Last night a beloved dear friend of all middle-agers who grew up in the Pacific Northwest, passed away. Julius Pierpont Patches aka J.P Patches (Chris Wedes) was an important figure in my childhood. Every morning I remember getting up at the crack of dawn to see what J.P. & his friends were up to in the city dump. Yes, that was where he lived & resided as the, “Mayor of the City Dump.”
The details are a bit sketchy as I go back to my 5 year old mind. All I remember is this: he lived in a shack, had a sidekick/girlfriend named Gertrude (who was clearly a dude -played by Bob Newman) & he made me laugh & smile. The show was mainly unscripted & there was A LOT of laughing & shenanigans going on. Now – I didn’t like clowns. They freaked me out long before that demonic doll on Poltergeist but J.P. was different. Kind & giving, he made you want to hang-out at the dump. I even remember thinking maybe I’d get a glimpse of him if I went with my dad there! Alas, that never happened but I kept on wishing one of these days I’m going to catch that clown in his natural habitat.
“The J.P. Patches Show,” ran from 1958 to 1981. By the time I was 8 or 9 – J.P was abandoned for stuff like, “Star Blazers,” whose theme song I can still sing this day. My love for J.P & his cross-dressing girlfriend never faltered. It was just time to move from the city dump to Japanese anime & having crushes on cartoon characters.
So to you my old friend, Julius Pierpont Patches, may you rest in peace in that beautiful City Dump in the sky…
(photo Seattle P.I.)