12 February 2011

what media can do to a 10 year old


Star Wars
Where did you see Star Wars? I saw it at the Rees Theater in Plymouth with my older cousin, Rusty, and one of his buddies. But what I remember probably best from that night was the car ride back to my cousin’s house at the Lake of the Woods. He had a muscle car he called “The Judge”, and he drove it home that night pretending to be Han Solo guiding the Millennium Falcon through warp speed. And I rolled around in the back seat as we took dangerous curve after curve at breakneck speed.

But that began my fast obsession with everything galactic, and most certainly with all things Star Wars as I collected figure after figure, craft after craft, and the Death Star itself. My first purchase was a Ti-Fighter that I insisted my grandmother let me buy one weekend at Harvey Mart in Plymouth, while I was staying with them while my parents were away. I remember thinking that my folks probably would not have approved, so I could blame this one on Grandma.

Dukes of Hazard
Without a doubt the most influential television show growing up for me was the Dukes of Hazard. This was so much the case that I tape recorded (not video, audio!) show after show and listened to them over and over again in my bed when I was supposed to be sleeping with a tiny earphone. I imagined my grandpa as uncle Jesse and me as the youngest cousin of the Duke boys. I had a burnt orange and yellow dirt bike that I spelled out “General Lee” on the side with stickers, and was the proud owner of a digital watch that played Dixie. Friday nights were sacred. One time my cousin and I climbed out of the windows of my grandmother's powder blue Pontiac at the grocery, pretending to be Dukes. She nearly died of embarrassment.

Tomahawk Kid
Combine the Dukes of Hazard, Star Wars, and my own super hero fantasy and you have fertile ground to create a home-grown country version of a junior super hero. Enter “the Tomahawk Kid”. My grandparents brought back a t-shirt for me from their fishing trip to Tomahawk, Wisconsin one year. It simply said “Tomahawk”. So I envisioned this super hero, wearing the t-shirt beneath other shirts, blue jeans and cowboy boots who would come to the aid of his fellow man and rip off the top shirt to expose none other than….the Tomahawk Kid. That was me. I invented all sorts of contraptions that were weapons and tools for spying on people, and taking samples for investigations. I think I was about 10. I wish I still had that t-shirt.

2 comments:

vanilla said...

Go get 'em, Tomahawk Kid, you little sleuth, you.

jimgrey said...

Heh, my brother and I wouldn't miss the Dukes of Hazzard, either. My parents couldn't stand the show, so we were relegated to watching it in my parents' bedroom on the 12-inch black-and-white portable set.

I didn't get to see Star Wars in the theater! We were beyond broke in those days.

I was ga-ga over the show Emergency. I wanted to be John Gage!