Question: My mother told me my favorite show when I was little was the children's show Pinwheel. I don't remember anything about it. Could you fill me in? It was probably around 1984-87, but I am not sure. Thanks.
Answer: If the show was your favorite, you're certainly not alone, Julie the show stands out in the memory of many a Gen-Xer. Pinwheel began life in Columbus, Ohio, in 1979 on The Pinwheel Channel, which featured the show five hours a day. I'm betting, however, that you didn't catch it until at least a year later, when that channel went national as Nickelodeon. Nick, which would go on to become the children's juggernaut it is today, kept Pinwheel on its schedule until 1989.
Much like Sesame Street and Mister Rogers' Neighborhood before it, Pinwheel featured human hosts Jake (George James) and Kim (Arline Miyazaki) and a whole world full of puppet pals. Among the latter were such lovable creatures as: Silas the snail, who was forever heading to the snails' convention but never made it on time; Molly the elderly, blind mole; Plus and Minus, who were locked into a never-ending game of tag; Ebeneezer T. Squint, a foul-tempered green being of indeterminate biological origin; fortune-teller Orelia; Luigi O'Brien, who could talk to vegetables; Hobo Bugs Herbert; and Lulu.
Jake and Kim may have been mere humans, but they, too, had special abilities. Jake stored sounds in boxes and would let them out when the mood struck him, while Kim was forever creating very cool works of art. Also on the human roster were Smitty (Dale Engel) and Sal (Betty Rozek), two newshounds from the local paper whose main mission in life was to track down the elusive Admiral Bird (elusive only to them, of course the bird appeared frequently to everyone else).