I am not one to get overly-sentimental or fondly reminisce about "the good ol' days." Yes, there are things I can look back on with fondness in my life, but I try to put my energy into my future rather than my past. It makes moving forward so much easier.
That being said...
Finding out that the king of all car dealers, Cal Worthington, died yesterday at age 92 was a real kick punch in the gut for me. Just as much as Captain Kangaroo or any number of other television personalities, Cal and his dog Spot (which never seemed to be an actual dog) are a childhood memory that never seems to fade. His epic commercials and catchy "Go see Cal! Go see Cal! Go see Cal!" jingle are embedded into my psyche in a way I can't possibly understand. All I know is that I very much remember looking forward to whatever crazy antics he would be up to next, and nothing would grab my attention faster than hearing one of his commercials pop up on the television...
Even though Worthington Ford was based in L.A., his commercials ran in Washington State because of a satellite dealership in Federal Way (a city just north of Tacoma, about 20 miles south of Seattle). As a kid, I kinda wanted to visit there just to see if lions, tigers, snakes, bears, goats, and all the other "Spots" were wandering around. And I'm pretty sure that Young Me could find Federal Way on a map long before Paris or Tokyo.
Cal Worthington stopped making commercials in the mid-80's, and there's no reason on earth he should be in my head after all these years. He's a memory I should have discarded long ago.
But how can I?
"Go see Cal! Go see Cal! Go see Cal!" will undoubtedly be stuck in my head until the day I die.
So thanks a lot, Mr. Worthington... and rest in peace.