Monday, March 4, 2019

A TRIP DOWN MEMORY LANE, CAPTAIN KANGAROO


On March 7, 1959, Bob Keeshan, Captain 👩‍✈️ Kangaroo visited Southgate Plaza in South Augusta. 50,000 people attended! At that time that was almost the entire population of Augusta! This was slightly more than a year before we moved from Atlanta to Augusta and that part of Augusta. Many of these kids would have lived in my neighborhood in Augusta and went to the elementary schools I would attend. I would have been in Kindergarten when this happened.

I watche him each morning and preferred the uniform he is wearing which in a Vatican II move he updated later into a modern blazer! Sad!!!!!

What I loved the most in the early years of the show was the jingle for its opening which the captain would jangle a set of old fashioned keys on a large ring until the music would stop abruptly when he hooked the keys on a nail on his counter. Sometimes the keys fell off the hook causing the jingle to resume until the captain 👩‍✈️ picked the keys up and secured it on the nail. What fun. But in another Vatican II move that too was reformed by elimination! How sad!!!!

14 comments:

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I was wondering how in the world almost the entire population of Augustan turned out to see the Captain. This was at the height of the baby boom and we baby boomers who invented the me generation got what we wanted and if we wanted to see him in person, by God we got our way because we were the most numerical in population at the time and everything revolved around our needs and wants!

Also Augusta had only two stations at the time, no cable of course. Atlanta only had three! So every baby boomer at that time and I mean everyone of us watch him as there was no other choice no we were addicted to our shows and tv 📺. We were the TV generation before we became the Pepsi generation!

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Also Barbpnabad Collins of Dark Shadows had just as many show up iat a parade in downtown Augusta in the late 60's. How do I know? Because I was there. Dark Shadows was on at 4 pm each day and we baby boomers got home from school just in time to watch it! Someone at ABC thought it should be on at 3 pm and it was changed. This raised the rage of us baby boomers who missed the show and our protests led to it being restored to 4 pm! Elementary school kids' power! The me generation!

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Barnabas not that auto correct thing!

Anonymous said...

Is Southgate Plaza still there today? I am more familiar with the northern side of Augusta (roughly above Gordon Highway) than the southern part.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

It is still there and has undergone renovations over the years. It is not as busy and caters to a more impoverished population. The event in 1959 was a celebration of its first anniversary. It was the second shopping center in an Augusta suburb, Daniel Village on the Hill being the first. West Augusta and Columbia County were totally undeveloped at that time to include Washington Road where the Augusta National is.

Oddly enough in 1976 Georgia's largest enclosed Mall at the time opened up two blocks away from Southgate. It completely went out of business in the late 90's to to demographic shifts, the boom in west Augusta and Columbia county and high crime, A shopper was kidnapped in broad daylight and she was later found murdered. Today that now closed Mall, an empty shell is still there. Southgate is still going.

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

I think Barbpnabad is a town located somewhere near Islamabad or Hyderabad...

I learned a LOT from watching Captain Kangaroo and can still sing many of the little educational tunes from the show.

Dan said...

If only Captain Kangaroo was pope! Oh wait, in a way he is.....

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

I would be careful of so called conservatives or traditional Catholics showing public disrespect to this pope or any pope as they will have no leg to stand on if a more traditional pope is elected who will be disparaged by liberal Catholics. Do we really want this political tool consistently used from here on out? Orthodox Catholics have to raise the bar and not stoop to the post Vatican II politics of liberals in the Church as this is spirit of Vatican II garbage

The Egyptian said...

Oh the old days, Mr Greenjeans, bunny rabbit and Mr meece- mice - moose. and I'm way up here in Ohio, only morning kids show we could get, And don't forget the ping pong balls

https://youtu.be/N7H9jbrzrbA
Enjoy

Fr. Michael J. Kavanaugh said...

And carrots!

Joseph Johnson said...

I grew up watching the Captain as well in the 1960's. I liked his earlier blue captain uniform with the big pockets rather that the later red blazer he wore when my younger siblings watched. I also was disappointed when Mr. Greenjeans stopped wearing the green bib overalls and flat-brimmed Amish-looking farmer hat and changed to green jeans and jeans jacket with a regular straw cowboy hat.

In addition to the routine of throwing the keys to catch on that nail on the counter, I also remember that he had a special door with lots of little different sized doors on it he would peep through as the show (and the Treasure House) opened.

Tom Makin said...

Father:

A favorite when I was little too!! That and Romper Room. Mr Rogers rounded out the day as mom made dinner. Wonderful times back then. I recently watched the Mr Rogers tribute movie. I'll admit, I choked up multiple times recalling sitting on the floor, inches away from the TV (that's when my Mom knew I couldn't hear well by the way).

Anonymous said...

Father Mc, you must be referring to the late Regency Mall, which has been a sore subject for years, what to do about that area. Like Atlanta, Augusta has its north-south divide, affluent versus impoverished, I would say with the CSX rail line that connects Atlanta and Augusta being something of a dividing line between the two (thought areas above that, such as Wrightsboro Road west of Daniel Field) are showing signs of decay as well. We may see Columbia County someday surpass Richmond County in population, just as Houston County just outside of Macon (Bibb County) is doing.

Also, the crowd in the background looks all white. I hope it was not a segregated appearance by the captain, though if so, that would not have been unusual in those days.

Fr. Allan J. McDonald said...

Yes, it is Regency Mall, a shelll and where the now black mayor wanted to place a new civic center (collessium) but failed, at least of this date. Yes, when I was growing up in South Augusta on the other side of the tracks you mention, South Augusta was predominantly white but not of the upward mobility/nobility of the Hill section of Augusta or even the growing west end that would have included "National Hills" but there was nothing west of that at the time.

I am sure this 1959 event attracted a broad swath of Augusta because he was so popular at the time. But the black population I think would have been segregated even then and maybe to the back. I am not sure how many black children, though, at the time would have had TVs and watched him. That is the sad state of things and perhaps the blacks knew they would not have been invited. You should keep in mind that in Atlanta at that time and I witnessed it, most blacks did not dare to shop in white stores, like Daviso's and Riches. They had their own downtown section and whites did not dare venture there. The same with Augusta and Macon. Not sure about Columbus or Savannah.

So blacks would not have been using this shopping center in 1959. The other thing is that there was white flight from South Augusta as more upward mobile blacks began moving in especially after desegregation. Those white kids in the photo were the movers and shakers of Columbia County by the late 1970's and early 1980's. They are the ones that led to the boom in Columbia County and all fueled by white flight from Augusta.