Growing up we had one local children’s program to watch on TV. There were several national programs such as Romper Room and Bozo the Clown that were great entertainment but the chance to ever get on the program was slim to none. I remember watching Romper Room after school and every time Miss Evelyn would look in her magic mirror and say “Romper, bomper, stomper boo. Tell me, tell me, tell me, do. Magic Mirror, tell me today, did all my friends have fun at play?” I would always hope that she would say my name. One day I was spinning around, trying to make myself dizzy (strange I now) and I heard her say, “I can see Valerie”. I got so excited and I honestly believed she saw me. From that day on, every time I watched the show, I would start spinning in circles hoping that she would “see” me again. It never happened.
One of our local TV Stations in Tucson, AZ was K-GUN Channel 9. The channel started in 1957 and the owner was really into all things “western”. They decided to go with this as a theme for their children’s program. This was the beginning of “Marshall K-GUN”. It was on every week day at 4:00 pm. Bob Love, who was Marshall K-GUN was a very talented individual. Not only did he have a way with entertaining children, he was a magician, a ventriloquist, and he had a wonderful tenor voice, and he sang in local Barbershop Quartets and at churches in Tucson.
Every kid wanted to go and see the show in person. He always made room in the studio for boy and girl scout troops to come and take a part in the show. I had joined the Brownies when I was in 3rd grade and I really loved all of the activities they did. Imagine my excitement when I found out that our troop leader had gotten tickets for the younger girls to go to the K-Gun Studios to see the show live.
Me, front row, 6th from the left
Only about 8 of us were able to go on the “field trip” so we were all able to fit into the station wagon for the ride there. We were a little squished up but the joy we felt made it so we didn’t mind. When we arrived at the Studio, we were ushered in to the room where the program was filmed. In hindsight it really was a small room, but to a little girl it seemed enormous. We took our places on the wooden stadium style benches, and we waited while we tried to guess what the Marshall was going to do today.
To be honest, I don’t remember much about the show. I do remember him talking to Pepper the Seahorse about how important it was to be polite.
I also recall he gave two of the kids, one a boy and the other, a fellow Brownie named Mary, their birthday spanking. We all sang Happy Birthday, then he turned them over his knee and gave them as many “whacks” as their new age. You couldn’t do that today.
As we were leaving, he stood at the door of the studio and shook each one of our hands. He also gave us a small bag of candy to take home with us. Needless to say, all eight of us had consumed all of the candy before we got back to our pickup spot. It was a great, memorable day!
I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have written two books “Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time” and “Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip”, both available on Amazon. You can also connect with me on Facebook and Twitter @VHughesAuthor.