Sunday, September 17, 2006

The Electric Company

I read a lot, though not as much as I used to. I still get through about a book a week. In my teens and early twenties, I used to go through three or four books a week.

I've always been a reader, and I've noticed not everyone is like that. I've often pondered what brought about my love of reading.

I can remember as a third grader, I read a lot of the Black Beauty and Black Stallion books. A little later, in fifth grade, I tore through the Three Detectives series of books. The first book I ever bought was in 1978 at a card shop in Richmond, Kentucky. That first book? "Splinter of the Mind's Eye," by Alan Dean Foster.

I always read comic books as a kid. But again, what made me a reader? What attracted me to reading?

I'm not sure it was one thing, but recently I've discovered another clue.

My other half rented several DVDS, part of a series, "The Greatest Hits of The Electric Company." Yeah, The Electric Company, with Morgan Freeman and Bill Cosby and others. If you don't know what I'm talking about, you're either too young or too old. The Electric Company show ran from about 1971 to 1977; it was educational television for kids a little older than the Sesame Street market.

I hadn't seen The Electric Company in almost thirty years, even though it ran in syndication on some PBS channels. I hadn't even thought about The Electric Company in years.

Then I watched those DVDS, and it all came flooding back. I remembered all the characters and the skits and the cartoons ... and everything.

And it dawned on me ... maybe this was what made me a reader. Morgan Freeman and his "Easy Reader" character.

I don't know. But it was a fun blast of childhood nostalgia. If you're the right age, and/or you have kids, I suggest looking into The Electric Company DVDs.

Now I'm going to go read something.


Anonymous said...

Freaky. I went from reading about the Black straight to ???, too. But it's "The Three Investigators," I believe; not "The Three Detectives." Jupiter Jones and company, right?

Maybe I need to check out "The Electric Company," too, though all I remember off-hand about that show is the theme song.

Ty said...

You're right. It was the Three Investigators. Back in the day I think each book was introduced by Alfred Hitchcock, but I think that's changed since then.

For all I remember, "Black Beauty" might have been the very first book I ever read.

Anonymous said...

Apparently Hitchcock's estate wanted a ton of money to allow his name to continue to be used. Sad.

I recently bought four Hitchcock films (including "The 39 Steps") on a DVD at Wal-Mart for $1.