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  • Rich Renner

Remembering Gene


"You thought I'd be taller." Rich Renner and Gene London at the Mid-Atlantic Emmys in, oh I dunno, 2005 maybe.

This morning, after I filled the bird feeder, as I do every morning, I stood beneath the oak trees in my backyard and admired the sights and sounds of daybreak. I thought about how often I ignore these marvels in nature. One of my childhood television heroes had passed away recently, someone who, like Fred Rogers, had played a role in the way I interact with the world today. Eugene Yulish, or as many of us knew him, Gene London, was the host of Cartoon Corners General Store. I was fortunate to grow up between two major markets, so my choices of kids’ shows included both New York and Philadelphia programming, Wonderama and Wee Willie Webber, Sesame Street and Captain Kangaroo, Soupy Sales and Pixanne. Okay, I threw Soupy in there to balance out the list, but Lunch with Soupy Sales was off the air by the time I was watching television unsupervised. Anyway, all these people introduced me to what it means to be curious and kind. Bugs Bunny kept me honest, but Gene London reminded me to stop and smell the roses, and maybe to take some time to sketch or write about them. I guess they’re all gone now (all except Bugs), but I hope I’m able to honor the caring nature and humor I saw in them by influencing my own child the way they helped shape who I am today.

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© 2018 by Rich Renner

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