Why is it that a short bout on the rollers is all that it takes to have a virtual overload of ideas for posts. Maybe it is because I have been lacking this particular out for 'creativity' or maybe it is simply because it is new and we are still in the courting stage. Regardless of the reason, while spinning away just now watching a Science Channel show on galaxies I had a virtual flood of topics. Look for random postings on some of these in the near future. I must warn though that there will be little or no cycling related content in these, which actually was my intent in starting this space. Race reports get really stale really quickly. Even though cycling and racing bicycles is a major component of our collective beings, in reality most of us are about so much more than that.
As such, lets start with one of those things right here and now, my own personal fascination with all things Bigfoot (Sasquatch). Now I don't profess to be a legitimate Cryptozoologist or other professional that studies things that don't exist, but I know a thing or two on the topic thanks to Leonard Nimoy and his riveting documentary, 'In Search of: Bigfoot'. To this day I am still intrigued by the cult that is Sasquatch. One of my favorite guilty pleasure sites (no, not that kind of internet based guilty pleasure) is the BFRO. They have detailed accounts of siting reports. One report in particular is a great tale that has particular meaning as it is in an area not far from our place in Maine, very near where we often snowmobile. Maybe it's because I grew up in the 70's and early 80's, a time that was full of references to the mythical man-beast that some speculate could indeed be a descendant of the long though extinct, Gigantopithicus or 'Giant Ape'.
This time period saw a virtual Bigfoot mania and I was bombarded by the creature as a child through direct media references on all three television stations that we got at the time, while I was growing up in rural Northeastern Vermont. By the way, the image on that Wiki page is taken only a few miles from my folks. Sure, having grown up in the backwoods, away from any real civilization or other people for that matter and basically having no friends to play with certainly may have aided in my somewhat wild imagination.
There is, however, no disputing that prime-time television saw a guest appearance by Bigfoot (yes, I realize it wasn't the real Bigfoot but simply an actor dressed as Bigfoot) in one of the best television series ever produced, the Six Million Dollar Man. Astronaut Steve Austin battled with the misunderstood alien-monster-bionic Bigfoot who happened to be portrayed none other than Andre the Giant, in one of the most remarkable and realistic fight scenes even captured on live action film in 'The Secret of Bigfoot'. Of note was a cameo by the franchises other bionic hero, the lovely Jamie Sommers , the Bionic Woman, who by the way is a 35. Later there was a rematch in the aptly titled, 'Return of Bigfoot'.
Bigfoot was also on the big screen, which meant he would soon show up on the little screen as well. I'm not talking that modern Harry and the Hendersons crap, I'm talking real, scare the living sh!t out of kids just from the commercials for the week's ABC Saturday Night Movie level stuff. Movies like the Legend of Boggy Creek and other timeless classics made for many a sleepless night for kids that saw a little too much for their own good.
The mainstream references didn't stop there. Prime time is one thing as parents could realistically sensor the viewing of young children in those cases. However, during Saturday morning cartoon time when all eyes were tuned to Looney Tunes or creapy 70's Psychedelic shows from Sid and Marty Kroft like Sigmund and the Sea Monster and Land of the Lost ... wait a minute. No F-ing wonder I had nightmares until I was 20 years old. That crap is still traumatic to watch even as an adult. Between the Sleestacks and the Sea Monsters it's amazing I got any sleep as a child.What the hell were they thinking putting that stuff on TV for little kids to watch. Geeze!
So, back to my point. Saturday mornings were basically designed to terrify and traumatize the children of a pre-ADHD and pre-Ritalin society into submission. As such and in holding with that theme, we also had a Saturday morning series that put a new twist on Bigfoot and made him the leading man and a benevolent soul. This series (technically I think there may have been only one episode) was the all too short lived Bigfoot and Wildboy. Basically in that period you couldn't have a successful series without a guest appearance by the big furry guy.
Today we have the Discovery Channel, the History Channel and the Science Channel and of course, the Internets, all of which delight in presenting and subsequently scientifically debunking new evidence as to the existence of some creature that is as of yet still unknown. The shows are all the same as are the eyewitnesses and and their new found proof. It never seems to stand up, but that isn't really the point. Let's face it, it's sheer entertainment and Bigfoot, and of course sex sells.