Winnie the Who
The stories from my early childhood were … let’s say … unconventional. Although Mom occasionally read a chapter or two from Uncle Wiggley, most of the stories I remember came from an old radio on a table right beside my bed. Whatever was on each night – those were the characters that kept me company as I drifted off to sleep.
No Winnie the Pooh for me. Or Charlotte’s Web. Instead of the Hundred Acre Wood or a charming old barn filled with lessons about life – I was picking up the rhythms of early sitcoms. The one-line retorts. The ‘charming’ side of silly or lazy or fussy characters – but characters who were all, nonetheless, redeemable. To this day, I swear my brain has a joke ready to roll at any given moment. Badum-pssh! Thankfully I have learned to temper it – somewhat. It is an impulse that is not always good. Life is not always funny.
Although they wouldn’t ever qualify as artistic narrative, these radio shows all had an arc to them. Glimpses into relationships, a little disappointment – perhaps some teasing – then redemption – easy redemption. A little brouhaha – then back to normal. That’s what life is like, right?
Except it isn’t always.
I came to believe that humor could at least be a healing ingredient. Not many kids would list Lucille Ball as their hero, but, hey – their loss, right? Badum-pssh!