It was announced on my local news this morning that Don Herbert, better known to adults and children everywhere as “Mr. Wizard,” passed away on Tuesday at the age of 89, the victim of bone cancer (multiple myloma).
From 1951-1965, Mr. Herbert, with the help of a child assistant, demonstrated basic scientific principles through simple, fun, and “mysterious” experiments every Saturday morning on his half-hour television show, “Watch Mr. Wizard.” Later, in the 1980’s, he returned on “Mr. Wizard’s World,” a program undoubtedly familiar with fans of the Nickelodeon network. His strategy for each show: hook the kids with the experiment before explaining the science.
New facts for me about Mr. Herbert: he was born in Waconia, Minnesota and grew up in La Crosse, Wisconsin. He was also a B-24 bomber pilot in World War II, being awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal with three oak-leaf clusters. So, this morning, the world not only mourns a television personality but yet another member of the Greatest Generation.
Thank you, Mr. Wizard, for all you contributed to the world. I, for one, appreciate it.
For those of you who rarely, if ever, caught an episode of Mr. Wizard (like me), the original program is available on DVD from Mr. Wizard Studios.
Inspired by a little-known picture book from the pen of Bethany Tudor, this is a diary, of sorts, where I document some of my thoughts, activities, and ideas as I explore the challenges met by the characters in the story: hard work, the care and nurture of others, housekeeping skills, life changes, charity, community, and cooperation, among others. Like Samuel and Samantha, the ducks in the tale, I struggle and succeed, cope and celebrate, work and play, handling the tasks that come my way. I invite you to join me on my journey.