Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Happy Birthday Hugh Brannum

One of my favorite delights as a child was Captain Kangaroo. While I loved the exploits of Mr. Moose and Bunny Rabbit and thought the Captain was pretty cool with his big pockets and jingling keys... my favorite character was Mr. Green Jeans. Today would have been his 100th birthday.


Mr. Green Jeans always reminded me of my Grampa...so it's no wonder I related to him so well. And in remembering him today, it makes me wonder how much my belief in him shows up in the story characters running around in my head. I can't say I've written a character who is exactly like Mr. Green Jeans (or Grampa) but I'm sure that bits and pieces will continue to shine through now and again.

So, what do you think? How much do our childhood likes--and fears--reflect in our writing?

From TVAcres...Mr. Green Jeans - Hugh "Lumpy" Brannum starred as Mr. Green Jeans, the chief aide to Captain Kangaroo (Bob Keeshan) at the Treasure House on the children's program CAPTAIN KANGAROO/CBS/1955-84.


Mr. Green Jeans got his name from the clothes he wore (a green pair of farmer overalls), and because of his interest with the outdoors. He visited the Captain with a variety of interesting items including cute little animals.

Brannum also portrayed other characters on the show like The Professor, Greeno The Clown, The Old Folk Singer, and Mr. Bainter The Painter.

Before his long running role on CAPTAIN KANGAROO, Hugh Brannum had been the host of his own local New York show entitled UNCLE LUMPY'S CABIN that aired daily on ABC at 5:00PM from August to November 1951. The series was described in a letter to the New York Times as "a composite or synthesis of the old-time values we all like our children to know."

Earlier in his career Hugh had also created and narrated a weekly series of folksy "Little Orley" stories which orchestra leader Fred Waring used on his radio program in the 1940s.

Born January 5, 1910 in Sandwich, Illinois, Hugh Brannum died of cancer on April 22, 1987 at his home in Sailorsburg, Pennsylvania. He was 77 years old.