Remember Woodsy? He was created for the first Earth Day, in 1970, and he represents the US Forest Service. His motto: Give a Hoot, Don’t Pollute. I think he also encouraged us all to never be a dirty bird.
I remember hearing quite a bit about Woodsy when I was young. I guess it was the precursor to today’s environmental movement, with a lot of talk about not littering. In fifth grade, we did a musical about a litterbug and how he was polluting our good earth, etc.
Recently, I was looking through a box of old stuff and came across a picture of Woodsy. Apparently, I’d written to him.
Another famous US Forest Service mascot was Smokey the Bear. We often drove by a sign in a nearby forest, with a huge likeness of Smokey and the message “Only You Can Prevent Forest Fires — fire danger low today.” The “low” was on a sign that could be changed to “high” or whatever. Once, Mom took a picture of me and my sister by the sign.
There was even a Smokey Bear song in my second grade music book. I remember it, because the music teacher, an old lady named Mrs. Judd, cautioned us not to look around in our books! while she instructed us to turn to page 72 to sing “My White Horse.”
On the way to the white horse, I was totally fascinated to see a song titled “Smokey the Bear.” I had to read its lyrics, just a little, and I still remember some of them: Smokey the Bear is a good bear, Smokey the Bear is a wise bear, Smokey the Bear is a wise and good bear; do what he says to do.
Profound, to be sure. But Mrs. Judd was not impressed. I remember her walking over to me and looking down sternly through her big glasses.
“Didn’t I tell you not to look through your music book?”
Uh … yeah, I guess you did. I meekly turned to “My White Horse.”
A child looking through the music book — imagine that! I guess disciplinary issues changed a little in the last 40 years.
Do you remember Woodsy or Smokey?