A Long, Long Time Ago

By Dennis

I’ve got one last Sesame Street story if you’ll indulge me. Long ago when I was an undergrad at the U of Florida, I was enrolled in an early education course. There, I had a teaching assistant who was just knocked out by Sesame Street. “They are opening new vistas, a whole new way to educate preschoolers and educate the young. I urge you to watch Sesame Street.”

Now I used to get out of class around four o’clock and go back to my apartment and watch “The Afternoon Dialing for Dollars Movie.” They were usually from the 40’s and 50’s, black and white movies with poor acting, which I loved. The host of the show was “Country Boy Cliff Walton.” He used play a little game with the viewers. He would take the phone book and cut into pieces. He would then spin a wheel with a dollar amount on it and another wheel which designed how many names to count up or down on the cut up pieces to arrive at the lucky contestant. All they had to answer was the count and the amount.

So on this particular day I came home and turned on the TV. The “Afternoon Dialing for Dollars Movie” came on it, and it was a Howard Duff and Ida Lupino movie that I’ve seen countless times. So I decided to go to P.B.S. and see what the TA was so excited about.

I tuned in Sesame Street and was learning why you should never invite a letter M over to your home, because he will drink all your milk, eat all your marshmallows and mess up your room.

Then it happened. The phone rang . . . It was “Country Boy Cliff Walton.” He asked me if I knew the count and the amount. I didn’t. He asked if I was watching “The Afternoon Dialing for Dollars Movie.” I wasn’t. I told him I was watching Sesame Street and why you shouldn’t bring a letter M home with you. There was a pause and, I believe, a slight chuckle. “Well maybe we’ll call you again,” he said. “Not in my lifetime,” I replied.

So not only should you not invite the letter M over to your home because he will drink all your milk and eat all your marshmallows, but it will also make off with your money. I’m not bitter with myself, Howard Duff, or even the “Country Boy Cliff Walton.” However there is an ex-teaching assistant out there, who to this day, I feel owes me $400.00.

September 2014

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One response to “A Long, Long Time Ago

  1. Heh. I know this is an old post and I’m not sure why I thought about him, but I googled “Country Boy Cliff Walton” and your blog popped up. I grew up in the Gainesville area and can still hear him saying “This is Country Boy Cliff Walton on Theater 20’s Dialing for Dollars. Would you be watching Channel 20 please? Do you know the count and the amount?”

    I never got a call, though, so you got that going for you.

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