Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Pufnstuf at North Star Mall

North Star Mall is turning 50 years old this month. There is a celebration going on with a time capsule being opened. I put together some memories and photos for an Express-News submission.

For some reason, what always sticks in my mind is the red tile on the floor It was brick or saltillo, I can't remember. And the popcorn smell in the Walgreens. The high ceiling in the main "drag" by Luby's (still there)

And field trips to see movies at the General Cinema Theater: "Scrooge" with Albert Finney and "Oliver." I saw the feature "Pufnstuf" based on the cult Saturday Morning series. Many years later, I remember going to see "The Jerk" or "Black Hole" (not sure which) and being turned away due to the theater filling up and having to endure "Scavenger Hunt" in twin theater.

I remember one time going to see Anissa Walker ("Buffy") from "Family Affair." The crowds were so unruly and large for this doomed young starlet, that she had to be carried around on someone's shoulders.

The following pictures, taken by family friend Jimmy Kafka, detail an event I attended which featured HR Pufnstuf and many Krofft characters along with the iconic SA fixture Captain Gus. This must have been at least 1971 or so as "Lidsville" wasn't released until that fall.

The Rockstar arrives sans Witchiepoo - HR Pufnstuf:

The Krofft brothers denied it, but here is Pufnstuf tripping:

I just asked Pufnstuf if I was on acid at the time:

A couple of characters from another Krofft show: "Lidsville":

Trying to swing with a star:

The North Star Mall "Mascot" was hot.

No event would be complete without Captain Gus. He hosted the local Channel Five kids show which featured Popeye cartoons and Little Rascal shorts, "Ahoy Mateys".

Captain Gus. All these kids had been on his show at one time or another.

The politically incorrect "Frito Bandito" was replaced by this character-WC Fritos, a child-hating drunk.

I couldn't wait to get some Pufnstuf:

Puf was checking out the North Star - didn't even notice me there. Damned stoned dragons.

Future Tea Party members await their LSD-inspired puppet icons:

Coming of age- Not only did I have to deal with the North Star-let, but Pebbles was growing up as well.

1 comment:

  1. Great pix, but that Pufnstuf looks rough. So many of the "traveling" Pufnstufs looked awful over the decades.