Art Imitating Life

As many of you know, I was raised by a man who frequently wore makeup.  My dad was Ronald McDonald.  Yes, it’s true.  Actually, my dad was an executive with the Kroger Corp. who moonlighted as Ronald on the weekends. I have fond memories of parades, store openings, personal appearances, and driving dad around in costume as he waved to surprised passers-by and delighted children.  Being around Ronald was always adventurous.  In fact, it was at the Cherry Festival in Traverse, Michigan that Ronald and I shook hands with then-president Gerald Ford on the same day that Colonel Sanders greeted dad with a terse, “Hello, clown.”

That was during the heyday of Ronald McDonald.  He was a fast-food marketing icon.  An ad-man’s dream.  And at once point in time he was the third most recognizable character by children in the Happy Meal demographic — right behind Santa Claus and Mickey Mouse.

But today, not so much.  And that’s the gist of the article I just came across called “Ronald McDonald uncool in hipper market.”  You can read it here:

The funny part is that I “predicted” this back in 2005.  In fact, the metadata on the following image says it was created July 9, 2005. 

It was just a joke.  I was transferring some old slides to digital images when I came across a very odd shot of dad, off the beaten path, walking somewhere in Detroit that you would not normally see Ronald.  I don’t know if he was waiting in the wings to join a parade or if he was heading toward an appearance when the photo was snapped.  Ronald was virtually never alone.  He was always thronged by fans and kids — and handlers and advertising execs.  But there he was, by himself, walking through an industrial neighborhood.  It was such an odd picture that I couldn’t help but add a caption.

So here’s the original “predictive” image and caption from 2005.

RIP Ronald McDonald  1963 – 2011

But he’ll always live on in our hearts.   🙂


Jim of Arc

A week ago Sunday I was announcing that the next week’s message was going to concern women and their proper behavior within the church.  And as we closed, I joked that I would have to stay in the building until the parking lot was empty or else the women would be out there with torches. At that point, Conrad said, “Jim of Arc.”  And I knew, somewhere back in my memory, that B. Kliban (author of such notable books as “Whack Your Porcupine” and “Never Eat Anything Larger Than Your Head”) had once drawn a cartoon by that name.  And I had once cut that cartoon out of a newspaper.  So I went digging through my boxes of keepsakes and found it.  And I now I share it with all of you.