I loved Saturday morning cartoons

I remember Saturday morning cartoons with great fondness.
I know we “older generation” types can be nostalgic fools, none more so than me, and our traditions and habits tend to outshine those of the generations following when we set about engaging in comparison duels and usually, not always but often, it is merely a matter of perspective; one not better than the other.
However, we always qualify our confessions of equality as though that somehow gets us off the hook of being judgmental.
I’ll apologize up front. I think we were a lucky bunch. Some things were in the category of special, anxiously awaited for, because they were rare.
The television in my childhood home was rarely on. My father watched the news, most evenings after supper, tucked into his green chair with his tea, his left leg over his right so I could crawl into the small vacancy beside him and pretend I was listening to the news with the same interest as my father. I wasn’t.
We watched Bonanza or Wagon Train or Gunsmoke as a family on Saturday or Sunday nights, being allowed to stay up a little later than usual to catch the whole episode.
I heard the eerily-frightening music of Perry Mason from my bed on Saturday nights while my parents relaxed in front of the television, finally rid of us for the night.
But Saturday mornings were all about cartoons. My siblings and I were up early with pillows and blankets on the living room floor to take in all our favourites.
I would struggle to list them in order of preference, even now. Mighty Mouse definitely topped the charts most Saturdays. My Friend Flicka and Fury battled it out as they were on at the same time on different channels.
It was a struggle to decide which to tune into in the days before recording such events was possible (I say that as though VCRs had the same significance as the invention of the wheel).
Snagglepuss was a great friend of mine, with his catchphrase “Heavens to murgatroyd” and exit, stage left. If you Google “murgatroyd,” you will find that Snagglepuss himself is credited with the creation of this word.
When my mother played house with my little girls, she often referred to herself as Mrs. Murgatroyd, so Snagglepuss had affected her life as well as mine.
Snagglepuss was a pink anthropomorphic mountain lion, if you recall; a proper sort of gentleman despite his heavy lisp and effusive use of language. Though his words were grammatically correct, Snagglepuss said them out of order and liked to finish up a sentence with an even.
He had lofty ideas for decorating his cave but none of them seemed to pan out quite as he expected. He got his start on a few episodes of Quick Draw McGraw, who was created by the same folks that thought up Huckleberry Hound and all these characters had the genius voice of Daws Butler, including Yogi Bear.
I loved them all, and Saturday mornings were special because we didn’t stare at the television much beyond that unless we were sick and convalescing on the sofa or the weather was just too miserable to play outside (and it had to be pretty miserable before we wouldn’t brave the elements).
Most of those cartoons are the same age as me, many of them finding their beginning in the early 1950s. Clips of some of them can be found on YouTube, though it doesn’t have the same charm without the cereal and milk and the hum of the television tube.
I think I was very lucky to share my growing up days with those characters. I know they made the journey a lot of fun.
wendistewart@live.ca