Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Magic Garden

I just had a blast from the past! The New York Times has an article and video clip about one of my all-time favorite childhood television shows, The Magic Garden. When I was young, I absolutely loved this show. The show was on in the 1970s on a local channel here in the New York area. Looking back, I realize now how low-budget and campy it was, but I loved it. There's a sense of innocence and simplicity in it that I think children's shows have lost. There was always folk singing with Paula playing the guitar and Carole leading the (unseen) children in song. There was the Storybox, a magical trunk that would open and close on its own (you could see the wires!), and when they would open it, there were costumes inside and they would act out a story based on whatever they found. There was the Chuckle Patch, planted daisies that had jokes written on their leaves, and when the girls read the jokes aloud, the daisies would giggle. And there was the ever ridiculous, peanut-snorfing Sherlock the pink squirrel. (This is all starting to sound like a drug-induced trip.) The funniest part was that no sooner did I see the news article that I was suddenly able to sing the entire opening theme song, which begins like this: "Here in the garden of make believe / the magical garden of make believe / where flowers chuckle and birds play tricks / and the magic tree grows lollipop sticks..." Paula and Carol are now in their late 60s and still performing together. They've released DVDs with whatever has survived on tape from the original episodes from the show. I definitely will need to check them out to relive an aspect of my childhood.

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