Saturday, December 11, 2010

Christmas Joys #11 - Remembering Mr. Bingle

 During my early years in school, I looked forward to watching my favorite television program, The Howdy Doody Show, every afternoon when I got home.  I loved the members of the cast -- Buffalo Bob, Clarabelle, Chief Thunderthud, Mr. Bluster, Dilly Dally, Flub-a-Dub, Princess Summerfall Winterspring, and of course, Howdy Doody. 

Another program appeared during the month of December and was broadcast by a Memphis television station (which reached my hometown of Kennett, Missouri) and sponsored by Lowenstein's Department Store.  Although the Mr. Bingle show only lasted five minutes, I would never miss it, and his high-pitched voice was as familiar to me as the deep "ho, ho, ho" of Santa Claus.  Mr. Bingle's role in the program was to assist Santa, usually by getting him out of a jam (such as missing toys).

Mr. Bingle was actually a product of the New Orleans department store, Maison Blanche, first conceived there in 1948.  Most recently, he has been associated with Dillards Department Stores, although I have never seen him in any of our local stores.

Many children have received and adults have collected Mr. Bingle dolls and other memorabilia over the years, but for me, he remains a specific childhood memory, a little voice and "snowy" picture on a black and white television set, sharing Christmas magic with children throughout Memphis and the mid-south.

You can learn more about Mr. Bingle, his story, and his many fans and their memories by visiting the Mr. Bingle Fans website.

I hope that you will continue to join me throughout the month of December as I post about some special decorations, traditions, collections and memories that bring the joy of the season to our house. Perhaps you will want to respond with your own story or comment about what brings happiness to your heart at Christmas. I would love to hear from you and look forward to sharing a bit of Christmas! Annie

Photograph of Mr. Bingle was used with permission from Kerry Crawford, who writes the  I Love Memphis blog.


Tina Grimes said...

Such a fun holiday memory you have in Mr. Bingle. I enjoyed reading about it. And nice to see you're from Memphis...been there a few times. Such a great city!

Linda (More Fun Less Laundry) said...

Hi Anne Joy! I have never heard of Mr. Bingle, but I love stories of old collectibles! I will be on the lookout for him--I may have seen him in the past and not realized what I was looking at! I am a letter writer too, and recently did a little post on my letter writing spot. Hope you will visit. I'm coming to you from Seasonal Sundays. Linda


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