Monday, October 20, 2008

Sunny Days

Friday night I was invited to have dinner with Carole Hart because it has become clear I have a slight obsession with the book she co-created, Free To Be You and Me. The 35th Anniversary Edition has new artwork by local artist and children's book author Peter H. Reynolds and he graciously invited me to join them at a local Japanese restaurant. I promised not to break into any Free to Be songs.

She told the story of how Marlo Thomas brought her a set of tales to counter the traditional ones currently read to children. She encouraged Marlo to find stories that were even more challenging to the stereotypes of the day - that girls had to be pretty and boys couldn't cry. That only girls played with dolls and couldn't be athletic.

But what made me nearly fall over was hearing her talk about starting Sesame Street. She was one of the original writers for the show and won an Emmy in 1970. This woman, and her late husband who wrote the lyrics for the Sesame Street theme song, had an incredible impact on my life and those of millions of children. I was sitting across a sushi boat with a woman who has truly made a difference in the world.

And it took all my power not to cry.

Sunny days
Sweeping the clouds away
On my way to where the air is sweet
Can you tell me how to get
How to get to Sesame Street?

Music Monday at Soccer Mom in Denial

How do you handle meeting an icon?


Brillig said...

Holy crap, that's so awesome. What an amazing. How incredible that you got to meet her!

I think I'd have cried...

Brillig said...

Um, that's supposed to say, "what an amazing WOMAN." :-D

soccer mom in denial said...


I know what you meant - you amazing woman you!

Heather said...

I've never met anyone like that. How lucky that you had such an opportunity.

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

That must have been just a joyous evening!

Goofball said...

wow wow wow, so great that you got to meet her and talk to her.

I didn't know the book, but I did grow up with Sesame street (on Dutch tv). and sometimes when I see it's on, I stop for a couple of minutes again! I hpe it's still on when my children grow up to watch Sesame street.

painted maypole said...

that's so cool!

Peter H. Reynolds said...

That was an experience of a lifetime. Allison, it was wonderful to share it with you. You were a great ambassador for everyone who has grown up with the book!

Anonymous said...

Come and play, ev'rything's A-OK!
Friendly neighbors, there that's where we'll meet!

Can you tell me how to get, how to get to Sesame street!

The beginning of sesame street was right up my alley, SMID. I was 6 when it began.

Great story.