Re: Captain Fortune on KPIX

05/27/08 - posted by Paul Judge

Sprinkled on this WNP Stories site are number of references to the early days of local childrens TV programs - Fireman Frank, Deputy Dave, Skipper Sedley, Captain Satellite, King Norman, amongst them; all of which I recall with that fuzzy warm memory of childhood excitement that is burnished nostalgia in the passage of the decades.

Captain Fortune did it for me, he ranked as my favorite. His was about the best show next to reruns of the original ‘Our Gang’ or ‘Laurel and Hardy’ shorts that were often broadcast in the early days of television programing.

As Will recalled the opening scene of those kids jumping off a Hyde Street cable car, running up the hill and climbing the front steps of that mansion set my mood to wonder for the duration of the show. The show was quite simple, some of Capt. Fortune’s drawings and story telling, puppet skits, and yes as Jo Anne mentioned, the showing of Crusader Rabbit and Rags the Tiger. I envied the kids who got to be on the show. I’d scan the gallery to see if any of them were my schoolmates.

Peter Abenheim was low key in manner and delivery, he didn’t get hyped up in a character role, he just delivered a consistently interesting show for children. I recall one program that was broadcast on a Saturday morning from aboard an aircraft carrier when the Fleet was in. He had the flight deck crew demonstrate how they helped land and service the aircraft. In the background the skyline of the City could be seen and since TV validated what ever was broadcast on it, it seemed to me that the City was the supporting character of the show. I also recall that for a little while in the early Sixties Peter Abenheim had another show on Saturday mornings in which he highlighted sports cars and other things that went fast along with cool plastic models of cars, planes, and ships and young model makers.

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