Cornfield Meet

Things collide here.

A fistful of pennies

OhmygoshOhmygosh, I cannot believe this still exists:

Easter Straker's Birthday Chair - Lima, Ohio

Photo: Allen County Museum

Honestly, it doesn’t match up to my memory, but then again, I’m pretty sure I was only three (maybe four) years old when mom took me to the local TV station in Lima, Ohio so I could climb into the Birthday Chair and stick my hand in the Penny Jar. I had seen other kids do this on TV – it was a locally-hosted kids’ show – and the fact that I was going to be ON TELEVISION just blew my preschool mind.

Of course, I didn’t actually get to see myself on TV, but I think I remember Dad telling me he had watched, and I tried to imagine what it had looked like on that black and white TV in our living room.

I remember only snapshots of the experience: Only the faintest memory of host Easter Straker, and over the years, the chair had morphed in my memory into something like one of those red and gold Santa thrones. I have a vague recollection of finding it odd that the studio was kind of a plain room with just this one corner decorated for the show. But I do remember reaching into that penny jar, and being disappointed that my fist couldn’t scoop up a jingling mini-pile of coins, Scrooge McDuck fashion.

My post about Giant John brought the memories to the surface again and inspired me to do a quick Google search for something like: Lima + Ohio  + TV + show  + birthday + chair, and I was just amazed when it returned that page from the Allen County Museum.

Better than a fistful of pennies.

May 8, 2012 - Posted by | 1970s, Family history, Television | , , ,


  1. One of the most gratifying experiences of working at the Allen County Museum is to share in the joy and nostalgia of visitors. Many sat in the birthday chair and all have expressed the anticipation they felt as a child, climbing up those steps to the seat at the top – not to mention being on T.V. It was probably the most exciting day of their life – up to that point. They thought that they were going to be rich as they thrust their little hand into that penny jar. Though they may have walked away with only ten cents, they were richer for the memory created and saved to be enjoyed at a later date.

    Thanks for your post.

    Pat Smith, Director
    Allen County Museum

    Comment by Patricia Smith | May 9, 2012 | Reply

  2. […] we were in the area, after mom and I left, we drove down to Lima. I last drove through here in the early 1990s on another trek around the […]

    Pingback by U.S. 30 – There And Back Again « Cornfield Meet | July 19, 2012 | Reply

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