This is a special memory from my own childhood.
Growing up in Michigan in the early fifties meant very poor TV reception. We were 90 miles from Detroit, which at the time was the closest TV stations. We only got three channels — and never all on the same day! We didn’t get to watch a lot of TV but that was mostly because we couldn’t get any reception. I used to hate it when you could hear the show and the screen was nothing but snow or a rolling picture. I used to love it when we could get Saturday morning cartoons to come in!
Winky Dink and You was one of my favorite shows! It ran from 1953-1957. I was probably five when I convinced my mother to mail away and get me the Winky Dink kit. Now if you’re not as old as I am let me explain Winky Dink to you. It was cartoon clips that featured Winky and his dog and at some point, they would need you to connect the dots on the screen to build them a bridge or something to get them out of a dilemma. You needed the special green Winky Dink screen to put on your TV so that you could use the special Winky Dink marker to connect the dots! I wanted so bad to connect those dots and I must have begged forever to get her to order it. You couldn’t buy the kit at the store or at least you couldn’t buy it at any of the stores in our itsy bitsy town.
The minute she mailed the order, I got a dining room chair and sat down in the kitchen in front of the clock. At five years old, I don’t even know if I knew how to tell time but I can see that big clock on the wall over the green kitchen sink. It had a second hand and I was watching it go around when my mother asked me what I was doing. Don’t know why it wasn’t obvious. I was waiting for the 6 weeks to go by and my Winky Dink kit to arrive!
The absolute worst part of this story is that it never came.
Looking back, I wonder if she even ordered it!