A couple of days ago I heard that another Canadian icon had died.
The name will most likely not ring a bell unless you're Canadian.
Specifically, a Maritime Canadian.
Even then, it may not be familiar, because she wasn't well known by her full name. To many maritime children, she was known only as "Miss Ann", the Romper Room Lady.
Ann Wilson was the much loved host of Canada's Romper Room (filmed first in Halifax, NS then Saint John NB) in the 60's and 70's.
It was also franchised and syndicated in the United States, as well as in Australia, Japan, Puerto Rico and the United Kingdom.
The show consisted of a half hour of games, exercises, songs and moral lessons, all to various background music.
Pre-schoolers were part of the daily 'cast' and would be invited from kindergartens in the area to attend the tapings.
According to the Ex, apparently, my brother-in-law was even on the show waaaay back when it was filmed in Halifax :-)
Pic courtesy of tvparty.com
as well as ...
Pic courtesy of Wikipedia
Pic courtesy of CBC.ca
Miss Ann was awesome.
She had a GIANT bee flitting around the set.
Do-Bee. The ultimate Do-Gooder.
And she and Do-Bee would teach 'proper and polite' behaviour, encouraging all her tiny viewers to be good 'Do-Bees'.
Pic courtesy of captainerniesshowboat.com
(Not Ms Ann)
And of course, at that young, impressionable age, EVERYONE wanted to be a Do-Bee! The best Do-Bee they could be!
Paddington Bear was also a favourite regular on the show.
Man I loved that bear! So much so, I asked my mom & dad for one. JUST like the one on Romper Room.
I still have that Paddington Bear :-)
And of course, I had the Romper Room record ;-)
Pic courtesy of flickr
The day I heard about her passing, I told the boys about the Romper Room show, and how at the end of each episode, Miss Ann would grab her 'Magic Mirror', look through it, out into TV-Land and rhyme off all the kids, by name, that she would see in that mirror.
Pic courtesy of irememberjfk.com
How many days did I wait for her to say "... and I see Kim, and ..."
Do you have any idea how long I waited to hear my name on that show?!?!
And then, finally, it was like I'd just won the lottery.
"She said MY name!! She said MY name!!! She said MY name!!!"
And how many of my mother's mirrors did I go through, looking for that 'magic' one.
And ya know, it's amazing what useless information the human brain can retain.
While explaining to the boys the premise of the show, and how it had been such a big part of my childhood TV viewing experience, I closed my eyes, went back in time and said to them (WITHOUT googling it first! LOL) ...
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 see Jane, and Mike, and Sally, and John ...
Wow!!! I can't remember what I had for lunch three days ago, but that little verse is still buried back in the brain!
I'm thinking it had something to do with the way the magic mirror turned all psychedelic purple swirly-ish while we were watching. Waiting for our names.
Now, everyone, do it with me ....
Bend and stretch. Reach for the stars, there goes Jupiter, here comes Mars.
Bend and stretch. Reach for the sky, stand on tippy toe, oh so high!
RIP Queen Do-Bee.
You won't be forgotten by all the Do-Bees you touched with your Magic Mirror.