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Yesterday’s Heroes

So, I was taking my daughter to school this morning, and as I pulled my truck out into traffic, I called out, “Up, up and awaaayyyy!” to which she replied with, “To infinity — and beyond!”


I asked her where that came from, and in her typical, smart seven-year old way she told me that it was from the movie Toy Story. When quizzed as to whom the toy was who said it, she knew that it was Buzz Lightyear.

Wanna see me pull a rabbit out of my hat?

It got me thinking of my childhood and things that I recalled. I was a bit too young to remember watching the Lone Ranger on TV, but I do remember Cisco Kid. I used to put my saddle blanket on the bar stool and use the chair back as the reins as my brother and I rode along with the Kid and his trusty side-kick Pancho. Being the younger child, I was always relegated to the lesser role, but in those days I don’t remember that it mattered. All that concerned me was that I was part of the story, no matter how far removed from it.

Kids these days have it so easy! Cartoons 24×7, even on their own channels, and if that won’t sate, then there is video on demand, YouTube, Netflix and DVDs (like who uses VHS cassettes anymore? They are so 1980!). I remember Saturday morning cartoons from 8am to 11am, and that was it. If you were really lucky, there was the rare occasion of a Disney movie on Sunday night, and that was if you behaved enough to stay up past your bedtime to watch it. There were the annual holiday shows like the Rankin-Bass Christmas trilogy and the Charlie Brown Christmas special, but if you missed them then too bad — you had to wait another whole year.

But I digress.

When looking at the television heroes of yesterday, I remember Cisco Kid and Pancho. For cartoons, there were the Rocky and Bullwinkle show, the Looney Toons hour, Hanna-Barbera and Deputy Dawg. We emulated the Super Friends as they stood for truth, justice and the American way from their Hall of Justice! Who do the kids have to look up to today? Spongebob. Egad!

When you look around today and wonder what happened to America and why we are the lesser shining jewel on the hill that we once were, look to what influences today’s youth and the idols from where they build their moral character. Like me, I’m sure you’ll soon yearn for the heroes of yesterday.

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