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With an inherent understanding of children and a good natured sense of humor, Julius Pierpont Patches (J.P. to his “Pals”) helped raise a generation of Northwest children. This is his story…
Seattle has become one of the most important cultural and economic centers of the world.The Seattle baby-boomers and Generation Xers have led the way in business, high-tech, music and the arts. Our area is known for as producing open-minded and creative people.
What shared experience sparked our imaginations? Was it a lack of oxygen at the top of the Space Needle? Was it a bad batch of clams from Ivars? No, I think we all know whose fault it is!
It's J.P., the guy we spent two hours with every day! Two hours a day over 10-15 years adds up to thousands of hours... If you're still reading this should frighten you.
To a child growing up near Puget Sound in the 60s and 70s, appearing on the J.P. Patches show was one of the requirements of a full life (right up there with visiting Disneyland). If you weren't on the show, the next best thing was meeting J.P. in person (and thanks to the generous and indefatigable J.P., there were plenty of opportunities ). It's something that every Patches Pal remembers as a highlight of their childhood.
The Emmy winning J.P. Patches show outlasted other children's programs on the air and in the memories of his viewers. It aired for 23 years on KIRO TV and at one time had an viewership of over 100,000. When it left the air in 1981, it was the longest running, locally produced children's program in the country.
While the kids loved the cluttered set, the wild cast of supporting characters and the slapstick antics of J.P., many of the jokes were only caught by the parents. The show was known for it's energetic and occasionally sophisticated humor.
You bet I was a Patches Pal. In fact, Nancy even went on the show with her Brownie group. They were each given loaves of Sunbeam bread. Years later I finally saw him in person at my high school doing a fundraiser. He was standing outside with some blonde. I was crushed. Ann Wilson
It's a shame to cover up your smile, but now you can wear the famous smile of J.P. or Gertrude! Sure to bring a spark of joy and nostalgia to all who recognize it! A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Seattle Children's.
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