Tuesday, February 22, 2011

My Sea Hunt Memory

A longtime buddy posts about the Sea Hunt comics put out by Dell in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Sea Hunt was a TV show that ran from 1957-1961, and longer in reruns (which was where I encountered it). It featured Lloyd Bridges as a scuba diver; I seem to recall that one or two of his sons also appeared on the show occasionally.

I don't have any recollection of any specific episodes of the show itself, but in 1964 my mom took me and my sister to the New York World's Fair. My best memory at that fair was seeing a guy wheeling several baskets full of strawberries. Being a little wise-ass I asked him if he had any free samples, and no kidding he gave me a humongous strawberry! Better still, when my sister demanded that I share it with her, Mom said that since I was the one to ask for it, I could have it all.

Anyway, there was a Sea Hunt exhibit at the World's Fair and since I'd seen the show on TV, I wanted to check it out. It was basically a scuba diver in a giant glass tank, with Lloyd Bridges (on tape) narrating the story of a dive that suddenly went awry. A giant octopus attacked him!

Well, in the tank, the diver grabbed a very fake-looking plastic octopus and pretended to grapple with it. The whole thing was very cheesy. Okay, big deal, right?

Except that even as I was griping how fake it was, I realized that only a year or two earlier I would have been enthralled, and oddly that made me feel a little sad. Not at my earlier self for having been a credulous little kid, but at my (then) current self for being unable to suspend disbelief. It was an odd thing; I realized I was growing up and getting just a tad more sophisticated, and it was a little dismaying.


David said...

Neat story, and I know just how you felt. I don't remember what triggered it, but I distinctly remember lying awake one night and realizing that certain something you allude to was slipping away from me. Funny how all you want when you're little is to be grown up, and then when it starts happening, you feel that sense of loss.

On the up side, at least you got to go to the '64 World's Fair, a subject that fascinates the heck out of me. Alas I arrived in this world a year too late to participate.

Diane said...

I thought this was a wonderful post! I wasn't quite as self-knowledgeable as a child as you were, but I've recently revisited some old childhood favorites. Some hold up quite well - for instance, Madeleine L'Engle's "A Wrinkle in Time". That was my favorite book when I was 9. I don't identify as strongly with Meg now as I did then, but the story is still entertaining and the characters fascinating. On the other hand, I went back on Hulu and watched some episodes of "My Mother The Car", which I had thoroughly loved as a girl, and was astounded at just how horrible they really were - not at all as I remembered them. Sometimes perhaps it's not a good thing to revisit childhood memories...

Blaze said...

My good friend acquired copies of the old "japanimation" show "Marine Boy". I loved the cartoon as a lad and asked to borrow the tapes. He wouldn't let me. He regretted having watched them and been exposed to their actual quality. He wanted to spare my blurry childhood memories.