Monday, December 11, 2023

K.A.C. 2023 - T - 14 Days ...



1962 - Along with Nessie and UFOs, sightings of Ye Humble K.A.C. Curator were rare and unforeseen. Photographic proof that he exists (hey, we ALL know SANTA is real!) was caught at Jordan Marsh in downtown Boston. In December of said year, at five years old, he is here seen recounting the HOURS and HOURS he was staring at that tree (see our 1957 entry) and the knowledge Father Tree bestowed upon him: the special alien notes of the 'Christmas Cacophonies', (aka 'Carols') to open the Portals and Paths to track down long-forgotten Christmas Trivia. Rather than be proud of his studies, Santa seems taken aback and admonishes him not to speak of Such Things at a Jordan Marsh! That or the Curator is taking his one shot requesting the 'must have' toy of the year. Naaah, it's definitely the first scenario. And speaking of the Santa of '62, on to today's entry.


     "So long, suckers, find your OWN way back to the North Pole!" This '62 Hertz Car Rental ad, painted by John Philip Falter (whose name you can see in the snow) has all SORTS of anxiety-inducing moments in it - the longer you look at it, the more agitated it makes you! Their ad slogan back then was, 'Let Hertz put YOU in the driver's seat', and Santa's sanity aside, there's NO WAY he sticks the landing into the seat of that Corvette, which is ALREADY speeding (driverless) down that ice-slicked road, HEADING FOR A CURVE, and this fool is still clutching his SACK OF TOYS! Don't even get me started about how he's looking back at us ... I truly wish artist Falter (that name fits this painting magnificently, I must say) or Mad Magazine had done a follow up painting to this to see how it ended.

     '62 was also a year of note for this K.A.C. chronicler, as it was the time of the very first animated Christmas special, 'Mister Magoo's Christmas Carol'. Little me thought, "Hey, it's Mister Magoo! He's funny, he makes me laugh, this will be jolly, right ... RIGHT?" Not so much, bucko! It has its moments (and at least one total earwig song), but it doesn't pull any punches by the time it get to the Fourth Stave. By then, Little Me was PETRIFIED! Of course, I always made sure never to miss it each year, knowing what was coming. You can find it easily enough on streaming services, should you want to acquaint (or reacquaint) yourself with it. For those of you already familiar with it, below is a link to the Ghosts Of Earwigs past from the special:

     Also of note is this fascinating piece from the Heritage Auction Galleries regarding an animation cell from the show that was sold, wherein they talk about the making of and historical significance of the special:

     Next, a Dickens of a case of the more ursine kind, when (as the History In Pop Culture site relates), 'An intruder climbing the fence at a Minnesota air base set off the “sabotage alarm” in all bases in the area. Due to wrong wiring, the klaxon alarm was sounded in one base, ordering nuclear-armed aircraft to take off, and the pilots believed WW3 had started. The intruder was a bear.'
     Read the full story of how close we came to Near Christmas Bruin Ruin below:
     Finally, a fascinating article form Collector's Weekly on how Christmas Commercialism changed everything in post-war America, and the origin of vintage ornaments - all to be found in the link below:
     More Christmas Glee from '63 tomorrow!

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