A grandmother is a mother who has a second chance

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Jiminy Cricket had a very important role in my life

The EN-cyclopedia, E-N-C-Y-C-L-O-P-E-D-I-A. This is the first long word I learned to spell as a kid courtesy of Jiminy Cricket and the Mickey Mouse Club. I also wanted very much to have boobs like Annette, but I digress.

I’m not sure kids today even know what a real flesh and blood encyclopedia is.

When I was growing up I had a set of World Book Encyclopedia (that’s a hard word to type!) that my dad bought for me. They had red covers and the whole world was inside. When my kids were around two years old, their father and I bought a set of Encyclopedia Britannica from a door-to-door salesman. (yes, Virginia, there really were traveling encyclopedia salesmen). And every year we would get the Yearbook with all the updates. I kept this going for almost 15 years until the originals were so out of date that Elvis was still alive 10 years after his death!

My daughter, Jenni, used to read the encyclopedias – a few pages here and there when she had the time. Just for fun. And she’s one of those people who retains everything. Anytime my husband and I are wondering about something, he always says, “Call, Jenni. She’ll know.” And she usually does. My son used them to stack and climb on to reach high places.

Why did this come up, you might ask? Because someone at work who is painfully young gave me a blank stare when I said the word encyclopedia. She said, “You mean Wikipedia?” No, I mean a real book that you hold in your hand and learn stuff from. Geesh.

Now back to my Internet.


Autumn said...

I remember those too. I think we had a volume for every letter of the alphabet. I wouldn't be surprised if my mom still doesn't have some of them in a closet somewhere.

Chris said...

Thanks for the memory. Yes, I had them too. ;)

A Special Family said...

Geesh is right, it's a crime that so many people will never understand the wonder of opening up an encyclopedia. It was a wonderful ritual, tool and experience. I still have mine handed down from my father, but my mother wants to throw them away!!
Ya right!
Thanks for a trip down memory lane!
I actually used to just pick one and look up everything with certain letters, loved it :)

Desert Diva said...

We have those types of people at work. My favorite is the person who said Starbucks is "discriminating" because they are confusing "old people" (i.e. - anyone over 50) with their coffee size terms.

I always see encyclopedias for sale at thrift stores now. It's a little sad.

Now I'm humming the Micky Mouse Club theme song...

Halfmexican Mama said...

Oh man..you were high falutin if you had an encyclopedia set in your house when I was a kid! Almost the equivilent of a laptop!

icanseeclearlynow said...

we had a set of encyclopedias when i was a kid. technology has brought some good changes and some bad. today's kids are lazy about research, even while everything is at their fingertips- usually just a mouse click away. i have a pet peeve about the mini computer, v-tech, marketed towards elementary age kids. i don't see HOW that is better at teaching kids to read than parents sitting down and reading their kids a story. sheesh! but that's just me.

on the other hand, as a writer, i love how quickly i can research a topic for something i'm working on.

geez, though! even if we no longer rely on them, how could someone NOT know what an encyclopedia is. maybe it's because i'm a book lover, my daughters (now 16 and 18) have known since kindergarten what an encyclopedia is.

another good post, babushka.



Scoobers said...

oh, that made me sad for society.
no, but, seriously?

jiminy cricket is rolling over in his little grave.

Fleur de Lisa said...

I LOVED our set of World Book Encyclopedias. Like your daughter, I'd flip through the set, little by little. It fascinated me! I'm sure my mom and dad still have it somewhere.

Sandi said...

Man, now I'm feeling sad that I don't still have my set!! Ah, little Jiminy...