By John Matonich
I was listening to the news on the radio the other day and heard a report about a young lad who was reunited with his teddy bear at the Dallas Airport. He put his bear down while his parents were retrieving their luggage at baggage claim and forgot about it for a bit while they exited the airport. When he realized his bear was missing they went back to the baggage claim area only to find the bear wasn’t in the seat he was left in.
The young lad was devastated, according to the news report, until his parents reported it to airport authorities. They learned the bear was retrieved by an airport worker and was placed in their lost and found area. Boy and bear were reunited and all was right with their world.
Some might have thought it must have been a slow news day to make this story relatively high on the news agenda for that report, but I disagree. It never hurts to hear a “good news” story every now and again especially if you can relate to the story. I can’t personally relate, but was involved in a similar story many years ago.
Our whole family packed into our 1966 Chevy station wagon one day and headed to a small town about 45 miles away to pick up my mother’s brand new 1972 Ford Pinto station wagon. If I remember correctly, it was the first brand new vehicle my mother ever had. My dad, mother, younger sister and two younger brothers and I all headed there together to be a part of this monumental event. My youngest brother was about 5 or 6 years old at the time and had with him his pride and joy… Topo Giggio.
For those who don’t know about Topo Giggio, he was a puppet that was a frequent guest of Ed Sullivan on his Sunday evening program at that point in time. Topo would blush and say “Oh, Eddy” while he seemed to kick the dirt over whatever Mr. Sullivan had just said to him. My youngest brother had received a stuffed Topo for some reason and was pretty attached to it.
After all the paperwork was signed and all of our belongings were out of the Chevy my parents were trading in, my father suggested having lunch at a local restaurant to celebrate. We were rarely ever able to afford to eat out, so we all jumped at the suggestion. Down the road a little ways we went and found a little mom and pop place to share a meal.
I remember we had a lot of fun at the place and enjoyed the day as a family which was pretty cool all in itself. We finished eating, got back into the new station wagon and headed for home. All was right with the world until I heard a scream come from the far back of the wagon. It took me a minute to make out what my youngest brother was screaming about until I heard “my Topo Giggio, my Topo Giggio.” It seems in the excitement to get back into the new car; my brother forgot to collect his possession and was letting us all know it was an issue.
My mother who was driving figured out what he was screaming about as well and found a spot to turn around and head back to the mom and pop restaurant. Fortunately, not a lot of time had passed and good ole Topo was sitting in his seat by the table we ate at. My brother gave Topo a big hug and settled in for the ride home. Life was good in the world once again. To this day, when my sister, brothers and I get together for some family event, the “Topo Giggio” story seems to find its way out. My youngest brother turned 50 this year and I am sure would like this story to fade off into the sunset, but I think I owe it to the fans of the Ed Sullivan show to see if they remember Topo Giggio just one more time.
And that’s the situation as I survey it …
After a 35-year career downstate amongst da trolls, during which he built a successful engineering and surveying business, John Matonich is back home in da U.P. His column will appear here occasionally, don’tcha know. His book “Surveyin’ Da Situation” is available on Amazon.com.
Image: YouTube screen shot