Thursday, April 1, 2010

Oh, Davey!

When I was a kid, my siblings and I spent each Sunday morning, hours before church, watching Popeye cartoons.  We all preferred Looney Toons and the comic stylings of Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd, but these were the days before cable television, and Bugs and pals were only offered on Saturdays.  Popeye was alright, but that Olive Oyl drove me CRAZY!!  She was constantly shunning poor Popeye for big, ugly Brutus, then squealing for him to save her when Brutus got fresh.  Pathetic.

After the Popeye hour ended, the familiar strains of "A Mighty Fortress is our God" could be heard, signaling the start of the upcoming program, Davey and Goliath.

Davey and Goliath was a Christian program for children featuring old-school, low budget, stop-animation.  It's been a very long time since I've seen this show, so bear with me as I try to re-create it for you.  The title characters included young Davey Hansen and his trusty canine companion, Goliath.  Goliath, who served as Davey's conscience, could actually speak, but only Davey could hear him.  Whenever Davey misbehaved, Goliath would respond in his low, bass voice, "Oh, Da-vey!!"

Davey was constantly learning valuable lessons, often choosing to do the right thing (after a little Goliath prodding) when faced with a tough challenge.  I guess I was five or six when we first started watching this show, and I must tell you, even at that young age, I knew I could never be as good and Christian as Davey.  The kid was AMAZING!!

For instance, there was an episode involving a big festival in the local park, and the first few children to arrive would all receive a free BALLOON!! (Yes, these were simpler times!) Davey was very excited and left his house early in order to claim his precious, helium-filled prize.  But on the way, he happens upon a little girl who has fallen while riding in her wagon and has hurt herself.  Even though he is close enough to the park to hear the other children's delighted squeals (and balloon-receiving festivities), Davey chooses to skip the park and instead spends the afternoon helping the little girl find her way home.

Then there was the Christmas episode when Davey was all excited to have been chosen to portray one of the Wise Men at the church Christmas pageant.  He spends the entire show practicing his "We Three Kings" rendition with his fellow royal performers.  Yet, when he comes across a sad boy that has to spend the evening minding his father's Christmas tree stand, Davey hands over his golden costume, tells the boy that he'll watch the stand and to take his place in the Christmas pageant.

At the conclusion of BOTH of these episodes, Davey proclaims that doing these good deeds felt GREAT!! WAY better than performing in the pageant or receiving a silly balloon.  I admired Davey for doing the obvious "right thing," but my six year old brain had a hard time believing I would give up the chance to receive a free balloon (a frigging BALLOON for crying out loud!), and my already-evolving inner-show biz diva would NEVER have passed on an opportunity to shine at a Christmas pageant!  How, I pondered, did Davey DO it?!

Then there was the Easter episode. I know you'll think I'm joking when I tell you that this episode disturbed me so much, I still carry faint scars from it today, but it's the truth...

The special begins with Davey visiting his grandmother.  It's just a few days before Easter so he helps her bake a cake, and together they decorate it with icing chicks and bunnies.  Davey, of course, wants a piece as soon as they're finished, but Grandma laughs and insists they must wait for Easter Dinner.  "After dinner, I promise I'll cut you the biggest slice," she says.

Then they both traipse up to her attic.  It's filled with wonderful treasures - an old gramophone in which she places a record, winds it up and they giggle and dance along to an old-timey song.  In the corner sits a beat-up rocking horse.  "After Easter," she promises, "we'll bring that old horse downstairs and give him a nice new coat of paint!"  Davey is excited!

But the next day, Davey's father approaches him with some bad news:  Grandma has died.  No real explanation is provided, she's just gone. Heartbroken, Davey goes back to Grandma's empty, quiet house.  The Easter cake is still sitting on the kitchen counter.  "I'll cut you the biggest slice!"  Grandma's voice reverberates in his ear. He walks up to the attic and sees the old gramophone, then immediately hears the old tune and his Grandma's laughter.  He looks over at the rocking horse, "After Easter, we'll bring that old horse downstairs..."

Davey, now weeping, cries, "No we WON'T!! You're GONE!  I'll never see you again, EVER!!"

Now, of course, by the end of the episode, Davey attends an Easter service and learns that he'll be with his precious grandma again someday, in heaven.  He's smiling and happy.  The End.  Except that my little five year old heart didn't get that last, happy part.  It was still stuck back on that cake, sitting on the counter, and the rocking horse that they would never refurbish together.

It was the first time I realized that my precious Grandma Simmons would one day die and leave me.  The mere thought was inconceivable.  I cried and cried that morning, ran up to my room and tore open my dresser drawer.  I dug through my socks and T-shirts until I found it:  Grandma's handkerchief. She'd given it to me a few days before, so I pulled it out, held it up to my face and inhaled deeply.  There it was, Sweetheart soap and Balm Barr hand lotion, pure "Scent of Grandma Simmons!"  I brought me a little comfort, but I must tell you, that stupid Easter special WRECKED me!

Like my Grandma, I'm a pretty fierce holiday decorator.  At Christmastime, there's not a bare space on my walls, mantels or doorways that isn't adorned with boughs of holly and holiday trinkets.  Alan literally had to install a DIMMER SWITCH on our Christmas tree because I had attached too many strings of lights, and our holiday party guests were going blind!  I made a special shamrock dress to wear on St. Patrick's Day.  I decorate heart cookies for Valentine's Day. You get the idea...

But at Easter, I don't decorate.  I don't dye eggs.  No chocolate bunnies.  I'm just not feeling it.  Don't get me wrong, I whole-heartedly celebrate the religious implications of Easter Sunday, and I rejoice and sing my "Hallelujahs" over our risen Savior with the rest of my Christian brethren.  But the bunnies, chicks, and Easter baskets?  Not so much.  I blame that stupid Hansen kid.  Oh, Davey...

Thanks for Reading!!

54 comments:

christy rose said...

I do not decorate for Easter either. I do not do the Easter bunny or baby chicks. We do have an egg hunt with the kids though, just because that is so much fun!! :) That is it though! The rest of our Easter celebration hinges on the resurrection of our Lord and Savior!

lori said...

I'm surprised I never watched that show. My parents wouldn't let us watch bewitched because well, there were witches in it...so I would think they would have been all over the wholesome Davey and Goliath show. Anyway, nice post as always :)

PinkPatentMaryJanes said...

Good grief - thank goodness that show wasn't screened in Australia - I'd be boycotting easter just like you. That's terrible!!!

Now I'm all traumatised - luckily I was just about to go out for a walk - that'll cheer me up xx

Eva Gallant said...

What a great post. I don't think that show was on arund here..Or maybe I missed it.

Shan said...

Good grief! That borders on evil...

My grandma's scents were Caress soap and Chantilly Lace. I have an ancient perfume compact of hers in my drawer. And I had her last boxed bar of Caress soap in another spot, but Tom didn't realize what it was and gave it to our guests. Doesn't matter. I know what she smelled like.

Oh, and I never really was into the Popeye thing either (until the movie anyway). But we watched it every week, too. Dad liked it. I didn't like the show, but I'm smiling at the memories, so thanks.

Sarah in deepest, darkest Lomellina said...

Love a duck !!!!!

That would be banned as fast as the horrible Japanese cartoons in my house.

Was it written by sadists hell bent on scarring children for life and they laid it on with a trowel ?

Nothing like taking age appropriacy into account (harmphhhh, mutter, mutter, shoutitus, more grumbling)

Feeling Just Right said...

Aww, Joan! Why would just show someone dying in a children's program? That is crazy. I'm so sorry you had to view that and obviously remember it in great detail until now. Awful.

We never had this show you speak of, in my country, but i do know that Popeye irritated me to my wit's end. I think i was always more into The Jungle Book, Indian mythology (!!!) and Scooby Doo- i loved him- haha.

p.s. you know i love that picture of your grandma, don't you? I love the twinkle in her eyes and that smile- very cute!

Delana said...

I loved that show! I had completely forgotten about it! But I remember always being distracted trying to figure out how they did it....that and Gumby and Poco. Thanks for a great memory. My Grandma's scent was lavender...she kept the sachets in her drawers and whenever I found them, I'd thought I'd found a package...a present. Now, here in Provence, I'm surrounded by her scent.

THE OLD GEEZER said...

Thanks for the walk down memory lane. Davey and Goliath was one of the best childrens shows ever produced. The Lutheran Church and Art Clokey teamed up to make the first Davey and Goliath episode in 1960 called "Lost In A Cave" I was already 13 years old but I still liked watching that program. Maybe God was planting some seeds in me that wouldn't come to life until he saved me some 20 years later.

Thanks Joan, for a great post

citymouse said...

OMG... I loooved Davey and Goliath! My kids would take one look at that animation and just roll their eyes but the show was awesome. Even as a kid, I liked the Christian themes.

Thanks for a smile this morning.

G.Older Man said...

I'm glad I never saw that show. I've got enough problems, guilt and shoulds.

Thanks for sharing.

Anything Fits a Naked Man said...

I should mention that my other siblings had no problem at ALL with this episode, and barely even remember it! I'm apparently the only one who's scarred for life!!

ReformingGeek said...

How can anyone forget DAVEY? I don't think I would have understood the dead Grandma thing either.

Now that you mention it, that show always seemed to be a bit of a downer, even with the "happy" endings.

I'm so glad you didn't tell me that there is no Easter Bunny.

Taylor-Made Wife said...

Hmmm, I didn't ever see that show I don't think. I have a tough time with Easter decorations because I am just not a hugs fan of pastels. And everything Easter is pastel it seems. At least you still celebrate the real meaning of it!!

Bossy Betty said...

LOVED Davey! He set the bar for all other males in my life!

MindyMom said...

I've never heard of that show!

As for Easter? I'm torn. I've been there and done the hoopla with my older kids and now I have to keep doing it for my youngest. It's been 18 years already and I'm SO over it! But...I really have no choice. At least my older kids help me hide eggs for LO now. :)

stalkermom said...

Awe Joan, I also remember Sunday mornings watching Davey & Goliath! This is sad, and I know as much into theatre as you are you're going to laugh, but my "death realization" came while watching The Wizard of Oz and that damn house crushing the wicked witch! Sad!

Teresa Evangeline said...

This is a Great post.

kim Clayton said...

I never seen that show thank goodness! LOL
KIM

Kristin said...

WHY would they make that into a special for kiddos? Geesh!

Barbara E Brink said...

I really don't remember that show either. But maybe they didn't have it on in Washington State. Besides, my older brother controlled the cartoon watching. He liked bugs and roadrunner. And we probably didn't have more than two channels anyway:)
I just found your blog. Love the title!

magically ordinary said...

So happy I never saw that show growing up! Great post. We do not decorate for easter at our house. Once in awhile the kids do wear me down and we dye eggs...

Writing Without Periods! said...

Your grandmother sounds like a kick ass lady. I love people like her.
Mary

Jean said...

I am impressed that you remember all those episodes! I might be able to remember one if I think of it...however I understand you remembering the one that scarred you. Who knew Davey and Goliath would have such an impact ;)

Cop Mama said...

I love this story, even if it's a tad bit sad. It made me think of my late grandma and how much I miss her. But I can remember her scent as if she were still here!

BTW, I don't really decorate for Easter either.

Miss Fit said...

This makes me miss my Grandma who passed away a few years ago. When she did pass my oldest child was 6 and remembers her the most. She was so upset. I can't imagine how that would be heightened by watching that show at 5?!

We don't decorate for Easter either. Not feeling it. It may be because my sons birthday is on friday? Sometimes we got to egg hunts and get lots of candy. I'm only in it for the chocolate.

Red Shoes said...

I wish 'South Park' had an Easter Extravaganza... I think they do have the one about the mountain lion and... well.. never mind...

I will eat chocolate for Easter... :oD

~shoes~

Everyday Goddess said...

I just remember being fascinated and repulsed by Davey and Goliath.

Glad I missed that Easter episode. What were they thinking!

Glam Girl said...

Nice post!

Lynne said...

I can't believe you did a post on Davey and Goliath. Just the other day I thought about this show and the episode where Davey enters the soap box derby race and when he makes his car he doesn't put some little clip (I forget what it's called) in the wheel to hold it on. His wheel falls off and he loses the race.

I have no idea why that show and specific episode came into my mind, but I LOVED Davey and Goliath, and it brought back wonderful memories. And then to see your post here.

RIP Grandma Simmons :)

P.S. Easter - besides the real "reason for the season" - is over-rated anyway.

Cid said...

How well do I remember that Easter episode. I think I begged my Mum to call my grandmother to make sure she was okay.

Kaloula said...

I couldn't watch that show, anything that was a sort of claymation, I couldn't get past to focus on the story!

Jaime said...

i had forgotten all about davey. i used to love that show...though the easter episode probably would have turned me off to the holiday too

WhisperingWriter said...

I actually never watched the show.

I do eat tons of chocolate around Easter. But actually, I eat tons of chocolate when it's not Easter too.

SonyaAnn said...

It is so weird what sticks with us and what doesn't!
Have a great weekend!

Alyssa said...

I never watched that show. Now I feel like I have been living under a rock. Great add that to my list of things I need to work on!

Mercy said...

The things that stick with us from our childhood. I never saw that show or heard of it. We were allowed cartoons once a week (in the days before video machines) on Saturday mornings so my mom could clean the house without us under her feet, but we had to watch only "good" things, like "Strawberry Shortcake", "Care Bears", etc. We used to watch every "Star Trek" episode too. (The original series, that is.) I remember being upset when it finished and they brought out the "Next Generation" series, but then as I watched that one I liked it even more.

Deb said...

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http://justshortofcrazy.blogspot.com/2010/03/so-kind.html

THE OLD GEEZER said...

EASTER GREETINGS FROM THE OLD GEEZER

I PRAY YOU AND YOUR FAMILY WILL HAVE A WONDERFUL DAY CELEBRATING RESURRECTION SUNDAY.

HE IS RISEN!

GOD BLESS YOU, RON

Lloyd said...

What a great post and it brings back so many fond memories. God bless, Lloyd

Darlene said...

I have never seen that show. I can't believe that would be the Easter show though....how sad. Hope you have a wonderful Easter celebration.♥

Natalie A. said...

I haven't seen that show either! I'm not much into the Easter stuff either! It is hard to lose someone that you are so close to! I'm sorry about your grandma!
Thanks for stopping by my blog! :)
Have a wonderful Easter weekend!!

Denise said...

Great post! Loved hearing about Davey and Goliath and all your memories from back then. My childhood show was Bill and Ben, the Flowerpot Men and Little Weed. I don't remember much about the shows except that they used to say "Flobbalobbalop" a lot. Funny what you remember.

Heatherlyn said...

It sounds like a great Sunday show! My kids have never seen the old cartoons. They don't even know who Popeye is.

Tgoette said...

I remember those days and the Saturday morning cartoons. And of course I remember Davey and Goliath. He was such a good kid, that Davey, that I was convinced even way back then that I was never going to measure up and end up burning in hell. Probably not the message the show was intending to give, I imagine. Great post!

Michelle Faith said...

I've never seen that show...must of been an east cost thing? But reading your post made me feel your pain. How could they kill of his poor grandma right before easter? I never got the idea of "seeing them again someday" Anyway wonderful post, I always enjoy your writing...very well done.
And thank you for your kind comment today...I was a bit nervous to post something that was not my norm...humor always seem safe. You made my day. :) Have a great weekend.

blueviolet said...

I do a bit of Easter activity, but nothing like Christmas. I relate.

Have a wonderful holiday!

marylea said...

What a fantastic post! I remember the Davey and Goliath show with much fondness. I guess it didn't traumatize me so much but I don't recall the details nearly as well as you, so perhaps it didn't register. I loved the religious lessons that were geared to *me*!

Like you, I'm taking it easy with regard to the decorations and all. But I do like this time of year. Thanks for your comment on my short blog post tonight. I've been too busy to do much blogging lately. I hope your Easter is especially blessed and that your family members are all well.

Ally said...

OK talk about crazy, I just blogged about Davey & Goliath the other day!

Loved Davey And Goliath

MP said...

What a great post! I loved Davey and Goliath, too, but what an awful Easter episode that one was. The prospect of seeing Grandma "in heaven" isn't all that comforting to a kid. And, sorry, but I think Easter should have more chocolate and less death...I'm just saying...

Erin said...

Haahah! I've never seen that character . . . I have to say from the pictures, he is creepy! This was a great post. You shouldn't feel bad, no one is THAT christian. heehhee

Mary@Holy Mackerel said...

It's always Hansen's fault.

Lee said...

wow...i remember the show quite fondly...maybe i missed that easter episode, but i don't recall it...and i can see how it could traumatize a young child...

Meg said...

I think it is historical you did you post on Davey and Goliath. I too watched this show but don’t remember much of it. I can’t believe they had an episode with the Grandmother passing on Easter. That feels so wrong! You poor thing to have to go through that!

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