Tuesday, September 20, 2011

They kept us smiling!!

Tom Wilson, champion of the "EVERY MAN," died yesterday at the age of 80. With just a few words and a basic caricature of a short dumpy bald guy with a big nose and large feet, Tom evoked our giggles, tears and empathy for a "hard luck comics page hero." For over 40 years, his creation, Ziggy, has served as "a reflection of enduring wit and optimism in the face of adversity." Ziggy's life experiences have trudged on through Tom Wilson, Jr. since 1989.

Ziggy progressed from a comic strip (still seen daily in thousands of newspapers) to include a vast array of Ziggy cards, posters, magnets, mugs and more. We had a number of Ziggy items around our home in the 70s. (Had I held on to those, I could probably fill a whole section in my vintage shop today.)

***The Ziggy items shown here today are all currently available at www.whatacharacter.com. an online treasure trove of memorabilia (mostly figural pieces) from the 40s through the 80s. Check them out for a memory tickler - I'm sure you'll find your favorite characters there.

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I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the passing of Dolores Hope who also left us yesterday at the age of 102 ! You may know her better as MRS. Bob Hope. (Hmmm, maybe there's a big nose correlation here - not Dolores', of course - but Bob and Ziggy are both known to have big noses, bald heads and the ability to make us laugh. Hmmm, think about it.)

Seriously, those of us who watched and loved Bob's many movies and specials over the years owe Dolores (a singer, in her own right) a huge "Thank You." She shared her man with the world by allowing him to wander the world, for weeks at a time - at the holidays, no less - entertaining the many men and women (our loved ones) giving of their time, energies and lives for God and Country. (i.e. American troops, wherever they were at that time.) When the rest of us made plans to gather our family around us, Dolores was packing her man up and sending him off to the front lines and danger zones. Bob's holiday attire included a flak jacket and helmet, not a new red tie.

I've known several Viet Nam era Vets who fondly recall Bob's tour to their camps as one of their best Christmas memories!

Thank You, Dolores, from the bottom of my heart for all the laughter you allowed us to enjoy at your expense and personal sacrifice.

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Well, I'm off to see what Ziggy has to say today. Where's that morning paper?



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