So much wisdom came from Pogo and his friends from the Okefenokee. These panels are from Walt Kelly’s strip published on Earth Day, 1971…it was obviously not a Sunday…the strip’s not in color.
Pogo and his pals Porky, Howland, Albert, Churchy, Beauregard, and dozens of others were close friends to this shy word nerd who read the “funnies” and everything I could get my hands on during my childhood…absolutely NO snobbery against comic strips and comic books from this educator.
They were easy to come by…I read the funnies in Bobe and Papa Chandler’s Birmingham News…Bobe helped Miss Margie throw the newspapers on her route. Sometimes I would wait til Saturday to walk the few feet to their house and read a week’s worth at a time.
Comic books were treasures I brought home whenever Momma, Daddy, Aubrey, and I went to Clanton to buy groceries at the Dixie Superstore, clothes from Watson’s, and just about anything else from Elmore 5 and 10 Cent Store…or Bargain Town…or Western Auto. There was a book store right next to the seed store where daddy would buy whatever he didn’t have Momma mail order from the Burpee catalog.
Lord have mercy at the hours I spent before deciding on which ones to buy with the dollar bill I had to spend. I could get ten of those color, slick-covered, panel-filled doorways to adventure with that single when I first started buying them.
But it was Walt Kelly’s Pogo that introduced me to the enjoyment of puns and wordplay…the trio of derby-wearing ne’er-do-well bats Bewitched, Bothered, and Bemildred…”Deck us all with Boston Charlie, Walla Walla Wash., and Kalamazoo!”…”We have met the enemy and he is us.”
I sure did enjoy the days of the Okefenokee denizens…and the days of Sad Sack and Little Lotta and Hot Stuff and Kerry Drake and Snuffy Smith and Loweezy and the Phantom and Dick Tracy…and the days of the Dixie Superstore and Watson’s and the Burpee mail-order catalog…and the days of Bobe and Papa Chandler.
Steve Latham – April 22, 2017