blue with white polka dots, bugs bunny, cartoons, childhood, depression, divorce, dresses, family affair, grandma, leopold, memories, mrs. beasley, parents, pink with white polka dots, polka dots, saturday morning cartoons, suicide, teenagers, twitter, uncle, wedding
I just made a strange connection concerning my childhood through Twitter. I’ve been following Dave Matthews’ tweets this morning (afternoon now). He made a comment about Saturday morning cartoons and someone asked him which was his favorite. He replied with “bugs bunny . . . .” Bugs Bunny was my favorite cartoon, as well, because Bugs was such a debonair smart ass. Perhaps my favorite episode was the one where he plays the famous conductor Leopold. I can still hear the audience whispering, “Leopold, Leopold,” as Bugs marches to the front of the auditorium, where he then proceeds to torture the operatic singer.
Thinking of Bugs reminded me of one of my favorite childhood dresses. It was blue with tiny, pinhole white polka dots and had a built-in white apron with a picture of Bugs Bunny on the apron. I wore that dress to my father’s brother’s wedding. My uncle and aunt later got divorced, which was so disappointing because I adored them both and thought they were cool. The divorce and the death of my grandmother sunk my uncle into a deep depression and he ended up committing suicide, one of the very saddest moments of my teenage years.
As often happens with memory, one past thought spurs another and the whole Saturday morning cartoons, blue with white polka dots thang, led me to Mrs. Beasley. I had a Mrs. Beasley doll when I was a child. I remember pulling the cord in her back so that she could talk. Quite the thing at the time. Mrs. Beasley was Buffy’s doll on the TV show Family Affair. I see from some online research that the show ran from 1966 to 1971. I was only four when it ended, but, boy, do I have a clear memory of Mrs. Beasley. And, get this, she was dressed in an outfit that was blue with white polka dots – pretty much the same blue as my Bugs Bunny dress. Mrs. Beasley can be be purchased today, a collector’s edition, for $95.99. There’s no way on God’s green earth that my parents paid that much for her back when I got her as a gift. If only we had known it would appreciate in value so much . . . .
Until the Dave Matthews’ tweets, I never made the connection between the blue with white polka dots Bugs Bunny dress and the similar fashion of Mrs. Beasley. I love polka dots to this day, so I’m nothing if not consistent. Oddly enough, I had a dream about my grandma last night in which she had put my other favorite childhood dress into her safe. The dress was pink with white pinhole polka dots.