Remember when you were nine years old and your cool, awesome Aunt gave you a harmonica for Christmas? Well, my niece does. It happened yesterday at Grandma’s house:
She’s a Hajian through and through. Brava!
It was entertaining, educational, adorable, innocent, playful, and fun. It was Sesame Street, the groundbreaking show in children’s television programming. It debuted on PBS on November 10th, 1969, and this week Sesame Street is commemorating its 40th anniversary. I LOVED Sesame Street. My brother and I were regular viewers. Our parents loved it too!
Maybe because its been around for so long, we forget what a wonderful show Sesame Street is in terms of message and substance. Along with the smiles, jokes, laughter, and memorable Muppet characters sprung from the brilliant creative mind of Jim Henson, Sesame Street consistently promoted lessons of tolerance, compassion, and acceptance. The show has had its detractors over the years, mostly ultra-conservatives who have accused the show of having a “liberal agenda”. (Oh god, someone make it stop)
I think we’ve gone way too far with scrutiny in our culture. Legitimate criticism is one thing, nitpicking is another. In this crass, snarky, cynical age of Family Guy and South Park, it seems rather petty to criticize an uplifiting show like Sesame Street for depicting a character riding a bike without a helmet Let’s get some perspective here folks.
Sesame Street was, and always will be, a cultural icon. The program’s fundamental goal was to encourage children to learn, to be the best citizens they can be, to strive for a better world, and to value friendship and community. Those are the lessons I remember. Happy Anniversary Sesame Street!
The Chawed Rosin has a great post honoring Sesame Street’s 40th with animation and audio. Definitely check it out.
Laughing and learning is a terrific combination. Here’s a vintage Sesame Street clip of the Cookie Monster singing “C is for Cookie”. C is also for “Claudia”, but nevermind
Have a great weekend everyone!!
Six months ago, a surprise appeared in my email inbox, from a sender I didn’t recognize. I opened it, and it turned out that the words within were heartwarming, touching, and uplifting. By the time I got to the end of it, my eyes were filled with tears of joy, my heart overflowing with fond remembrance. What brought about such an emotional response? A note from a dear old friend. A note 20 years in the making. A note from Stephanie.
We met in the 7th grade, at PS 216 in Queens, and became fast friends. The best of friends. We shared many interests, possessed similar talents and academic aptitudes – we were both A students. We came of age together, in the 1980s Reagan Era, from adolescent girls into mature young women. It was a transformative time, and we witnessed it all together, the good and the bad.
I could recount all my recollections of mine and Stephanie’s friendship, and while it would delight me to do so, and bring many a smile to my face, I won’t. The rest of of my readers would have to know both she and I personally to fully appreciate it. Plus, a lot of it is between me and Steph. But because I can’t resist, I will mention that both of us were obssessed with Duran Duran (hey, as far as I’m concerned, they’re still cool!), excelled in Mr. Cusimano’s English class (where it seems we always were), got the “pre-Beverly Hills Cop” Eddie Murphy’s autograph after a live SNL broadcast, and were die hard Met fans. This was back in the early 80s, mind you, which was the depressing dark ages of that franchise!
Although we attended different high schools, Stephanie and I remained friends. Then we drifted apart in college, largely due to my stupid decision to go out of town, to a shitty school I ended up transferring out of. In a few years, Stephanie and her family moved to Florida, and sadly, we lost contact for the rest of our adult lives. Until now.
Thanks to some creative, persistent Googling on Stephanie’s part, she found me through Museworthy!!! And we are reunited as friends. Our regular emails over these past several months have been nothing short of delightful. And fun! I look forward to all our exchanges. And it couldn’t have come at a better time, because Stephanie just gave birth to beautiful triplets! Words cannot describe the happiness I feel for her, her husband, and her whole family – a loving, close-knit one much like my own.
If there is any woman who can handle raising triplets while maintaining her sanity, it’s Stephanie. She is an immensely capable person, responsible, compassionate, down-to-earth, funny, and smart. She was a “multitasker” before that term was ever coined. Anything Stephanie chooses to do, she does well. She is up to the challenge of three newborns, I have not a shred of doubt about that. Even now, with her hectic life, she still manages to read Museworthy on a regular basis. She rocks! I want to tell her, right at this moment, that I love her and respect her very much, and am so thankful that we are communicating again. It’s augmented my feelings about many things, magnified my perspective of life, and even made me a better blogger! (Stephanie, by the way, would make a fantastic blogger. Should she ever decide to start one, I will support her with great enthusiasm. She’s insightful, witty, perceptive, and an excellent writer. That would be a must-read blog!)
To honor Stephanie, I decided to post three images of work by the American Impressionist, Mary Cassatt. Why three? One for each triplet of course! Cassatt is famous for her sensitive paintings of mothers with children, and for conveying the tenderness of maternal love. And what makes a better muse than the vulnerable, trusting eyes of a child? These are exquisite pastels, done between the years 1889 and 1900. I hope Stephanie sees a little of herself in these works, along with all the emotions she’s feeling these days.
From me to you, dear friend