“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”-Ralph Waldo
In the end, we only regret the chances we did not take.
I am preparing a few posts for the week ahead based on what I discussed here yesterday. After posting my submission yesterday I began to ponder, of all things, how I equate people with animated characters.
Winnie the Pooh and all the characters associated with the stories are likely my favourite animated characters. Still, when I was young I had a thing for Paddington Bear. He was a bit of gypsy traipsing about in his rain hat and coat. Always with suitcase in hand and he had a love of marmalade.
Saturday mornings were always spent watching Loonie Toons. Bugs Bunny, Yosemite Sam, Foghorn Leghorn, the Tasmanian Devil and of course the Road Runner.
Actually both Winnie the Pooh and Paddington Bear came to my attention through books initially. Later, both would go on to have a spot on television, though Winnie definitely had a great deal more success, at least on this side of the pond.
Paddington likely was huge in his native England.
When I entered into high school I began associating certain people with animated characters based on their personality. A strange thing to do and something that I never disclosed at the time.
When I did offer this up for the first time, it was met with disregard and an annoyance. Mind you the fellow was quite brilliant but had some serious mental health issues. I would have been in my late teens possibly very early 20’s.
Randall was maybe in his late 20’s. He was a friend of my sister’s and we were having some obscure conversation, the kind that were strange and thought-provoking that typically made little to no sense. He pushed his coke bottle glasses up on his nose and cleared his throat. At that moment, I made the connection.
“Hey, you know who you remind me of?” I asked brightly.
“Who?” he replied completely uninterested.
“Owl from Winnie the Pooh.” I championed.
There was no reply. Just a look that pretty much summed up that he wasn’t impressed. Mind you, telling a guy that you’re interested in that he reminds you of an Owl may not be the most flattering compliment. Still, on my end it was meant as such.
At that time I was too young to understand my affiliation with animated characters. What I understand now is how much I escaped into the animated world and identified with certain characters. Paddington, for example, was such a free spirit to me traveling about on his own. Winnie was just so sweet and lovable. Owl was smart, Piglet was shy, Tigger was beyond happy, and Eeyore seemed perpetually sad.
I was quite shy as a child and really lived in my head. I’ve always had a deep love of horses as well. I think at times it just seemed easier to think of life as an animation rather than the actuality of it. Better to make up stories in my head as to why things were the way they were.
If things got really bad around the house I could conjure that an evil witch had placed a spell on my dad and that’s why he was so mean. Despite my active imagination on this end, I could never sell myself the stories that I made up .
I still associate people with animated characters though I don’t tell them. I shared these things with my daughter when she was little. She thought it quite funny then, now she’ll give me one of those dubious looks of hers conveying the message ‘Really Mom?’.
Oddly enough, two songs that will always bring tears to my eyes are ‘Puff the Magic Dragon’ and ‘House at Pooh Corner’.
I get really tired of hearing that ‘Puff’ is about marijuana. This song was around when I was a little kid and the potheads hadn’t come onto the scene just yet. To me it is a song about a little boy’s imaginary world and as he gets older, he leaves that world behind him.
Kenny Loggin’s ‘House at Pooh Corner’ is the return to that imaginary world and finding the importance of sharing it with your child.
I suppose there is an innocence in all of this. I certainly don’t make these associations as much as I used to, but from time to time when I meet someone, they will say or do something and it will trigger this response. Now I smile to myself.
We all have animated characters that we loved as a child. Feel free to drop me a line and let me know who your favorite character or toy was and why.