I’ve been watching Our Gang, better known as The Little Rascals, with my daughter and it really surprised me. Here you have kids begging for food, kids with ripped pants and cow licked hair, little girls in curls and a dog named Pete.
I was thinking today, as the main theme song came through our living room, how many of my generation would remember that nostalgic tune. I certainly did!
Many years ago I saw some of these episodes while attending World of Life Bible Institute in New York, back in 1995 actually. The Little Rascals were clean I guess, so they played them in the dinning hall one night. It wasn’t the characters that struck me, it was the backgrounds behind them. Even now I watch them with my daughter and I marvel at the art deco furniture, the big cars, the scenes of L.A. Country before it really took off, little houses, and dirt roads. It was the calm before the end of the depression would sweep over that place (and don’t get me wrong, the Depression was a bad thing for people going through it).
On a side note, a student, a girl about 10 years old, came to class wearing a shirt that said Shirley Temple across it. I asked her if she knew who that was and she replied, “Yeah, I know who she is!” Amazing!
There is something about those old films too, a sense of peoples worth. Being poor made every kid, black or white, equal in a natural way. It didn’t matter who you were, you held hands with your friends and shared. Sad though, some of the later episodes seem to “white wash” this more and more. But those earlier films were very different in an innocent way.
As Spanky used to say,
“Well, there it is.”
Keep writing, and watch the old stuff, sometimes it’s good.