Posts Tagged ‘1970s

15
Jun
18

My First TV Crush, Caroline Ellis

*****

 

I am not sure what brought this back into my mind, recently, but I found myself tripping back to my young roots and the first TV shows I watched.  [Ya might take a guess at my age from this.]  I was about 4 years old when a show called The Bugaloos was on TV.  I am pretty sure I was four because there was a girl in my kindergarten class who had a hairdo much like the one “Joy,” the pink butterfly-girl, had.  I also knew a girl down the street who looked A LOT like Joy/Caroline (around the time Caroline supposedly had a child of her own, which would have floored me and broke my little heart back then).  And, if I didn’t already have a crush on the girl’s big sister–and if the little sister wasn’t so young–I might have given that little Sally Field-wannabe a second look.  Same bright smile.  Same sweet voice minus the British accent.  It was a look and a time; I tell ya.

If you knew me, it would not come as much of a surprise to hear I grew up watching A LOT of TV.  So many shows came and went, including The Bugaloos.  And, so many shows were “syndicated” (a word I did not know the meaning of for a long time).  They originated more than a decade before I would see them.  But, they were my first TV experiences.  Seeing Martha Raye as the “villain” of The Bugaloos…I now remember why I was so fixated with Lady Elaine from Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood; she had a similar protruding nose and complexion.  For so long, I couldn’t figure out why that nose stuck in my mind; it was Martha Raye’s character from The Bugaloos, Benita Bizarre.

And, when I first heard that theme song for The Bugaloos…and saw this breathtaking blonde girl fluttering around in a butterfly costume…I was on Cloud 9.  I was floating on air.  She was like an angel to little me.  I only saw maybe 4 episodes of the 17 that were supposedly made.  But, I just have to pull a clip up on YouTube (bless that video service) to zip back to those days of me in my fuzzy pajama suit and gorilla slippers……

[I remember watching The Great Spacecoaster (a few years later), and looked that one up, too.  I remember the little video screen long before we ever had a tablet with a slot you could fill with an SD card full of videos.   Just the sound that folding viewer would make when it started…and that old footage of “A Witch’s Day Out!”  But, I could not remember the brown-haired girl’s face as well as I remembered Joy from The Bugaloos.]

Can you imagine?  A boy just 4 years old having a hormonal reaction from this butterfly girl who wasn’t flashing anything but a brilliant smile, twinkling eyes, glossy hair and loooooong legs (before I even thought women’s legs were worth ogling).  [I’ve always been more of a face, hair and chest guy.]  And then I went to kindergarten and fell for a girl who was like a young Caroline Ellis, fighting over her with another boy.

So, why do I go on about this now?  Normally, I write a piece like this when it’s the woman’s birthday.  Well, as I said, it just came back to me.  And, here I am looking it–her–up online, finding out she’s only 67?  Gosh.  And, her astrology–aside from being a Metal Tiger year (sigh)–is great…and she’s 5 ft 9 in…  I would have been half her size as a kid, looking up at her like a giant angel.  I think I might have even dreamt of her as an angel in blue like the blue fairy from Disney’s Pinocchio.  And, now she’s practically my size.  Oh the places my imagination goes.  🙂

[I just watched the episode titled “Firefly, Light My Fire.  And, the moment the Bugaloos gathered around the fallen Sparky, my heart nearly exploded from my chest.  I remember dreaming of that moment as a kid, imagining I was Sparky, meeting the Bugaloos in their forest, being nursed back to life by Joy.  And, in the episode “Courage, Come Home,” seeing Joy sing that opening “fly away” song brings a tear to my eye.]

If you’re out there, long-legged Libra butterfly, Caroline, bundle of Joy, and you happen to read this, know that I listened to that interview you did when?   And, I agree with many of the comments people left below.  Your smile, your voice–even though you felt you were talking slowly (it didn’t sound that much slower than you talked in the interview)–that hair and that costume.  You were and still are a precious piece of my youth.  And, I think there’s still a spark of that magical girl still in you.

It wasn’t real magic.  I knew, even then, you weren’t really flying.   [Though I had no idea green screening was a thing back then; ‘laying on boxes?]  But, you were…are magical to me.  [And, it would not surprise me if I wrote a piece like this on this blog some years ago.  That darn deja vu keeps flashing in my head.]

I know you said you’re very private.  [I am quite private, myself, except when my heart yearns to speak like this.]  But, you also told the guy who did the interview that he should have sent a fan letter (even though he said he couldn’t get an address).  If I could, I’d write you a fan letter.  And, if you’d write me back, I’d keep in touch and travel back in time to being that little boy infatuated to the tips of my toes with that pink butterfly from across the pond……

 

BuNdLe of JoY

****

[My email box is open. <3]

[And, from there, it’s just a hop, buzz and trampoline jump to my “snail mail” box.]

 

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