Dawn Reader

Dawn Reader
from Open Door Coffee Co.; Hudson, OH; Oct. 26, 2016

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Peter Pan and Tomato Soup

Mary Martin in
Peter Pan
When I was a kid, I didn't want Peter Pan to be a girl.  No way.  And I have to say that it bothered me (a lot?) on March 7, 1955, when, at age 10, I saw Mary Martin play Peter Pan on the famous TV broadcast.  I much preferred the Disney cartoon (from 1953--I was 9), and I should probably confess right here that the first movie star I wanted to ... you know ... was Tinker Bell.  Sounds sick now, I know.  But there's no explaining the passions of an Oklahoma nine-year-old in 1953.

Anyway, I did watch that Mary Martin musical version (some Peter Pan--even a girl--was better than no Peter Pan).  But I never liked it.  Never bought MM as PP.

But what really bothered me, too, was Peter Pan peanut butter.  We used to buy it in the tin cans--a money-saver.  My two brothers and I ate PP peanut butter pretty much every day throughout boyhood.  We carried PB sandwiches to school every day (sandwiches we had to make ourselves: Mom trained us early), and when I started my teaching career in the fall of 1966, I was still carrying PB sandwiches with me every day--a habit I continued to my final day in January 1997.  My favorite breakfast in later years?  Saywell's.  Hudson, Ohio.  Toasted bagel with crunchy peanut butter.  (Saywell's, alas, is no more.)  And right now there's a jar of JIF(Super Crunch!) on my shelf--and there always is.

But I hated the PP PB can--and you can see why.  I mean, that is clearly a woman dressed in a PP costume.  Clearly.  WTF?  I mean, PP is a boy.  His given name could not be more male (wink, wink).  And yet ... there's a woman on the PP can--kind of a hot woman, actually (as I view it now, decades later), gesturing toward the word SMOOTH.  And just why is that?  What is she implying?  And what's with the high heels?  Is she going to some kind of formal later?  And no weapon?  Doesn't she know the world is populated with Captain Hooks?  And wacky crocodiles?  And nine-year-old boys with crushes?

BTW: Think that nine-year-old boys with crushes is an exaggeration?  Did you see that 2010 film Valentine's Day?  The Gary Marshall multiple-narrative story about the ups and downs of love in the 21st century, L. A. style?  The cast was a who's who: Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Garner, Topher Grace, Anne Hathaway, Ashton Kutcher, Taylors Lautner and Swift, and on and on.

In the film, Bryce Robinson plays a young boy named Edison, a young boy who has a crush on his teacher (Jennifer Garner).  And he is serious, man.  (Though, eventually, he shifts to a classmate.)  Just saying ... I wasn't all that weird in 1953.  Besides ... I'd already had a crush on my second grade teacher, Miss Flewelling, Avondale School, Amarillo, Texas.  And I was only seven then.  Precocious lad, eh?

Okay, so I never got to the tomato-soup part of this ... Part 2 tomorrow!


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