Friday, March 30, 2012

Sepia Saturday: Work?? Oh Pooh!

Sepia Saturday challenges bloggers to share family history through old photographs.

This week’s Sepia Saturday theme is Work. Here is a picture of my dad at work.  Do you see him?

He’s the one balancing a honey pot on his head.  Of course, if you have a head that big, you should be able to balance just about anything with ease.  Here’s another look:

Yes, it’s true.  My dad was Winnie the Pooh.  If you enlarge the picture, you might be able to read the sign inviting everyone to come meet Winnie the Pooh in person. This was a major marketing event for the Sears & Roebuck store in Norfolk, Virginia in 1970.  Sears had recently introduced its new Winnie the Pooh line of infants’ and children’s clothing.

Making the most of Winnie’s growing popularity, Winnie the Pooh appeared on some local television shows.  Mildred Alexander was a local celebrity with a talk show – sort of the Oprah of Hampton Roads.  Ironically, Winnie the Pooh couldn’t talk, so I’m not sure what he did for his guest appearance.  Winnie was a special guest on two early morning children’s shows, “Romper Room” with Miss Connie and “Flibbertigibbet.”  In some little skit Winnie had to chase Flibbertigibbet around a tree.  It’s hard work being Winnie the Pooh. 

He also appeared on the “Bungles” show which came on late in the afternoon and managed to hold onto a strong market share opposite Mike Douglas, believe it or not.  Bungles showed Three Stooges shorts and announced birthdays on Fridays.  Sorry to say, I don’t remember what Winnie did on that show other than dance with Bungles.  Winnie probably tried unsuccessfully to do the Bungles wave (hands up, palms out, wave your pinkie – did Winnie even have a pinkie?).

from Google Images

You are no doubt wondering how one gets to be Winnie.  Like Superman, Daddy had an identity he showed to the world.  Daddy was actually the mild-mannered department manager for Infants Wear at Sears.  I don’t know if he volunteered to be Winnie or if the title was thrust upon him, but for the time he worked at Sears he was a devoted employee.  He rotated through several departments building up the sales force and increasing sales. 

Being Winnie was just one of Daddy’s many roles at Sears. Every year the employees looked forward to the skits Daddy wrote for in-service training because they were usually so funny.  When the topless bathing suit was making the news, his skit was about the topless bathing suit that Sears would be selling in the upcoming season.  He wanted the sales people to get a preview so he planned a fashion show with live models.  Well, you can guess where this is going.  Out came the hairiest men he could round up to parade around in swim trunks.  That was very risqué comedy in the 60s.  He brought the house down with that one. 

To see who else has clocked in to work, head on over to Sepia Saturday. 

©2014, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.


  1. Oh what a post. Love it. Now that is what I call work!

  2. What a fun post. I'll bet your Dad had as much fun as the kids.

  3. Wendy, this is a gem.What fun your Dad was - as well as very hardworking.

  4. That job sounds more like fun than work.

  5. Yikes. I applied for a job at Sears once. Just think, they might have made me dress up as Eeyore!
    Your dad must have been a fun loving guy as well as very loyal. That was such a fun and interesting post.

  6. Wow, what a dad! I bet all the other kids were jealous. He sounds like a really great guy. I would have loved to have seen that fashion show.

  7. Girl, this post is a HOOT! Daddy would have had something to say for sure!

    He REALLY was the best! We couldn't have gotten any luckier in the parent department-hmm...I wonder if there was a Parent Department at Sears. Surely Daddy would have been manager. I kill me.

    Your baby sister
    PS Bungles is kind of scary looking!

  8. What a guy. Not many people can say that their Dad was Winnie the Pooh. What a sport he must have been. I bet people loved working with him.

  9. What an enjoyable post! Your dad must have been a wonderful employee and a fun person to work with. It's neat that you featured your dad working at Sears. My grandmother worked at Sears for many years and I've included a photo of her in my post this week.

  10. The topless bathing suit story made me laugh - great post!

  11. It really brings out the fun in work. I bet he had some great sotries about these episodes. A very different varied career.....

    1. Wendy, what a great story! Not everybody can say that about their dad. We had a Sears in downtown Eugene, and I really loved that old store, with the stairs in the middle of the top floor and the basement. The lawnmowers, photography studio and tools were downstairs, and the baby dept. was upstairs. My MIL gave me the money to choose the stroller that I wanted for our first baby, and I chose a Winnie the Pooh stroller. That thing really lasted!

      Kathy M.

  12. Gave him a chance to get out of the office for sure.

  13. Very entertaining post, Wendy. Your Dad sounds like he was a fun person to work with, and Sears must have appreciated his hard work and loyalty. I bet he was great to work with :-) Jo

  14. Very entertaining post, Wendy. Your Dad sounds like he was a fun person to work with, and Sears must have appreciated his hard work and loyalty. I bet he was great to work with :-) Jo

  15. Very entertaining post, Wendy. Your Dad sounds like he was a fun person to work with, and Sears must have appreciated his hard work and loyalty. I bet he was great to work with :-) Jo

  16. Oh my, what a grand group of shots. Makes me think of the people walking around Disneyland in costume. Always an odd way to interact with someone. You see Goofy, but you know inside there's some poor soul dying in the heat.

    And the memories of local afternoon kid shows is wonderful. Those were great.

  17. Must have been fun to work with him. While I worked at Eaton's, I was not a comedian, but quite the prankster and the joker, but that last one was often unintentional. I just had a way with words.