Thursday, August 25, 2011

Happy Birthday, Walt Kelly!

Today Aug 25 is what would have been Walt Kelly's 98th birthday. Just recently I heard that many celebrated Lucille Ball's 100th birthday, so I guess the two of them were contemporaries. It makes me feel just a little bit old to think that I knew, even so tangentially, someone who is nearly 100 years old. Here's hoping we'll have a huge centennial celebration in 2013!

I don't know why I feel such a connection to POGO and to Walt Kelly. As I've said before, Mr. Kelly died right around the time I was just beginning to discover him. I had the POGO cups and the plastic toys (I'll write about those some other time). I read the comic strip in the newspaper. I know my parents knew I liked POGO because they indulged me the give-aways and they also made a point of showing me the news articles written when Mr. Kelly died. I'm sure at some basic level I was attracted by the "cute animal" factor. Maybe it was the language; I liked reading and speaking in accents and "fun" stuff like that from a young age. Maybe it was the "voice" of Mr. Kelly, as illustrated by the picture above and the one below. Pogo was your everyday "Mr. Average" just trying to get along as best as he can with a little help from his friends. Kind of  like all good comedy, you can't spend too much time trying to over-analyze it: it's just what it is, and you either like it or you don't. :-)

Happy 98th Birthday, Mr. Kelly! And thank you again for years and years of entertainment!!!

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