Video Vault: Miss Barbara on Romper Room in 1971

Children's show aired 1958-1971 on WEWS

CLEVELAND - Miss Barbara on the Romper Room TV show ended each program with her magic mirror. It seemed as if she saw each of us in our living rooms as she called out our names.

As a Tommy, I had my name called often.

Cameraman Bob Seeley worked on Romper Room and said Miss Barbara picked names she used from the names of people in the studio or on the production crew or from letters sent into her by viewers.

Barbara Plummer hosted the educational but entertaining children's program from 1958 to 1971 on WEWS.

Plummer was a 1948 graduate of Norwalk High School. She auditioned for the show in 1958 and quickly got the job.

In 2007, she came back to WEWS for the station's 60th anniversary. Even for those of us working in TV, it was a thrill to meet our favorite childhood teacher.

She passed away in 2010 at the age of 80.

The show aired live every weekday morning unless Plummer had another commitment. Luckily, the show in our video player was saved because of just such an occurrence.

Taped Nov. 11, 1971, it aired six days later and was directed by Jim Breslin. Breslin was not only a director at WEWS, but an on-air talent as well. He played rugged frontiersman Texas Jim and the offbeat Professor Yul Flunk.

Plummer had six students on this 1971 show. She asks Mister Ike (floor director Ike Meredith) to move the monitor because the young students are mesmerized with seeing themselves on TV.

Children were used for a few shows in a row. One viewer emailed me to say they were used on the TV classroom show for three weeks.

This show brought back some fond memories, such as the children saying the  Pledge of Allegiance and in the background, there are the good behavior icons Do-Bee and Don't Bee, you didn't want to be a Don't Bee.

I have only included a few minutes of the show, not the entire 30 minutes. In this short segment, you get a flavor of the fun and games in TV's simpler time.

Of course, we close with the magic mirror and the closing rhyme so familiar to her loyal viewers, "Romper, bomper, stomper, boo. Tell me, tell me, tell me do. Magic mirror tell me true. Did all my friends have fun today, did all of our friends have fun with us today?" and then the list of children watching.

Did she call your name Nov. 17, 1971?

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