Thursday, February 16, 2006

toledo children's television department

Post revised October 19, 2009

Amherstburg's geographical location made it a mecca for picking up TV stations without cable. With strong reception from Windsor, Detroit and Toledo, plus the occasional burp from Sarnia or Cleveland, we didn't need no stinkin' converter box. An antenna (living room) and mega-bunny ears (basement, later my bedroom) were our passports to home entertainment. This meant a large variety of kiddie shows to choose from.

On Sunday mornings, channel 11 (WTOL, Toledo's CBS affiliate) ran the locally-produced Patches & Pockets. I remember little about the show, other than discovering years later the theme was Bernard Herrmann's overture from Citizen Kane!

Here's an experiment, humble readers - walk into your local TV station wearing clown costumes, pitch your idea for a zero-budget kids show and see what happens...if you make it past security. According to one defunct Toledo television history website, that's more or less the story of how Patches & Pockets reached the airwaves.

Some background on the duo from the October 4, 1976 edition of The Bryan Times, when they were in the Ohio town to address a Christian fellowship:

Sue Donner and Beve Schwind...have appeared [for] the past five years as [the] Toledo area's foremost children's personalities. As Patches and Pockets they represent two rag dolls with lots of heart, on a program based on the Golden Rule. They write all of their own material. In real life they are both wives and homemakers who share a spirit filled ministry of love and laughter...

(I don't recall the show being preachy, unless any Biblical references flew over my widdle head)

Note the slower, relaxed pace that wouldn't fly on most kiddie shows today...or didn't on tomorrow's featured kiddie show. - JB

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