Children’s Radio Programs

December 2, 2008

old_radioFundamentalist children who were born after 1954 may recognize these words…

“Ranger Bill, Warrior of the Woodland, struggling against extreme odds, traveling dangerous trails, fighting the many enemies of nature. This is the job of the guardian of the forest, Ranger Bill. Pouring rain, freezing cold, blistering heat, snows, floods, bears, rattlesnakes, mountain lions. Yes, all this in exchange for the satisfaction and pride of a job well done.”

Ranger Bill was just one of a host of children’s radio programs that began in the 1950’s and continue to be rebroadcast to the present day. Keys for Kids with Uncle Charlie, Story Time with ‘Aunt B’, Uncle Bob’s Nature Corner…the list goes on and on.

These radio programs taught lessons such as the evils of television, gambling, lying, stealing, and other various and sundry moral ills. All accompanied by the dramatic effects of an electric organ that would do any soap opera proud.

Don’t knock it. For fundy kids, Saturday mornings around the radio were some of the happiest times of the week.


Flannelgraph

November 27, 2008

flannel-graphBefore there were multi-media presentations, Veggie Tales DVDs and interactive flash-driven websites, there was…flannelgraph. Flannelgraph boards were simply scenes painted on a piece of flannel to which paper characters could be affixed. They were the height of visual aided storytelling.

These boards were very popular in fundy Sunday School classes because they were cheap and relatively low tech. As long as the children being told the story didn’t have much exposure to television, they worked like a charm.

Among the lessons learned from flannel were these

  • Everyone in the Bible was white.
  • Nobody in the Bible was overweight or ugly.
  • Adam and Eve lived behind big green bushes.
  • Jesus and the disciples never changed their clothes.
  • Jesus had long hair until someone pointed it out and then by the next week Jesus had evidently been to a Galilean barber shop and gotten a hair cut.