Ungowa! He’s Dead Bob and I’m the Kingfish.
We’re the founders of the Official Ketchikan the Animal Man Fan Klub.
The Klub was hatched during the last home leg of an expedition to the far North Country. Suddenly it dawned on us, both, that our life’s most burning ambition was to track down the idol of our youth, Ketchikan the Animal Man. And then to get him to pose for pictures with us.
It’s no secret that if you lived out your 60’s era boy or girlhood in the shadow of the Space Needle, you spent many joyous hours wondering at the technological wonders of the cartoon funhouse, the Mayoral Residence of Julius Pierpont Patches, Mayor of the City Dump. Anything might happen and did! Why with the invention of the ICU2TV it became possible for us to speak directly with our heroes right through our home TV sets! (We can’t understand why this amazing technology isn’t in every home. — We begin to suspect that the ICU2TV has fallen into the wrong hands, and it’s being hushed up for reasons of National Security.)
Ketchikan was our favorite part of the JP Patches show. As little kids we had no idea who Bob Newman was. But, we knew Ketchikan all right. You couldn’t fool us. Gertrude was Ketchikan in a dress, Boris was Ketchikan in a cape, and Gorst was Ketchikan in, well, a gorst skin.
It was only natural that we would be Ketchikan fans. Our tender TV viewing years saw African adventure writ large on the tube. There was Marlin Perkins and Jim Fowler’s Wild Kingdom. Another series, Daktari, starred Clarence the cross-eyed lion and veterinary medicine safari-style. There was Jay Ward’s pun filled George of the Jungle, and Tarzan movies and African thrills galore headlining Jungle Adventure Theatre every Saturday on the fledgling syndicated TV Channel 11. Oh, and there was TV’s own Tarzan, Ron Ely, and there were islands, both Danger and Gilligan’s. How could we not be fan’s of Seattle’s very own answer to Frank Buck?
Still all this might not have occurred to either of us, heck we might never have even met, save for our both becoming Seafair Pirates. But, one day we were chatting about all the fringe benefits of a life of piracy — in particular the number of celebs we’d had our picture taken with. Not least, having already had ourselves immortalized with JP and Gertrude. All at once we both realized that we wanted to have our picture taken with Ketchikan.
There was an obvious problem. Ketchikan had not been seen in twenty years.
Dead Bob and I talked over a number of schemes, but finally we decided that a direct assault was called for. We contacted Bwana Newman and proposed the fan klub. He thought we were nuts, (he still does) but he agreed to the idea.
Surprisingly, the path to the photo with our hero was longer than we’d thought. We had reckoned not with the necessity of creating membership cards, membership certificates, official photos for autograph seekers, t-shirts and Klub premiums of every description. All conjured out of nothing.
But we finally got our picture.
So here you are in the Bongo Congo Kennel! We hope our fellow fans of the JP Patches Show will enjoy what we’ve done. There’s not a lot here yet, but we’ll add stuff from time to time. Eventually, Bwana Newman will have some behind the scenes tall-tales featuring all the characters. And don’t forget to visit the Trading Post! There’s lots of essential gear for jungle adventure in stock now!