I grew up in a small town that now has become a big town. I’ve since moved away and notice that when I go back to visit Mom and Dad everything is recognizable yet so different. Farmer’s fields where we rode our bikes to cut through subdivisions are now gone. Replaced, it seems, by a more industrious and harder world. Cynicism is the flavour of the day.
Many years ago my friend Richard’s dad owned the uptown Dairy Queen. It was marked by a giant ice-cream cone which served the same purpose as the McDonald’s yellow arches - a beacon for food and fun. Going with the family to the DQ on a Saturday evening was a special event. The lines were huge and my brother and me were more than likely to see a friend or two. Our favourite ice cream treat was the banana split. Lots of ice cream, toppings and a big ole banana to help you pace yourself. Yum!
I used to ride my first bike through the same farmer’s fields described above. We would clip hockey trading cards to the frame of our bicycles with wooden clothes pegs. The resulting sound was equivalent to the sound of a Harley Davidson. OK, not really. My bike was a thing of beauty the coolest ever! Metallic purple with ‘chopper’ styled handlebars and you guessed it - a banana seat.
Back in the late 60s when I was only a few years old, there was a show I used to watch every Saturday morning - The Banana Splits. The show was directed by Richard Donner of Mel Gibson Lethal Weapon fame and it was fantastic. In each of the hour long episodes, you would follow Fleegle, Bingo, Drooper, and Snorky as they brought you fun, songs, and cartoons. I still can hear the introductory theme music in my head. The show was an hallucinogenic for four year-olds. Don’t believe me? Feel free to check it out on YouTube - don’t say I didn’t warn you. I think the best part of those mornings was sitting on the ground with my back against the living room chair and holding my mom’s legs a little like you would hold onto a harness on your favourite looping roller coaster. Hold on for some crazy ‘Banana Splits’ fun!
When apes are given a bunch of bananas, they seem to eat them with tremendous ‘gusto’, as though they've lost their minds. They, in fact, ‘go bananas’.
Inspiration is the champion of hope and innovation. And so are all things bananas. Let’s look to this fantastical fruit and recapture this wild enthusiasm and optimism of good times. Go ahead and...go bananas!
Best wishes to you and your family this day for all that is healthy and prosperous!