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Chucko was the real deal

October 13, 2008

Re "Charles M. Runyon, 1922 - 2008," obituary, Oct. 9

Chucko the Clown figures in one of my earliest memories. As a young child, I was a fan of the show and was delighted when my parents arranged for me to be part of his studio audience. It was exciting to drive into Hollywood and go into a TV studio.

Chucko's show was all about children's participation. Kids were assigned to one of three circus wagons and competed against each other in playful contests. The day I was on the show, the contest was stacking milk bottles. Kids would take turns running from the wagon to the table and adding another bottle to the stack. When I went to stack my bottle, though, the stack fell down. My wagon lost.

And at that point, a happy experience turned sour. The other kids in my wagon pointedly rejected me. I cried. After the show, all the kids went into a reception room and had ice cream.

I ate alone -- until Chucko saw what was going on. He came over, sat with me and cheered me up. When I was down, he knew he was the one person who could turn it around and took the time to do so. Chucko the Clown was the real deal.

Richard Murphy

Whittier

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