Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Spread the Word: Woodsy Rules!

Today in school, my student teacher "found" my stack of used (and rinsed) Bruegger's Bagel Shop paper coffee cups and asked, during class, "Mr. Scott, why are you saving these cups?" I told the class that becuase I no longer used a re-fillable mug, I was trying not to be wasteful, so I am saving them to bring them home to be recycled. After a brief impromptu soapbox speech about the importance of recycling,I blurted out "Help keep America looking good--give a hoot don't pollute!" My chorus was greeted by... blank stares.

"Does anyone know who Woodys Owl is?" I inquired, sure that someone had either had the characetr and his message shared with them by a parent, or at least had come across his friendly visage online. Again, blank stares.

It was at this moment that I pledged to post something about Woodsy Owl, that anit-pollution (noise pollution, too!) populist of my childhood. Like many children of the early 1980s, legendary U.S. Forest Service mascot, Woodsy Owl, was an important part of my Saturday morning cartoon-watching ritual. Between he, Schoolhouse Rock and Smurfs, I pretty much learned what I needed to in order to navigate the tough hallways of my local public elementary school. Well, maybe the Smurfs didn't help so much.

There are surprisingly few PSAs on Youtube (maybe there just seemed to be more when I was a child) and each seems to have been voiced by a different actor, the above one being clearly voiced by the originator of Disney's Winnie the Pooh voice, Sterling Holloway. As voiced by the late Mr. Holloway, few gigantic woodland creatures can communicate to the youth of America about the necessity for keeping our parks, neighborhoods and streets litter free, like Woodsy!

How unfrontuate that such catchy (and educational) PSAa no longer appear on our airwaves.

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