Sunday Funnies

Back in the late thirties and forties there was no television. There were some afternoon radio serial programs of super heroes like the “Lone Ranger” and “Terri and the Pirates”, and we had comic books. No entertainment for children was more special than the Sunday funnies. They were in color and consumed a large part of the paper.

A great delight was the Sunday morning radio show that read the Sunday funnies while we followed along at home. This part of the paper was not thrown away. We kept the funnies for several days into the week. As a preschool boy my greatest anticipation of going to school was to learn to read so I could read the funnies.

I was very excited that first day of school. I came with my Blue Horse tablet and a new #2 pencil ready to start reading. I had been told that when I started to school I would learn to read and I took that to mean immediately. After a few comments from the teacher, she had us follow her with our tablet and pencil as she drew two circles, one on top of the other, on the blackboard. She continued by putting ears, tail, eyes, nose, and mouth on the drawing. This was fun and I liked cats, but it didn’t seem to relate to reading.

After this we went outside for about thirty minutes. When we came back to the classroom we were told to put our heads on our desks and rest. Surely reading would come next. Then the principal came in and welcomed us to school. On our first day at school we were dismissed early.

We hadn’t had any reading. I thought that maybe I had learned to read and just didn’t know it. As soon as I arrived home, I got the funnies out to see, but I still couldn’t read a word and I started to cry. Mother comforted me and explained that it would take a little time to reach my goal.

Soon I got my first reading book and I began to read. Boy! Could that baby run!