That book was a riddle book that I've had as long as I can remember. I'm sure it comes as no surprise to anyone who knows me well that I loved telling jokes as a kid! In fact, it was a joke from this book that eventually led to my television debut in 1967. I was one of the kids who appeared on Art Linkletter's segment of his House Party called Kids Say the Darndest Things!
It was standard practice for CBS to send scouts out to the greater Los Angeles schools looking for kids who might do well on the show. As luck would have it, they wanted second graders so I was sent to the principal's office with two of my best friends. I NEVER got sent to the principal's office so was utterly unsure what this could be about. We walked in to find a group of men in black suits just sitting in the office. They didn't say a word, just had us sit down among them. Well, the silence was killing me so I decided to start telling jokes! And the jokes that I knew best were out of this riddle book! So I started in: What kind of bird is like a car? A goose because they both honk! I suppose I showed enough precocious cuteness that the producers decided I would come up with silly enough answers to delight the audience. Too bad this was pre-VCR...only a reel to reel audio tape remains...and a few photographs that a friend took off the TV.
Incidentally, one of my prizes was set of children's books that I still have to this day.
Well, anyway...back to Kajsa. She was absolutely enthralled with this book and couldn't wait to read through every joke with us!
|Note the presence of Pippi Longstockings and her horse by her side!|
I suppose somewhere in her silly demeanor and her joy in telling these jokes I saw a bit of myself at 7 years of age. It was really special to enjoy this resonance with a child. And her folks said that she carried the book with her on the rest of their trip, reading it to all who would listen.
I hope she memorizes the jokes and tells them for a good long while. And who knows, maybe she'll be in the right place at the right time and that honking goose joke will catapult her into a television career. At any rate...it's a special connection with a very special little girl.