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  • Earle Levenstein

Oh Mickey, My Mickey



I wouldn't be surprised to learn that my very first words were Mickey Mouse. I saw Mickey in comic strips; comic books; animated cartoons; my crayon drawings; still draw him as part of my sign-off on notes.

My grandfather called me Mickey; and since I had a lisp, it was Mickey Mouth.

So you can understand, the absolutely most exciting day of the year for me was Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade and my brother and I—he was three-years older and knew the ropes—would take the subway into Manhattan and that parade was the highlight of my life; and the Mickey Mouse balloon was highlight of the parade.

That went on for years and later, when my children were little and Thanksgiving arrived we'd walk over to Central Park West—we lived in Manhattan—and there it would be; marching bands; balloons; floats and of course, Santa in the final float and it was still something to see.

Then, Madison Avenue moved in with a new crowd; sponsors with something to sell; out with the old gang; hello commerce. Can't stop Madison Avenue—I was one of that crowd; still asking forgiveness—so this Thanksgiving I thought I'd just check the parade on TV.

Wanted to cry.

The parade wasn't about joy; excitement; Thanksgiving; Christmas around the corner. Certainly not about love of Mickey or the rest. It was one long commercial sponsored by the couple in their nest in front of Macy's; chatting away gaily about nothing even remotely related to children or the season; or another couple in another location same chatter; parade passing unnoticed or on a commercial break.

So, there we go; end of the parade that generated the delight and anticipation as prelude to Christmas in those wonderful Macy's windows; and a visit to Santa at Macy's in the toy department.

What next?

My fantasy:

Some nut like me, but with zillions of dollars to spare and a love as deep as mine for Mickey and what he meant and what the parade meant and could mean again, buys the whole shebang. Macy's and the parade and Santa and the warehouse of balloons and…

I'd just ask my fellow nut to bring back Mickey.

Small request.

Big deal for me.

And all the other kids.


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