Memory is a funny thing. If you read the thing I posted yesterday about bookstores, you know there’s a thread going on over on MLF, wherein people discuss their favorite whatsits. My web-friend Kira has been discussing her favorite books from her childhood.
Something in one of her comments called to mind Harold and the Purple Crayon, about a boy who makes his imaginings come true by drawing them with his crayon. Now, I bought that book for my nephew, Jake, a couple years ago, and when I did, I had this half-memory from years ago of a cartoon based on Harold.
But something didn’t seem quite right. It wasn’t exactly Harold I was remembering. I knew I was remembering a short toon with the adventures of a boy like Harold, but for some reason I knew that it wasn’t Harold himself.
It’s bugged me for a couple years, but I’ve shoved these stirrings of memory back into my subconscious and never pursued them. But then, today, I decided finally to chase it down. Here’s what I had: a boy, using some type of crayon or pen to create an imaginary world where he’d have these adventures; the cartoon was a regular short segment in a longer children’s program–Mr. Rogers, Captain Kangaroo, or whatever; and there was theme song I used to sing along to, when I was wee.
Not much to go on. But some strange neurological process shouted CAPTAIN KANGAROO at my highest centers of reasoning. Armed with that, I Googled “harold purple crayon captain kangaroo,” which led me a page about Harold and his creator, Crockett Johnson. Turns out there was a segment on Captain Kangaroo, about a boy similar to Harold, who drew his imaginings in chalk. Simon had a theme song, which began, “Well you know my name is Simon, and the things I draw come true.” Oooooohhhhhh. Now that rang a bell.
Now, scroll down that page. Nearly halfway down, you’ll find links to the Simon theme, in WAV and MP3 format. I downloaded an MP3 and played it in WinAmp. I closed my eyes and listened; with remarkable clarity and precision, I was suddenly 25 years younger, sitting cross-legged on the floor, in front of CBS on a weekday morning, watching and hearing Simon on the Captain Kangaroo program.
Memory is a funny thing.