TV show reminder of youthful imaginations

By Grant McGee: Local columnist

The public television station out of Portales, KENW, runs a kids show every weekday afternoon called “Jakers! The Adventures of Piggley Winks.”

It’s an animated show that originates from the United Kingdom. The show revolves around Piggley and his friends: Ferny the bovine, Dannan the duck, his sister Molly and a bunch of other barnyard pals.

I like to watch this show. It doesn’t matter to me that it’s created for kids between 4 and 7 years old, it’s one of my guilty pleasures. The Lady of the House and I watch it in the evening after capturing it on the video recorder.

Each episode, Piggley and friends find themselves in some sort of situation, which they solve while learning something and having fun. They also use their imaginations and whatever they can find lying around.

An episode where Piggley and his pals put a rough wagon together and called it a spaceship reminded me of when I was a kid; when nothing made me happier than to ride my red Radio Flyer wagon down the hill near my house.

There was a school at the top of the hill. A long sidewalk, probably a good 300 feet long, ran from the top of the hill straight down to the street. My friends and I would pull our wagons up to the top of the hill and fly down the sidewalk.

Then my buddy Catfish and I discovered the fun of riding in big cardboard boxes down the grassy side of the hill. The ride was shorter but surprisingly faster. We’d face the bottom of the box toward the bottom of the hill, hop in and ride down. Then we carved windows in the bottom of the box so we could see where we were going.

Soon we created larger crafts by putting boxes together with large amounts of masking tape. We wrote names on the sides of our “ships” like “Enterprise” after the big spaceship in the new TV show “Star Trek.” That allowed two or three of us to ride down the hill together. The problem was the taped-box ship usually was good for only one or two rides.

There were other great ideas, like making the spaceship that would fly into the sky with a rope and pulley, the giant slingshot made of tire inner tubes and a forked tree. Then there was the great idea of the giant box kite with a pocket to carry someone into the sky.

I got the giant kite idea on a windy March day. We’d need some sturdy rope, wood and material. I was sure my mom would help me put it together. I’d have the rope on a big spool and control it while Catfish sat in the kite and rocketed into the sky. He could tell me how great it was, maybe take pictures.

(I didn’t trust Catfish with the rope. He once left me hanging in a parachute harness in a barn for a couple of hours after telling me how fun it would be.)

When I told my mom about my kite plans she laughed a lot and went back to doing the dishes.

So I’ll just sit back and watch Piggley’s adventures every afternoon and remember what fun it was to dream of fun things to do years ago when I used my imagination and thought just about anything was possible.

Grant McGee hosts the weekday morning show on KTQM-FM in Clovis. Contact him at: