The Popcorn Stand: Forming a more perfect union |

The Popcorn Stand: Forming a more perfect union

One of the most influential people of my generation you never heard of died on Monday. I still don’t know if I’m part of the Baby Boomers, Baby Busters or Generation X or all three but this man had a huge impact on all three generations.

If you grew up in the 1970s and to a certain extent the 1980s, you remember watching Saturday morning cartoons on ABC and periodically “Schoolhouse Rock” would come on. The man most responsible for that educational series using music to get kids like me to learn, Bob Dorough, died at the age of 94 earlier this week.

Dorough was actually an accomplished jazz musician who worked with the likes of jazz legend Miles Davis. But he’s best known for musical numbers like “Three Is A Magic Number,” the first of many “Schoolhouse Rock” songs he wrote and spawned.

The “Schoolhouse Rock” number I remember the most Dorough wrote is “Conjunction Junction What’s Your Function” which of course featured trains joining together to demonstrate what a conjunction does. I learned and, or and but were conjunctions through that cartoon.

And of course there’s “I’m Just a Bill,” a cartoon that’s probably been ridiculed as much as it has been used to teach how a bill becomes a law, but it’s another “Schoolhouse Rock!” I fondly remember.

I still know the first words of the preamble to the Constitution, “We the People in Order to form a more perfect union” thanks to “Schoolhouse Rock!” (The part of the United States was left out so the song could flow more easily). Whenever I want to remember the first part of the preamble, I sing the words to that “Schoolhouse Rock!” song in my head to this day.

Thank you Mr. Dorough, you provided me with fond childhood memories and helped me learn a little bit in the process.

— Charles Whisnand