Just Can’t Imagine

Some things just have to be together without question. You know, like, toasted cheese sandwiches and tomato soup, peanut butter and jelly.  Crayons and Crayola, preschool toys and Playskool, for another.  Disney and family entertainment. Mickey Mouse, anyone? Winnie the Pooh? Don’t know that I would want to imagine what this world would be like without some of cultural icons that many of us have grown up with. Some are just too sweet to not be a part of our lives. Play-doh, how fun is that stuff to mold into weird shapes or take a cookie cutter and pretend it’s edible?

My son and were I talking about how certain things are considered “institutions” in our American culture. Well, maybe internationally for all I know. When you say, “Peanuts” you think Charlie Brown and Snoopy, Walt Disney and Cinderella’s Castle, you get the idea. Interesting how connections can be made by association. No thinking required it’s spontaneous. Understood, common knowledge that is passed down from one generation to another. Notice how all the well knowns are still here, they haven’t left us. There’s a reason for that: a genuine attachment to what we know is good and what can bypass any language barriers that exist.

Come on, have you noticed how music can make anyone smile? How just someone from another country can visit the United States and immediately recognize a beloved character who’s been around for decades? Hmmm…Mickey, Minnie, Snoopy, Winnie the Pooh ring a bell?

Want more proof of our common cultural icons? What comes to mind when you say hamburgers? McDonalds! Golden Arches! McDs, Mickey D’s.  Ray Kroc had a great idea and his business is still serving billions today.  Pizza—come on, think! Pizza Hut! Okay, I know there are others: Burger King, Papa John’s, etc…

We’ve grown up with many of these common icons and they remind of us being kids, and now we can share with our kids and they in turn can share with future generations. Even when a new kid comes around and tries to give us something new, we still cling to the familiar, the ones we made the late night drive to for dinner or a snack, or maybe we decide to pop a movie in on Sunday just to recapture the Disney movies that were shown every Sunday night.

There’s a recurrent theme going on there: most were entertaining and they still are today. Most were clean and allowed the whole family to watch so that no one would be left out. Sitting down and enjoying a laugh, being in good company, using our minds and hands to create great memories. Yeah, think I may just get my Disney movies out and have a marathon going! Who’s with me?

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