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April 02, 2008

What Triggers Your Trips Down Memory Lane?

Alex_jacobi_boots_on_tv I was googling "Mr. Ray's Hair Weave Commercials" earlier this week (more on why in a bit) and while I didn't find a clip of the original Mr. Ray's Hair Weave commercials that were so ubiquitous in the Metro area in the 70s (I could only find a couple of goofy ones from the 80s that were a bit over the top), I DID find a bunch of clips of other local commercials that are as much a part of my childhood and history as someone who grew up with television as the shows themselves. While national commercials do the same to some extent, it's really those low-budget, non-professionally acted gems that take me back to both time and place.

"Whatever you want, whatever it is, whatever you want, think BELMONT." Remember that? Or what about the nearly illiterate but classic Joe Jacoby Theatervision commercial? I found myself wishing that I had clips of those things on YouTube, and while I didn't find them, I did find this gem, the granddaddy of all the commercials from my childhood - the Jhoon Rhee taekwondo commercial. I got all excited and

showed it to my kids several times, and while my kids seemed nonplussed, my husband did tell me as I sang along with the commercial, "You are sick, you know." He meant in a good way, right?

I was also thinking about other things that trigger these slides, like the time in about 1989 or 1990 when I went to Mass with my then-boyfriend and his family at a church in the upcounty, and Captain 20 (the third one) was there, standing a couple of rows away, and I nearly squealed from excitement. You'd think I'd never seen a pseudo celebrity in person before. Well, I hadn't. Poor man was just trying to worship, and there's this nutty twenty year old who apparently forgot why she was at Mass!

Anyway, the reason I started thinking about Mr. Ray is that we recently got a new carpet, and it's shedding these crazy balls of woolly fluff, and somehow it has woven itself into the fuzz on the back of my baby's head, resembling nothing if not the wondrous weaves created by Mr. Ray. I was looking for some sort of link to help me untangle it, because I didn't want to have to cut my baby's hair. I ended up reverse engineering it finally, and my baby is back to looking like a baby again, without Mr. Ray's help.

I sometimes wonder what, in 20 or 30 years' time, will bring my children back to this place, to this time in their childhoods. Will they look back on the Senate Insurance commercials and tell people to "Kiss my bumper, just kiss it"? Or will it be Clinton Portis and Lavar Arrington bopping along to the Eastern's Auto commercials? What are the key pieces of pop culture from your childhood? What kinds of things trigger your trips back in time, or what do you think will trigger your kids'?

Mary blogs about all things mischief and mayhem at The Fish Pond, and is a senior reviewer for the product review site Props and Pans.

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