Thursday, June 17, 2010

Missing the Magic



Everyone, meet Harold. Harold? This is….well, everyone.

Raise your hand if you remember reading Harold as a kid. (You do know I can’t see you, right? Or….can I?)

I figure Harold’s gotta be around 55 by now. He’s lookin’ pretty good for his age, I’m thinking. Harold has a magic purple crayon. See Harold draw whatever his heart desires…and it becomes real! The book "Harold and the Purple Crayon", written by Crockett Johnson was published around 1955. Even at a tender young age, I realized the magnitude of possibilities behind this concept and was immediately enchanted. I don't think I ever loved our local library more...

To get the lowdown on this warm and fuzzy childhood magic, I thought I’d present to you my exclusive interview with Harold himself:

Kathryn: “Wow, Harold! You look great! A little stooped over…


…but damn good for your age. I see you still travel with your purple crayon. Sweet.”

Harold: “Thanks. Yeah…I didn’t have any hair back then, so it’s pretty much a wash. As for the crayon, it’s my 178,364th one. They really don’t last as long as you’d think….’specially since I can’t, ya know…walk without it.”


Kathryn: “Bummer. But on a bright note, you can draw anything you want…and it comes true! So, what have you been doing with yourself?”

Harold: “Oh, you know…the usual. I played drums in a band…we called ourselves Markers Suck. We never really caught on….”


Kathryn: “Yeah…no. Doesn’t ring a bell. Hey, you can’t be good at everything…”

Harold: “…and I drew really crappy people, so we had a rash of zombie-like-people running out there for a while. On a bright note, it’s where Michael Jackson got his inspiration for Thriller. I’m surprised no-one picked up on it. It’s so obvious.”



Kathryn: “Huh. Now that you mention it…the resemblance is uncanny...”

Harold: “Then, there was that heart scare I had back in ’99…


…till I realized I could draw myself a new ticker and be good as new.”

Kathryn: “Which brings us to the present. So…have you drawn yourself millions of bucks and a beach house in the Hamptons?”

Harold: “Nah. I’m a simple guy. I live in a modest high ranch across the street from a Wendy’s. Life is good. I am thinking about adding a koi pond to the backyard…but they keep coming out looking like sharks. That scares me a little.”

Kathryn: “Wow. That is totally not the way I would have played out that whole ‘magic thing’. But I guess it’s your crayon…”

Harold: “If I had a dollar for every time someone said that to me…”

Kathryn: “Um. Harold?? Ka-ching??

Harold (Surprised): “Ohhhhh…..riiiight.”

WannabeVirginia W. said...

Oh I love Harold. Uhmm. although, I didn't read Harold as a kid. I read the book to both my children. It is an excellent book.

ValleyWriter said...

I've never seen Harold before - but I love your interview with him. Girl, you have one hell of an imagination!

Lynn said...

I didn't discover Harold until I had kids. I was horribly deprived as a child. Harold the inspiration for Thriller? Kathryn, you are a genius.

Carol said...

I love Harold, for whatever reason Mo was not so enchanted, I bought the book anyway and still read it occasionally. He's never talked to me but of course I knew he would talk to you!

Dreamfarm Girl said...

How did I miss Harold growing up? That will forever be a mystery. It would be grand to have a magic purple crayon. Maybe he inspired purple haze?

Gigi said...

I LOVED Harold as a child (still do harbor a secret crush - sssh!). Unfortunately, Harold didn't hold the same fascination for MC.....

Thanks for the memories!

Oddyoddyo13 said...

Ooo! Ooo! My hand's raised! I remember that guy!

The Thriller thing was hilarious. :) You think of the strangest stuff sometimes Kathryn.....Guess that's why you're so funny!

Harold and the Purple Crayon, I might have to read that again!

Lauren said...

I'd never heard of Harold before. He does look good for 55. I think he magic crayoned some years off...

Lauren said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kimberly said...

I had not heard of Harold and the Purple Crayon until now. I'll have to see if it is at our local library.

Loved the interview though! Your imagination is spectacular! :)

sage said...

I didn't realize he was that old, I don't remember him when I was a kid and he'd be just a few years older... John Gaguey (spelling?) was a show I remember watching; he was an artist and taught me how to draw a log cabin when I was in kindergarten, which I'm sure was the apex of my art career.

Runnergirl said...

Never seen it before but I love that idea... although I presume there's some moral at the end of every story...there usually is with kids' stories!!

Loved the interview - me, I'd have drawn a stack of gold bars, cashed them in and bought an AMAZING house in Vermont, or Connecticut. And maybe a lake house in the Adirondacks...

brite said...

Oh Kathryn, what a sweet and lovely post!Thanks hun!

TC said...

GREAT, I vaguely remember Harold, he needs some gold fish drawing lessons now huh?

j.m. neeb said...

Kathryn, I've only recently discovered your blog, but it has quickly become one of my favorites.

Just wanted to let you know. :)

BlackLOG said...

I would have Harold on the naughty step years ago, all that purple graffiti, it’s a disgrace…. We had Mr Ben in the UK – whose adventures were based around fancy dress costumes which is just about more socially acceptable than graffiti, except where he wore that dodgy Rocky Horror costume….No wait that was me…..

Heather said...

Never heard of him, but thanks for the introduction! Wow to have a crayon that can make anything come true that would be soo awesome!

I will bw having something for you on Monday's post. Come on by and get it.

John McElveen said...

I was born in 54. They only had 3 colors in the Crayon box- and Harold had the "Color Purple"--ar ar, custom made for HIM! Butt-hole.

Anyway--another awesome post--and Yes....You are totally in Love with me!

I understand...I'll be patient!

Have an awesome weekend!!!

John

Kristy said...

You are too clever for your own good!

kathryn said...

WannabeVirginiaW: Harold rocks, right? When I asked Connor (13) if he remembered him, he said no. When I mentioned the premise of the book, he said, "Oh. Like the show Chalk Zone?"

ValleyWriter: Harold is a classic. Although, I must admit...some things are definitely better left remembered from childhood. I found the book being read on YouTube...and it was pretty lame!

Lynn: Thanks for the compliment, sweetie. And hey...at least you're making sure your own children don't suffer your horrible childhood fate!

Selina Kingston said...

I've never heard of Harold before today ..... but I love him!!

Spot said...

Hilarious!! Only you would think of interviewing Harold! I tried to keep this book away from my kids because I thought it promoted coloring on the walls, which I am not a fan of.

Thanks for the giggles,
♥Spot

kathryn said...

Carol: Yeah...I'm thinking Harold's a little lame for the next generation. That's okay...he still holds a special place in our hearts, right?

Dreamfarm Girl: Ha! Purple haze...didn't even dawn on me. As he was waaaay ahead of his time, I wouldn't be at all surprised.

Gigi: OF COURSE you loved Harold. As my virtual-twin, how could you NOT?? I've no idea what made me think of him...but I have such fond memories of him. I'm glad you do, too.

kathryn said...

Oddyoddyo13: Why am I not surprised that you know Harold? And at such a tender age? Connor had no idea when I showed him a picture. That's what I love about you, Dani....you're incredibly well-rounded: Thriller and Harold!

Lauren: Of course he did! Wouldn't we all crayon away the years? It's a shame he couldn't draw himself out of those pajamas, though....

Kimberly: Thank you, sweetie. Honestly, I've no idea where it comes from. I definitely feel I need to be studied, though...

kathryn said...

sage: I remember that painting guy! (Never in a million years could I have told you his name, though.) Wasn't he on PBS, or something? I remember he made it look so easy and he was very soothing to listen to. I may have taken some naps during his show.

Runnergirl: Oh, yeah...heavy, predictable moral. So, you're a woodsy gal, instead of da beach? View of the trees instead of the ocean? Really?

brite: Any time, sweets! (Actually, that's presumptuous of me...but you know I'll try.)

kathryn said...

TC: Ha! Yeah....I remember his fish looked menacing and...hungry. I remember fearing that his crappy drawing would eventually lead to his demise. As a kid, I may have actually used those exact words....(ha.)

j.m. neeb: Why, thank you...and welcome! It's always a pleasure to "meet" a fellow blogger...and I'll be sure to stop by and say hello as well.

BlackLOG: And how do you know about the naughty step, mister? Why am I thinking you spent an inordinate amount of time there as a kid?? So, as a kid, you had a cross-dresser as a book-character? I'm not sure which is odder. But thanks for planting the seed of Harold being into graffiti...it hadn't entered my mind! (GRRRRR.)

kathryn said...

Heather: Yeah...it's a great concept, right? Just draw it and you've got it. I could live with that. Thanks in advance, sweetie...I'll make sure to stop by on Monday. I wonder what it could be??

John McElveen: Ha! And why did I love you again? Oh, yeah! 'Cause you leave me awesome, complimentary comments, that's why! Hope your weekend was excellent as well!

Kristy: Aw...thanks, doll. Sometimes, I seriously wonder where the hell it comes from. Then I think, "Who cares? Just let it out." Seems like the wise choice...

kathryn said...

Selina Kingston: Yeah, he's a cutie...right? Still a great concept, I'm thinking...maybe with just the right marketing and PR people??

Spot: Hey! How's Mike?? Wonderful to see you back, sweetie! He must be doing well then, I'm hoping. Yeah, that's what BlackLOG was saying...that Harold was a glorified graffiti artist. (And evidently, not a very good one, either!)

snoble24 said...

lol.i remember that book when i was a kid

Wendy Blum said...

What year was Harold read in school?? I had never heard of him til now. I may have to search for this book so I can read it to my 5 year old. Don't think my oldest(12)will care too much for Harold and his crayon. Love how Michael Jackson got his inspiration for Thriller from that book. Only goes to show how reading can really take you places. I LOVE reading. It rocks =)

John McElveen said...

The comments get's em every time!!

That's my new line-- "Hey, Check your comments section--then call me!"

LOL,

John

John McElveen said...

The comments get's em every time!!

That's my new line-- "Hey, Check your comments section--then call me!"

LOL,

John

kathryn said...

Snoble24: I wish I could remember what promoted me to think of little Harold...but I'm glad I could pass on the fond memories.

Wendy Blum: I have no idea if it even was read in school. I remember reading it at the library. And you're right...your 12 yo will probably think it's lame. Sigh....

John McElveen: Is that your comments section...or mine?? I do (eventually) get to mine...but honestly, I'm pretty bad at re-checking after I've commented elsewhere. Did I miss something??

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