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Remembering the joys of cartoons
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If Acme Products Co. was really in business, I would be a good customer.

I think I would order the Acme Time Machine to transport myself back to the Saturday mornings of my childhood, when there was a TV lineup of Bugs Bunny and Road Runner cartoons.

Acme, you may recall, was the supplier of all of the innovative goods designed to help Wile E. Coyote catch Road Runner. They sold iron bird seed and, of course, the super powerful magnet to go with it. All the coyote had to do was put up a “Free Bird Seed” sign, pour some iron bird seed and voila, Road Runner would be caught.

Acme had a great selection of stuff, including an assortment of devices to detonate explosives. They also carried jet packs for flying, fake holes and fake murals to be placed at the edge of a cliff.

Was there anything funnier than a cartoon character running off the edge of a cliff, standing in midair, looking down, then looking at the screen and proceeding to tumble. I always enjoyed when the falling cartoon character would get hooked on a stray root or limb and be bounced back to the place from which he fell, only to fall again.

Acme’s No. 1 product was always anvils. Anvils would be dropped from all sorts of places or tossed into the air by jumping onto a board balanced over a rock.

Other cartoons, such as Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck, would argue over whether it was duck season or rabbit season as woeful hunter Elmer Fudd made his way into the woods.

Sunday morning also had a few cartoons. “The Mighty Hercules,” had a centaur named Newton.

I can remember pretending to be a centaur. I thought there would be something cool about being half-man and half-horse.

There was also the clay animated series of “Davey and Goliath.” It was produced by the Lutheran Church and always had a moral lesson. Davey would go somewhere he was not supposed to and his talking dog, Goliath, would often question the decision.

“I don’t know Davey,” Goliath said.

Of course, only Davey and the viewer knew Goliath could talk.

Incidentally, Goliath, the moral compass, was voiced by Hal Smith, who played town drunk Otis on “The Andy Griffith Show.”

I haven’t delved too far into today’s cartoon fare. They have cartoons about trying to teach kids to eat better. How much fun is that?

I was very content with a bowl of cereal and my old Saturday morning friends. I never tried to blow anything up or drop an anvil on a passing stranger. It was just fun to watch.

Newton Minow, a Federal Communications Commission member in 1961, called television “a vast wasteland.” He is now 89 and couldn’t imagine what television has become.

Minow was the namesake of the boat, the S.S. Minnow, the boat that took the castaways of Gilligan’s Island on their ill-fated, three-hour tour.

He also passed a rule requiring TV manufacturers to make sets to receive UHF channels. That gave us more channels that played cartoons.

What a great man.

Harris Blackwood is a Gainesville resident whose columns appear on the Sunday Life page and on gainesvilletimes.com/harris.

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