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.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Goodbye, Mr. Wizard

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.


Anonymous said...

I had suspected that when the news said bone cancer it might have actually been multiple myloma, the same thing my mother died from, also Sam Walton of Wal-mart, the guy who played Ray Barones father on TV show Raymond, and many others...your comments were the ONLY site on the whole web...or any news broadcasts that called it multiple myloma (which is not really bone cancer..but a cancer of the white blood cell..which ends up collecting in the bones)... How did you know that it was multiple myloma.?? .thanks for the info.

Plush Duck said...

Dear Anonymous:

My condolences on your mother. I actually saw multiple myeloma as the cause of Mr. Herbert's death in an article from However, as I can no longer find the article on their website, you may wish to read an interview with Mr. Herbert that is currently posted on It mentions his illness.

As for how I knew about the multiple myeloma. I read it in the above mentioned article, but I am also the wife of a cancer survivor who reads a lot about cancer research and treatment. Also, the weatherman in our ABC market here has battled the illness for quite a while. The station does update articles on him and current research into the illness on a regular basis.

Thank you for your comment. I hope to hear from you again.