Betty's Attic
Shop Betty’s for nostalgic collectibles. Betty's Attic offers baby boomer toys, dolls, puzzles and games plus classic television, movie and radio memorabilia… Recycle
Friday, September 23, 2016
Jim Henson would have been 80 years old this Saturday (Sept. 24). The Internet is abuzz with planned celebrations from puppetry classes to free screenings of Henson's iconic Muppets movies and, of course, celebrations on Sesame Street.

I sort of "grew up" on that street. I learned my "ABCs and 123s" from Henson's characters like The Count, Cookie Monster, Oscar the Grouch and the Two Headed Monster. I sang along with Big Bird and I loved that we could see the giant bird's wooly best friend, Mr. Snuffleupagus, even when no one else could.

Later, I'd grow to love Henson's Muppets as much as I did the characters I grew up with. Most people think that Henson created his movie puppets long after he imagined TV stars Big Bird and Cookie Monster. But did you know the first Muppet was born while Henson was in college?  His name was Kermit the Frog and he was the first of the famous Muppets to be on TV. Kermit starred in Henson's bi-weekly show that aired on a local NBC affiliate called, Sam and Friends, which won a local Emmy Award in 1958. That early show would serve as the basis for the rest of Henson's career, spawning the characters we've all come to know and love.

The world lost Jim Henson to a bout of pneumonia in 1990, but his legacy of teaching and learning and making kids of all ages laugh, learn, and think will live on in his truly timeless characters.

Posted by: Betty | 8:00 AM | permalink
Friday, September 16, 2016
Well, it's not that new. The lowly t-shirt graduated from underwear to outwear in the '50s when Marlon Brando, James Dean and others began wearing their "underwear" outside their clothes...right there on television for everyone to see. Shocking!

Back then, t-shirts were just plain comfortable, which is why men started ditching the button downs and running around in their undershirts. But now they've become wearable billboards that broadcast our social & political ideals, the movies and TV shows we watch, the bands and brands we love, and, of course, our sense of humor.

Now the days of buying 3-packs of cheap plain undershirts to wear as outerwear are gone, too. Today's t-shirts are tie-dyed, screen-printed, colorful expressions of our individuality. The more unique they are, the more we love our tees.

Luckily, there is one thing about t-shirts that hasn't changed much: the more you buy, the more you save.

Posted by: Betty | 8:00 AM | permalink
Friday, September 9, 2016
Yesterday marked the 50th anniversary of the premiere of Star Trek.  Though the original series only ran for three seasons, the science fiction adventure made its mark on television, pop culture, and especially kids like me. I still remember the excitement of sitting in front of our black and white TV and hearing those words, "Space, the final frontier..." as the Enterprise streaked across a black field of shining distant stars.

I loved the high-tech gadgetry, unusual aliens, and the hostile planets, but Star Trek had something that no other science fiction series had at that time: really great stories.  That's what kept me and a lot of other people coming back every week.

Instead of the typical dystopian future envisioned by most science fiction writing at the time, Gene Roddenberry, the show's creator, had a completely different view.

William Shatner once said, “There is a mythological component...It’s people looking for answers – and science fiction offers to explain the inexplicable...all the stuff about going out into space and meeting new life – trying to explain it and put a human element to it – it’s a hopeful vision. ”

We don't know much about the new series, Star Trek: Discovery planned for CBS All Access this year. So far all we've been told is there will be "new crews, new villains, new heroes, and new worlds". But my guess is the "mythological component", the "human element" will stay true to Star Trek's long history.

It's the hopeful future Roddenberry envisioned that makes Star Trek one of the longest running and best-loved science fiction stories ever imagined. Even a half century later.

Posted by: Betty | 8:00 AM | permalink
Friday, September 2, 2016
The arrival of fall ushers in cooler weather, winter holidays, political stumping, and of course, football season!

Some of my best childhood memories are gathering around the TV with the family to root for "our team". Since Mom and Dad grew up in different states, they sometimes had different ideas about which team was "ours",  but by the time Superbowl Sunday rolled around, it always seemed like the whole family ended up on the same side.

It was (and still is) a great excuse to get the family together on a Sunday afternoon. For us, football Sundays are all about the fun of cheering at a successful pass or run down the field. Or groaning at turnovers. And crying "foul" when the referees make a bad call.  It's about having a great excuse to just plop down in front of the TV and gorge on chips and dip, grilled burgers, and cold drinks all day long.

To our family, football Sunday isn't always about winning or losing — it's about how you watch the game.

Posted by: Betty | 8:00 AM | permalink
Friday, August 26, 2016
You might think that by the time the Pokémon game came out in 2006, I would have been too old for video games. Think again. I played right along with my kids. Some people would say I used my kids as an excuse to play the game. And they'd be right. I was just as excited for every new game, cartoon, comic and card set as they were.

Twenty years later, we're all playing Pokémon Go. Along with about 130 million other people all over the world, we get out of the house, away from the TV and try to capture every Pokémon within reach. Fair warning: it's so much fun that you do have to be careful not to get carried away by the chase.

I loved the old video game (and the cartoons, cards, comic books, movies and toys), but the "location-based augmented reality" version of the game is a whole new world.  Not only can you play it anywhere, there are more Pokémon to collect, more places to collect them, and even global fighting teams you can join. But here's the best part of all: this is the first time in my life I've actually lost weight playing a video game!

Posted by: Betty | 8:00 AM | permalink
Friday, August 19, 2016
America has 412 national parks, monuments, historic sites, and preserves ranging from simple campgrounds to vast underground caverns to giant 1,000-year-old forests. All of them are under the stewardship of the National Park Service, which will turn 100 years old on August 25.

I can't say we visited every one on our many camping trips, day excursions and family reunions, but when I was a kid, the national parks were the place to go for summer fun. That's where I learned to fish, hike, pitch a tent, make a campfire and cook outdoors. And on college road trips, that's where we'd  always park the VW Bus for a day or two of rest.

During the Park Service's Centennial celebration, from August 25 through August 28, all 412 parks will be free to the public. They're also hosting events across multiple parks, like Sing Across America where you can hear local children's' and youth choirs perform a song written especially for the centennial. Visit the Parks Service website to locate a park near you so you can celebrate some of America's most precious treasures and 100 years of National Parks Service stewardship.

Posted by: Betty | 8:00 AM | permalink
Friday, August 12, 2016
Betty Boop turned 86 years old this week, but va-va-voom! She still looks great! In fact, she looks even better than when she made her first film appearance in a Talkartoons feature Dizzy Dishes.

In that debut appearance she looked more like a poodle than the sex symbol she grew up to be. Drawn with big floppy ears, a huge mouthful of teeth and a black button nose, early audiences said she was "ugly".

By the time I saw Betty Boop for the first time, she was the curvy, sexy 'toon we all know today. My friends and I fell in love with her, collecting everything from Boop dolls and toys to purses and posters. Despite her homely beginnings, she made a bunch of awkward almost-teenagers feel like we could grow up to be like Betty — confident, sweet, fun and pretty — maybe with just a little bit of "va-va-voom" on the side!

Posted by: Betty | 8:00 AM | permalink

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