2017 Christmas Countdown: The Search for Chibunkey!

When I was a kid, my grandmother got several catalogs and magazines that truly had big influences on me and my tastes and hobbies. One was the Walter Drake catalog, which, in my opinion, is a shadow of its former self, or perhaps as a kid everything in it held so much wonder for me. Now it just seems like stuff you’d find at WalMart.

But oh, what it held for a ten-year-old back then! See, it was a paper catalog in those days, and in the middle folds of the book were the 88-Cent Pages!!

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The above image is from an 80s Walter Drake catalog on ebay. On the glorious 88-Cent Pages, you chose six items from those pages and they were each 88 cents! There were all sorts of little things from miniatures and  craft items to knickknacks small toys. But I will get to that in another post.

One such item from the 88-Cent Pages was my beloved Chibunkey.

I still remember his description: Cute as a chipmunk, furry as a bunny, mischievious as a monkey–that’s Chibunkey!

Grandmother asked me what I would like for Christmas that year and if I wanted anything from the 88-Cent Pages. I marked Chibunkey and some other items that, again, I will get to later.
I flipped over my stocking contents that Christmas. There was Chibunkey, peeping out of the top, just as if he had stepped out of the catalog.

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Afterween: I review Herbie Hancock’s “Rockit”.

I am truly an 80s lover. I was a teen in the 80s, not a child, but I coveted a lot of things kids liked in the 80s(My Pet Monster, for example) as well as the stuff teens were into. So I feel I have a sort of double-whammy 80s love.

I especially reveled in the music. Although I am probably a bigger fan now of hand-played music, all the techno of the 80s radio airwaves was like nothing we’d ever heard before; it was fresh, exciting, and sometimes really bizarre.

Enter the music video. Called “promo films” in the 60s, music videos were nothing new; it’s simply that when I was a teen a mind-blowingly cool channel called MTV gathered all those promo films of current songs together and came rocking into the lives of those of us who had the mystical “cable”, which I at first thought was an actual cable that connected to a movie theater!!!!!

So where am I going with this? I’m setting up that I was a true MTV kid.  My generation was always ready for the next big video that came out, talking with friends at school about new videos that next day, taping videos on my family’s top-loading VCR to be able to not only hear the song over and over until I could get the record or tape, but to analyze the video or be able to pause it on cool shots and cute guys wearing way too much makeup. Videos might be surreal mini-movies or straight-up “live performances” on stage with the artists lip-synching.

Then there was Herbie Hancock’s “Rockit”.



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