|Happy Little Trees and a Happy Little Bridge|
I was hanging out with some other writers this past weekend (caution: do not attempt this unless you are a writer as well) when someone brought up Bob Ross. If you haven't heard of Mr. Ross, he had a how-to-paint show, The Joy of Painting, on PBS for years. He was quite the personality, with an Afro hairdo and a gentle whisper of a voice as he painted landscapes with his signature "happy little trees" and "happy little clouds." He made it look easy, but as anyone who has tried painting knows, it's not.
Here's a link with some more information about Ross: http://www.mentalfloss.com/blogs/archives/40610
Ross came up last Saturday when one of the writers was talking about her children watching his show after school as she was fixing dinner. She said his soothing voice seemed to calm them. His gentle whisper was in the PBS and NPR tradition of speaking slowly and gently (pace, Fred Rogers), satirized by a Saturday Night Live skit in which two hosts talk about "National...Public...Radio" and proceed to get drunk on non-alcoholic egg nog. "That's some good 'nog!" they say repeatedly as the scene slides into chaos.
But Bob Ross never slid into chaos. He talked about nature and told stories about his pet squirrel, Peapod (I always thought he was saying "Pee Pong"). Our younger daughter Alyssa was especially taken with Ross's show and talked about his painting and monologues. We actually have a Bob Ross how to paint book somewhere in the treasure trove of books in our house. I'll have to go prospecting for it one day.
So, here's to you, Bob Ross. Wherever you are (he passed away in 1995), I hope there are lots of happy little trees.