I’m another year old today!

It all began at 10:59 am on August 1, 1963 at the Hollywood Presbyterian Hospital on Sunset Boulevard.

Growing up in Southern California, I was a Deputy Member of the Emmy award winning ‘Sheriff John’s Lunch Brigade’ (1952 – 1970) and tuned in every weekday (until I started kindergarten).

Sheriff John started each program by entering his jailhouse office singing “Laugh and be happy, and the world will laugh with you …” before doing a routine which included the Pledge of Allegiance and a safety bulletin.

Sheriff John taught lessons about safety, good health habits and appropriate behavior to his viewers. To teach the lessons, the Sheriff used songs like “The Advice Song” (If you like to scatter your toys, don’t do it, don’t do it…); “The Eat Your Food, Wash Your Hands and Face, Brush Your Teeth and Take a Nap Song”; and “The Safety Song” that cautioned Little Deputies not to play with matches, run with sharp objects or get into cars with strangers (Safety, safety all the while, safety, safety with a smile; safety on the way to school, safety first, our Golden Rule). Sheriff John also encouraged his viewers to eat Maggio carrots, “tell your Mom to look for the Maggio label.” The grower was evidently one of the show’s sponsors.

He would also show cartoons, including Crusader Rabbit and Porky Pig among others, have a visit from various farm animals and from an artist “Sketchbook Suzie,” who would draw pictures requested by young home viewers.

The most notable request was to draw ‘a dead cat under water’.The request was read on the air, followed by a pause and then some hemming and hawing. Finally he and Suzie decided that she was ‘all out of time’ and would draw it on another show. Aaah, the golden days of live television.

A highlight of the program were the birthday announcements when Sheriff John would sing the ‘Birthday Cake Polka’ and read off the names of Little Deputies whose Special Day it was.

Click to play and sing along with the Sheriff!

Birthday Cake Polka

Put another candle on my birthday cake
We’re gonna bake a birthday cake
Put another candle on my birthday cake
I’m another year old today

I’m gonna have a party with my birthday cake
Come on and take some birthday cake
Put another candle on my birthday cake
I’m another year old today

We’ll have some pie and sandwiches
and chocolate ice cream too
We’ll sing and play the day away
and one more thing I’m gonna do

I’ll blow out the candles on my birthday cake
and when I do, a wish I’ll make
Put another candle on my birthday cake
I’m another year old today.

This Little Deputy is going to spend her Special Day making decorations and cooking French and Italian food for a party at the Cider Barn tomorrow night and taking photos with my new camera which arrived yesterday! Stay tuned for recipes and safety tips!

Birthday girl

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5 thoughts on “I’m another year old today!

  1. Melinda HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    At 10:59a.m. on August 1, 1963 the world received a very special gift….YOU! Thanks for everything you give to the world!

    Have a great day!

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