I last wrote a column about J.P. Patches some four years ago, so I figured it was time for an update. Especially since hearing rumors that he is going to hang up the tattered coat for the last time this year.
The J.P. Patches Show aired in Seattle for 23 years, making it longer-lived than most any other local TV show including Sewing With Jesse Jones, Jean Enersen’s Do-it-Yourself Auto Repair and Juicing with Conrad Lee.
But long after the beloved children’s show ended in 1981, its star – Julius Pierpont Patches – has continued to make public appearances everywhere from county fairs to birthday parties.
But now he’s retiring? I took the great clown to lunch so I could get the story straight from the horse’s mouth:
JP: What are you saying? I look like a horse?
PC: Not at all. By the way, how old are you now?
(JP rose from his chair and stomped his right foot on the floor 83 times.)
PC: To anyone who grew up around here in the ’60s and ’70s you’re an icon.
JP: Thank you. That’s how “I conned” you into buying lunch today.
PC: While people may remember your show best for how funny it was, you also made a point of giving kids good advice.
JP: Well, yes. Up to a point. I mean, I never said, “Turn the TV set off immediately and go outside and play.” But we did give kids a J.P. Patches Check List.
PC: That list included things like “Mind Mommy and Daddy” and “Share Your Toys.”
JP: Yes, along with “Floss Your Hair” and “Comb Your Teeth.”
PC: All these years later, what additional things would you put on that Check List today?
JP: 1) Share Your You-Tube Videos – and re-tweet whenever possible.
2) Delete Forwarded Jokes. And …
3) Don’t Even Think About Getting a Tattoo There.
PC: So what’s this talk about you retiring?
JP: I’ve got some health stuff going on that gets me pretty pooped. So I’m cutting my schedule way back.
PC: I hope you’re pulling my leg.
JP: That’s yours? I thought it was the table leg.
You can see J.P. in person at 2 p.m. Saturday at the Evergreen State Fair. Then, he’s at the Fisherman’s Fall Festival, Sept. 17.
Pat Cashman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.