Growing up in Central Indiana as a kid in the 1960s and 1970s, I must say, was pretty doggone cool.
WTTV-Channel 4, which was Indianapolis’ own television coverage area, offered a lot of community focus and children and teens were drawn to three Hoosier celebrities, Cowboy Bob Glaze, Janie Hodge, and Bob Carter creepily known as Sammy Terry.
This trifecta was more than local celebrities. Whether it was at a local shopping mall, county fairs, skate rinks, or other major or minor community events, they were leaders and volunteers, giving much of their time to charity or fundraising events.
For nearly two decades, Cowboy Bob hosted the afternoon cartoon session of “Chuck Wagon Theatre” which was later renamed “Cowboy Bob’s Corral.” Every week day, this gentle homespun giant led viewers in songs and stories, life lessons, and other ideal activities, segueing into cartoons.
About Cowboy Bob: https://youtu.be/G8uMUhWsHGM
Janie & Popeye was the after-school hostess who offered a similar format but with her own delightful, feminine touch. Janie, also a musician and music educator, included a good deal of singing during her program and featured many performing artists and organizations from throughout The Hoosier State. Janie and Cowboy Bob were often teamed up for events both on and off television which led many to believe they were married to one another. They were not.
About Janie: https://youtu.be/4KklQcCiiOQ
I don’t recall Cowboy Bob visiting my home town, Elwood, Indiana, but Janie, and later, her successor, Debbie, visited the skating rink during my Washington Elementary School years when Carole & Bruce Boston owned the facility. It was pretty cool to be in fourth grade, holding Janie’s hand as we skated around the rink.
And, then, Friday nights, the eery introduction to Nightmare Theater with its ghoulish host, Sammy Terry, came on around midnight. The chill floated throughout many living rooms as Sammy Terry and his floating rubber spider, George, introduced the program’s featured horror movie.
About Sammy Terry: https://youtu.be/lTGmQ3G6A9Y
I consider myself lucky to have had these three personalities around throughout my childhood. Janie, Cowboy Bob, and Sammy Terry have each passed on, but what a legacy they left to countless viewers and fans during their heyday.
About Cowboy Bob and Janie shows…. https://youtu.be/HjDYBjdnCpM