Monday, July 25, 2011

Jean Worthley in Hodgepodge Lodge (1970)

Obscurity factor: 8

This public TV series from the 70's was instrumental in bringing the wonders of nature to children who didn't usually have the opportunity explore it. Produced by its host, Jean Worthley for Maryland public television, each week it featured a different aspect of nature, from pine cones to groundhogs. Jean was sort of like a naturalist Mr. Rogers with her quiet demeanor and kind way.

In the clip above, Miss Jean's friend Michael brings his pet groundhog in to show the other children. It's uploaded by Michael himself - MikeLuck1964. The series isn't available on DVD and there is little web video of it out there. It is remembered by many who were children in the 70's, however, like me.

Obscurity factor: 8 (not on DVD, hard to find, fondly remembered by kids of the era)

19 comments:

  1. For some unknown reasons, the masters of the episodes were destroyed, and now only a few clips are known to exist, unless someone has a collection out there of their own.

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    1. Actually, I work at Maryland Public Television and MPT has located 30 episodes that are now part of a 8 DVD Set available for sale at www.mpt.org/eshop/?q=node/244

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    2. I'm so glad that there's a DVD collection available now. It's such a worthy show... (no pun intended)

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    3. Anonymous can you send me a link that works for the DVD Hodge Podge Lodge thanks so much

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  2. That's sad... Sorry to hear so much of it has been lost.

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  3. OMG I loved this show!

    Thought of it randomly for some reason today, and found your blog (thanks!) and also this:

    Hodgepodge Lodge - 8 DVD set (30 shows) (http://www.mpt.org/eshop/?q=node/244) from MPT. Not so lost after all maybe?

    eric (eric bennett2 [at] cbre com)

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  4. I did 10 episodes of this show when I was 7 or 8 years old, and have always hoped they would show up somewhere. Miss Jean was EXACTLY like she was on the show, off camera. She was so sweet to us as kids!

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    1. http://mpt-shop.myshopify.com/products/244 here you go 30 DVD set $129.99 ...Bobbi :)

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  5. It's such a charming show. If the DVD set weren't so expensive I might buy it...

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  6. in 2008 MPT restored and moved Hodgepodge Lodge from MPT to the Howard County Conservancy... So, if you want to actually visit the Miss Jean's Lodge, you may now do so at the Howard County Conservancy - 10520 Old Frederick Road Woodstock, MD 21163.

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  7. Well, it's all too easy to blame MPT for erasing the master tapes, while it kills me to think that of over 700 episodes, only 30 are left, I can kind of see where they were coming from...Everyday people like us hear "tape" and we think of a VHS tape....the tapes used for masters by studios, were 2" wide, and a reel for a half hour program was about a foot across & weighed 7 or 8 lbs....now multiply that by 6 or 700, and you can see the storage problems....plus, those tapes weren't cheap...adjusted for inflation they were almost 2 grand a reel! Now multiply that by 700, and you're looking at some serious money, especially for a public TV station that is always staring at budget problems......Even if all the tapes did exist, unless they were properly stored, they might not even have been viewable, as the magnetic coating loses its charge, and the tapes dry out or face mold problems....and the special machines required to run the tapes require VERY specialized training, and LOTS of maintenance.....from what I've heard, there are only about 3 dozen of these machines left in the country that are operable! Would be intersting to see if any other public TV stations or libraries/schools have any other episodes kicking around.....BBC launched a campaign to re-claim material they erased, with a fair amount of success.....

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  8. Yes, one can see your point. It would be wonderful to reclaim more episodes. It's such a charming show.

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  9. I was just thinking about Miss Jean earlier this week and decided to Google Hodgepodge Lodge. As part of the "tv generation", I know we hold things like old childhood shows near and dear. There is a Miss Jean Worhtley Award now for service to families and children! Miss Jean was present at the first ceremony, taking impromptu nature questions:

    http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2007-06-07/features/0706070141_1_worthley-hodgepodge-lodge-miss-jean

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  10. What a nice article! Thanks for posting the link...

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    1. You're very welcome! Thank you for such a blog!

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  11. I love that people are still talking about Jean's Show..
    Miss Jean (Checkie) Worthley was my cousin, and my fathers Godmother...
    It was an awesome show.. It was good to see these clips...
    maybe I will buy them...
    Sandy (La Vie) Proctor

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  12. The show definitely left an impression on those of us who saw it as children. It had a real charm...

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  13. It was a wonderful show with a charming sense of humor where I learned a lot about nature. I still sing the theme song sometimes.

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