I've done quite a few Loony Tunes charters over the years, but for some odd reason, I haven't done one of my childhood favorites. Witch Hazel, Foghorn Leghorn, Sniffles, Pepe Le Pew, and Wile E. Coyote & Road Runner, have all made appearances over the years, so I'm a little baffled why my favorite mouse of all time, Speedy Gonzales, has not graced our presence. It would hurt my feelings, but I'm the one who decides to feature, so that would just be dumb on my part. So I'm here tonight, correcting that slight on my part. If I never do another one of these features, I can retire a happy man.
I'm not even sure why I love the little guy as much as I do. When I think about him though, I smile. It's that frickin simple. Speedy Gonzales made me happy as a kid, and those memories, makes me a happy adult. I grew up in a very abusive household, some of you may know how bad it was, though I'm pretty sure I haven't gone into a lot of details about that aspect of my childhood. Let's just say that while my father never took his drunken frustration out of me or my little brother, I had a front row seat for what he did to my mom. One of the worst memories I have as a child, is watching my father beat my mother in our backyard, with a 2x4. He made me and my little brother watch it, all because she wasn't home within the timeline parameters he set for her. That's not even touching the time he took a shot at her, or the time he shot my dog. As an adult, I have very mixed emotions about my father, and they can change daily. Thankfully, that part of my life was over by the time I was eight years old. My mom finally left him, and shortly after he drowned in Indian Lake.
I'm not going into all this because I'm trying to get you to feel sorry for me, or because I'm some over sharer, who never shuts up. I'm telling you this because, as a young child, I needed escapes, somewhere I could go and leave my reality behind for a bit. One of those escapes was cartoons, and Speedy Gonzales played a large roll in allowing me to get away for a while. There was something so infectious about him, so joyful and full of life. Even when he was in a strange or dangerous situation, normally involving Sylvester or Daffy, he was always happy. He never allowed the world to beat him down, or make him less than himself. He enjoyed life, and loved living it. And at 61 years old, he is still enjoying life to the fullest, something I can only hope for at that age. I also think he influenced me on my love of running, but that's a story for another day.