When I was in the third grade, I became slightly obsessed with the TV show Leave It To Beaver. It was on every weekday afternoon when I got home from school. I used to sit in class and daydream about getting home as quickly as I could so I wouldn’t miss a drop of the show. I was too young to realize what was really going on at the time. All I knew was that I got a weird, tingly feeling every single time I saw Beaver’s older brother, Wally. He was so completely cute and dreamy.
I wanted an older brother just like him, but what I had in reality was a bitchy older sister more along the lines of Marcia Brady. (Not to discount Marcia, she was marvelous in her own way. She’s just not what I needed at that time.)
As I got a little older, my attention went to Race Bannon, a character on Jonny Quest. Yes, I had a crush on a cartoon. The family dynamic on “Jonny Quest” was very curious, and I wanted to be a part of it. Jonny’s scientist father had this Race Bannon “companion”, and there was no mother in sight.
I was convinced that my appearances on a local kids’ TV show (This Side Up on WTHR-TV in Indianapolis) would catapult me to the acting career I always dreamed of. I believed I was a shoo-in to play the lead in the live action Jonny Quest major motion picture. Inexplicably, it’s still never been made. I imagine it’s because I outgrew the part before they could get it together. Yeah, right.
Shortly thereafter, I moved on to Erik Estrada, the star of NBC-TV’s CHiPs. I was always more of a sitcom kind of TV viewer, but I never missed an episode of CHiPs. I was entering puberty. The combination of my vivid imagination and an Erik Estrada poster (as his character, “Ponch”) got me through more than a few lonely nights.
I would imagine my life with Ponch, with us both coming home from work and recounting our days to each other. Me, writing brilliant works of best-selling fiction, and Erik as Ponch- telling me about all of the people he arrested.
My family then got MTV and I discovered how sexy music could be. There was a lot of crush-worthy stuff to choose from on the channel, but when I saw the opening seconds of Bow Wow Wow’s “I Want Candy” video, I blocked the rest of the world out. There just wasn’t enough footage of bare-chested, mirrored sunglasses-wearing drummer David Barbarossa for my liking. I videotaped the clip on our giant Quasar VHS recorder so that I could freeze-frame him on my TV. I took blurry pictures of these images with my Kodak Disc Camera. Lots of them, in hopes that I would get at least one that wasn’t too blurry. I bought every Bow Wow Wow album and stared at his pictures. This one was my favorite (from the album When The Going Gets Tough, The Tough Get Going.) I feel like I’m 15 again, just looking at it.
Kevin Kelly became a writer when he figured out the only job he would ever be suited for, Simon Le Bon’s replacement in Duran Duran, wasn’t going to happen. He is also an event planner. View his blog for more of his correct opinions, alarmingly good advice, top-notch reviews, and scrumptious recipes. You can also find him on Facebook and Twitter.