Boy, if I had a nickel for every time I heard Buffalo Bob Smith announced it was “Howdy Doody Time,” I would be a rich lady. But alas, no one pays you for your memories.
A recent estate sale had a lot of mid-century items and many were priced well beyond my pocketbook. But this charming little patch featuring the clown from Howdy’s show was priced right and easy to pop into my pocket. I got home and looked him over. Yup, that was Clarabell. He never talked, just honked his horn, usually to alert Howdy or others on the show of impending “danger.” Well, perhaps danger is a strong word, but it made it more interesting. Those lucky kids seated in the “Peanut Gallery” would also try to get Howdy’s attention. They did not have much luck at jerking his chain, or should I say strings.
I rarely see items from Howdy’s show. I once had a record, an LP that had characters from the show on it. I showed it to our oldest granddaughter who was about 6 at the time and she laughed. She thought Howdy was rather silly looking with those thousands of freckles and funny teeth and rather goofy smile. Sort of hurt my feelings.
If Howdy were popular today, he’d make a lot of money on promotional items such as plush toys, puppets of the characters on the show, T-shirts, backpacks (instead of lunch boxes and thermoses), CDs of his songs, maybe even moccasins like the kind Princess Summer Fall Winter Spring wore. Plus they would do movies. Then again, it is doubtful that kids of today would appreciate Flub-a-Dub, Inspector Bluster or Dilly Dally!
There are quite a few Howdy items on Internet sites, many with reasonable prices, but some quite rare. Maybe it is time to bring them out of the closet (sorry Howdy) and into the sunlight to display. They’re certainly fun conversation pieces and memory joggers, plus the kids and grandkids have another reason to make fun of you.