Friday, September 26, 2014

A Three-Hour Tour: A Lifetime of Memories


An episode of Gilligan's Island and a bowl of Cheerios with a toasted Cheese Whiz sandwich: my after school entertainment and snack as a child growing up in the '70's.

When my colleague Angie Boone linked me a set of Gilligan's Island facts due to my all-time favorite show turning 50-years old today, I decided to pay homage to the crew America grew to love.

I lived in Cheney three years before I could afford cable television. I was too busy creating lesson plans and coaching high school basketball anyway. So when I could afford it and learned that Gilligan's Island was on TV Land, boy-oh-boy!

My VCR recorded every episode. I found another VCR and dubbed them onto another tape to edit out the commercials. I think my dad still has those VHS tapes.

Suzanne and Jessica, two of my younger nieces who were grade schoolers during my college and early teaching years, enjoyed watching the dubbed shows.

Here are a couple of my favorite lines from the show.

"Movie star, you make glasses steam."

This must be said in dorky, throaty fashion just like the actor did when his pop-bottle-bottom glasses steamed over as Ginger approached him to release her castaway friends. Plot line: a Japanese soldier ends up on the island and believes the war is still underway.

I know, I know. I've re-worded the original quote a bit. It's called creative license.

"Yes, master. I hear and I obey."

This must be said in a choppy, monotone voice to imitate how the castaways said it because a mad scientist and his monkey hypnotized them with a magical ring.

Plot line: the man is training the group to rob Fort Knox. This episode, and a number of other ones around this time, show Gilligan driving, I mean peddling, a car. What little kid did not want a car like Gilligan's?

In another episode, this same fella with the monkey experiments with teleportation, but he is only successful with the voice. The man's beefy sidekick ends up with Ginger's voice and Ginger speaks with a manly voice.

"Like a harp needs a string!"

This must be sung half-opera-half-spoken style like Mrs. Howell. She, along with Ginger and Mary Ann, dubbed themselves the Honeybees to impress the Monkeys, a singing group who purposely stranded themselves on the island to get way and practice their music.

"Neither a borrower, nor a lender be. Do not forget, stay out of debt."

Again, sung with gusto just like Skipper and Mary Ann in the group's rendition of a scene from Hamlet. Probably the reason I became an English major.

How do I remember all these great moments? Because it truly is my all-time favorite show. It contains all the elements of a well-developed plot. The worst they ever said on the show was son-of-a-gun. And any sexual innuendo was just that, innuendo, nothing inappropriate. The show was clean fun, and I will always defend it.

My favorite episode: The Radioactive Vegetables.

And when my husband wanted to cheer me up a number of years ago when I had to put my precious Lexy doggy down right before Christmas, he insisted that I open up a present early. Guess what it was? A boxed set of Gilligan's Island DVD's. 

If I have just conjured up some of your favorite Gilligan's Island memories, please share in the comment section below.

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