born on 28 October 1924, in Manhattan. As a child, he started writing songs while at summer camp.[1] Kean served in the United States Navy during World War II and earned degrees from Columbia University and Cornell University.[2] … Kean died at age 85 on 13 August 2010.”

There it was… Edward Kean, who entertained so many of us during the 1950s, quietly passed away in 2010 without a peep… All of us who had been turned onto a magical land, one which heavily impacted my siblings and me, quietly slipped away from us, and I feel the need to pay tribute to a man who was behind the scenes, but in the forefront of television for children during a very magical age.

Goodbye, Mr. Kean. Thank you for your contribution to the enrichment of my life. I raise my glass of Villa Sandi Prosecco to you, today.

I also asked Lynn if she’d mind if I used her name, since the E-Mails were of a personal nature. She responded:

Sure, Jo. Always an honor to appear in your blog. And by the way, having grown up in coastal California, I always knew it was Kowabunga. Never had it any other way. Been surrounded by surfers since I was 14. And RIP Edward Kean.

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