(No, this isn’t the last blog post. Keep reading.)
April 7, 1991:
On Friday we heard that on this radio station there was this guy named Paul Harvey. (Syndicated.) Mom says that he used to have a newspaper column. Now he has a radio program… Well, his topic for that week’s program was us. We never got to hear it. So Mom called the radio station and asked if we could get a copy of it. (Note: The first time she tried to call, the guy on the other end goes, “This is Viewpoint, and you’re on the air.” I’m not sure what Mom said, but she was pretty embarrassed when she got off the phone.)
April 10, 1991
We got a copy of the Paul Harvey thing. It was actually pretty good.
By then, I guess Thirteen didn’t get her hopes up. XD
There were a few mistakes–like he said that a white limo was waiting at the airport. We didn’t exactly have a white limo. Instead, we had Tim and a shuttle bus.
The Paul Harvey clip was one of those things that most people in our parents’ generation were really impressed by and the three of us, of course, had never heard of.
Though a number of his “Rest of the Story” pieces are available online (mostly classics from the ’50s to ’70s), I searched for hours and never found our particular story from 1991. So the quality issues with the audio presented here are due to it being copied from that cassette we got from WTON (1240 on your AM dial in Staunton and Augusta County, Virginia — which back then was mostly talk, I think, and now seems to be a sports station affiliated with ESPN).
You know, I looked at this image a moment ago, one that I’ve seen probably a hundred times, and I just now realized — it’s no wonder people have gotten confused sometimes about which animated character I am, because if you assume they’re listing our names from left to right, I should be on the far left. They… kinda screwed that up.
Anyway, that’s me on the far right, in the green. (I did have a perm later on in high school, but back then my hair was straight.) Amy’s on the far left.
February 26, 1991:
I forgot to mention our animated alter egos — or, rather, I forgot to describe them.
Sarah looked like hair with glasses, Amy resembled Bette Midler, and I had no eyes.
So yeah. Nothing fires up teen insecurity like having a caricature of yourself broadcast on national TV. I mean, not that it’s a terrible likeness or anything, but…
Some random notes for the record: This was a time when tunic tops and leggings were in style, so coincidentally, I actually had an outfit in almost those shades of green. The wristwatch I’m wearing is, if I recall, a nod to the Bugs Bunny watch I wore back then. And (as I mentioned in this post), though there was talk at one point of letting us record our own voices, that didn’t happen, and we were voiced by three of the show’s regular voice actors. (We weren’t very happy about those thick accents, either — though that’s another aspect of our characters that’s mellowed for me over time.)
One thing I was never able to get my hands on, though I wanted one even then, was a production cel of my character. (Here’s a Wikipedia link for those of you who aren’t up on animation terminology or are too young to remember when cels were still being used.)
At the time, we were told there had been some sort of problem with the cels from that episode and that as a result they would never be released for purchase. Before we were married, my husband, who’d been collecting Tiny Toons cels for a while, was able to get one from the show’s notebook-paper segment, but we never saw anything else offered through Warner Bros.’ regular sales channels.
Apparently whatever process was being used to transfer the drawings to the cels (instead of hand-inking them like they did in the old days) resulted in lines that gradually faded, and there was also some mention that there were no plans to release any cels with anyone’s likeness other than a regular Tiny Toons character (legal/copyright reasons, maybe?).
All that said — I did happen to run across the image below several years ago on a Russian fan website. I don’t know if this was something they personally owned or just an image snagged from somewhere else online, but it certainly got my attention.
It’s an interesting line, being able to say that you were once a cartoon character. I don’t know how many people get to say that who weren’t already celebrities being parodied or guest starring in one show or another. I’ve gotten older, as humans all do, but the cartoon version of me will be Thirteen forever. I like to think she’s still writing Tiny Toons scripts on that ’90s-era computer.