Bob McGrath passed away. Who was Bob McGrath? He was one of the original cast on "Sesame Street". He was the one who reminded me of a friend and coworker of my dad. That's why he stood out in my mind as a child.
I was never a big Sesame Street fan. I didn't watch much TV growing up. As a kid, the only 'must see' kid's show for me was an old Japanese cartoon called 'Kimba the White Lion." In the evenings I watched reruns of "Hogan's Heroes" and "Combat!" Otherwise there wasn't much must-see television for me.
But Mr. McGrath holds a special place in my memories. When I turned five, my parents moved from our house in the country and bought a house in town. It was actually the house that was a nursery school my parents took me to the year before. A small little ranch next to a hive of troublemaking kids. My days of quiet and carefree fun in the county had come to an end.
It was right before Christmas, and I remember looking out the back sliding door at the row of snow covered houses facing away from us beyond our back yard. I remember the smoke coming out of their chimneys in a scene straight out of a Hallmark greeting card. Living in the country, I wasn't used to seeing that many houses in one place. Dad was busy working to improve the house we hadn't settled into yet. Mom was consoling me since it was a big move. The only house I could remember was a thing of the past.
To help, they got me, among other things that year, a record of Sesame Street sing-alongs. The first song on the record? "People in Your Neighborhood" by none other than Mr. McGrath. I can still see that little record player, and the primary colored record spinning as McGrath introduced us to policemen, mailmen, and others whose names would eventually need changed.
Again, I never watched Sesame Street much. For that matter I was one of the few in my school who didn't sit clued to the TV when "The Muppet Show" was all the rage. Just not my cup of tea. But I appreciated what it was in its early days and the genius that went behind its creation. Beyond that, one part is forever engrained in my childhood memories, and that just happened to involve Mr. Bob McGrath.
So RIP Mr McGrath, and thanks for the memory.