i will never forget that day in the 70s

my brother was going to windsor

to sit in the studio audience

of the bozo the clown show

 watching it filmed live

 the whole neighborhood

had a vested interest in his visit

besides it being so cool to see him on tv

we assumed and expected that

he would be chosen from the audience

for a chance to toss the beanbags into the buckets

and win the bozo grand prize game

this was going to be the best day ever

we knew he was going to win the jungle gym

and our backyard would be

the new official headquarters of endless fun

we ran home from the bus after school

and gathered around the tv

in our family room

to watch it all play out

we could hardly contain ourselves

 it began just as we planned

he was chosen for the big game


he lost on the final toss

that never made it into the bucket

bozo gave a quick chuckle

a wink, a pat on the back

 he had won the second prize

a 6-pack of orange crush 

the family room went silent for a minute

as we realized that

our yard would not be undergoing any major change

and we’d have to find a way to share the pop.

(post below found on a bozo fan club site):
Posted on Monday, November 20, 2006 – 8:32 pm:   

‘I went to see Bozo around 1972-73 also. One of the things that stands out was taking the tunnel to Canada. I also recall getting there late and having to be separated from my two cousins in the seating area. I was wedged in near the top and had to deal with some Girl Scouts kicking me in the back throughout the show. To this day when a Girl Scout asks me if I want to buy some cookies I tell them to go to hell. I don’t forget easy.’

“i’m in competition with myself and i’m losing. “

-roger waters

credits: cklw-tv, womc radio-motor city moments,

mayo playground – archives, pre-1920s, pinterest

49 responses »

  1. did YOU tell the girl scouts to go to hell…..I have another group for you to address immediately….they cannot even hear me when I make absolute sense….they just blink or look down at the floor…and I am becoming homicidal down deep inside…mercy me!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Bozo was a huge deal in Chicago when I was a kid. I think Chicago’s Bozo started the Grand Prize Game, in fact. In ours, the kids tossed ping-pong balls. The prize in Bucket #6 was a Schwinn bicycle, plus they would put a silver dollar in the bucket each day, and whichever kid won got the money. In the unlikely event both kids won, they both got the money and bike.

    I got a kick out of the Girl Scout story….

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The first plush toy I remember having was a Bozo with a cloth body and painted rubber head. I loved him and carried him everywhere. One day I accidentally left him out in the front yard. The next morning I found him torn to pieces. A dog must have found him. I was heart-broken for a long time.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I liked Bozo the Clown, not sure if we’re syndicated but I believe he was the same one your brother tried to win a jungle gym.
    We loved Captain Kangaroo and Mr. Greenjeans. I can picture the first one’s gray, bowl haircut and the latter’s green overalls. 😀
    Sorry about the loss of the neighborhood playground you envisioned but I do like Orange Crush! xo

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This is great, Beth–what a fun read. My little brother was about 4 when he glommed onto Bozo and carried his Bozo doll everywhere. I wasn;t a fan of Bozo but do remember the craze. Thanks for the story!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s