Being home for the holidays is awesome. We were out last year until the very last minute, because we got stuck in Colby, Kan., in a snowstorm. First time in my life I ever saw a highway close down. For someone who spent most of her life going up and down I-75 in the Southern states, seeing a fence fall across the highway is crazy as hell. George got us safely into the Petro oasis and I sat and watched in amazement as the big bars came down on the road.
I got to sit down and watch “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” with our boy the other night. He’s 16, it’s been a long time since we watched ol’ Rudolph, probably six or seven years at least. He’s taking an Art in Film class this year (yes, itty bitty Greenon High has an Art in Film class, it’s crazy), so he was really paying attention to the animation and backgrounds, but he wasn’t really excited about seeing Rudolph again. I, on the other hand, was ecstatic. I still have a giant endorphin rush when I hear the Looney Tunes music. Old cartoons and classics from my childhood like Rudolph still have the same effect on me as they did when I was little.
My mind is still accustomed to the old days, when there weren’t 50 channels blasting cartoons 24/7. We had one day, and only four hours of that day were actually dedicated to anything worth watching. When I was a kid, there was one TV, and on Saturday mornings you drug your ass to the living room to watch the Bugs Bunny / Roadrunner Hour, even if you had broken limbs and bubonic plague all wrapped in one, because there weren’t going to be any more cartoons for a whole week. Gasp and shudder at the thought of missing it. I adored Looney Tunes, and I still do.
They never really made good, quality cartoons again. Things devolved into the Sid and Marty Krofft madness of real people dressed up like weird characters that seems to still be popular. All I can say about that mess is I’m pretty sure no one ever drug-tested the writers. Between the Sleestacks, Bugaloos and Sigmund the Sea Monster, if there wasn’t some acid involved I’m a monkey’s uncle. And I’m not even going to go to the Teletubbies. What the hell were those things?
It’s hard to explain to a kid who’s always lived in a “never close” world how it feels to look forward to something as trivial as a cartoon show. If he has an urge to watch Looney Tunes, he sits down at his computer and pulls an episode up and watches it instantly. When I was young, things like that only happened on the Jetsons. And when I tell him that, I imagine my childhood like the Flintstones when compared to his. We sat around and waited for things. Can you imagine? Gasp and titter.
My very favorite part of being on the road is when all the technology falls away and we’re out rolling in places I’m unfamiliar with. When it’s quiet and I get to stare out the window and take occasional pictures of the incredible things we see, I’m again reminded of how lucky I am to be able to do what I do. I think the view is definitely one of the perks of the job. I love my office at home, but being in my rolling office gives me a much better chance of seeing something I’ve never seen. And seriously, after watching The Banana Splits for most of my formative years, it’s really no wonder I completely expect to roll up on a Sasquatch one day.