lament for a Rainbow

rainbowI am a bookworm, unabashed and unrepentant, this is due in large part to a public television program called Reading Rainbow, hostel by Levar Burton.  Not only did the show introduce children to wonderful books, watching the show you learned stuff that you might never have thought of before. I learned how a hot air balloon was constructed from watching the program.  The book they read on that particular show was about a cat who was unintentionally stranded in a hot air balloon when the ropes keeping it tied down broke.  After the story was done the show went to a hot air balloon race and it was there that the construction was explained.  When the book was about a circus they spoke to a professional clown who worked for Barnum and Bailey Ringling Brothers and Levar got to go to clown school.  That’s the first time I remember hearing the names Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, and Emmett Kelly.  Years later, when I was watching a DVD of the Carol Burnett show with my grandmother and Emmett Kelly made a surprise appearance I was in jest as much awe as everyone in the original audience had been.  Emmett Kelly was arguably the most famous professional clown in the history of the Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus.  I doubt I would have ever known that  were it not for Reading Rainbow.  It’s 26 year run ended last month, and I am sad. Books are truly the gold at the end of the rainbow, and I can only hope that those of us lucky enough to have had that Rainbow to follow can make make some of our own, so that our children can find that precious treasure for themselves. Even though I doubt he will find this blog I’ll say it anyway, ”   thank you Mr.  Burton for helping me become the person I am today.”


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