Cecil the Seasick Sea Serpent was a glowing bright spark during my childhood that spawned countless fanciful adventures. Cecil was real…, as real as the fresh green grass, bright blue sky and the vast cerulean blue sea! I would imagine many life forms were Cecil, or at least friends of Beany and Cecil, the 1960s cartoon series that was a staple of my childhood.
Found at my Grandfather’s house, it’s a rather faded and stuck-to-glass Kodachrome print from this lovely day in August 1963. Yes, that’s me at five years old and, yes, that is an iguana my Dad picked up from a market in Mexico and brought back as a present for me (thanks to Dad for listening and understanding my aversion for what I saw as scary dolls…). I named the iguana “Pinky” and we had countless adventures together! Ok, the iguana is a taxidermy (please don’t judge…, it was a different era) but to me he was vibrantly alive! Was this Cecil? No, but Pinky obviously knew the friendly sea serpent! Still, after this, I’ve always been searching for the real Cecil…
I think my FAV Beany and Cecil episode is the jazzy – Beany Meets the Monstrous Monster – featuring Louie the Loan Shark, Snappsy Maxie, Staring Herring and Jack the Knife! January 1962
Here’s another of my FAV Beany and Cecil Cartoons – Invasion of the Earth by Robots February 1962
And this is an overview of the original puppet show. I hadn’t arrived yet for this one (1949-1955) although word has it even Albert Einstein tried to catch every episode of “Time for Beany”! Here’s the scoop from CartoonResearch.com
Now in my adult years I reminisce, which close encounter beneath the water’s surface reminds me the most of my search for Cecil the Seasick Sea Serpent?
A Self-Portrait at 70 Feet Deep on the SS Themis, Browning Pass, British Columbia. I Conversed With “Gumby” the Wolfeel. August 2008.
At Over 7-1/2 Feet Long, Gumby the Wolfeel Swims Right Up To Greet Dive Buddy Jett. No, We Didn’t Feed the Wildlife, Gumby Was Just That Sociable as He Approached Each of Us! Gumby’s Much Like Cecil the Sea Serpent.
While He’s Not Cecil, Gumby IS Gumby! We Brought Capt. John de Boeck’s Gumby Co-Pilot Down to Meet His Namesake!
Rain at Browning Pass Hideaway Results in Rapping with Buddies and Capt. John de Boeck’s Co-Pilots! Don’t You Think These Three Divers Would Blend In Well on the Leakin’ Lena With Beany, Cecil and the Crew? L to R: Jett, Myself and Valerie. What a Grand Adventure! August 2008.
“Cecil, He’s My Bro!” Off Curaçao I Bonded With a Rather Talkative and Very Large 5 Foot Long Green Moray Eel. He Doesn’t Have Cecil’s Eyelashes or Eyesight as His Right Eye Cataract Looks Rather Occluded, But He’s Easy With Being Green! October 2011.
Although Small in Stature, a Tessellated Blenny Nestled in a Barnacle Said: “Cecil’s a Real Hero! I’d Give Him All of My Spots in a Second!” March 2006 – Communications Tower, Biscayne Bay National Park, Florida.
An integral sector of my lifelong search for Cecil are the Sirenians. Manatees aren’t sea serpents but they have been mistaken for mermaids! I’ve spent over sixteen years observing and photographing Florida manatees and I must say they have personality characteristics that remind me a lot of Cecil!
Yes, all these friends I made underwater remind me of Cecil, but I must say it’s the Florida manatee that I believe possesses many of his curious, sincere and endearing qualities. Come see and learn about our Florida treasure, the manatee, and you will discover they are curious, peaceful, graceful in the water, they investigate objects with their snouts and some are drawn to calm, polite humans. All the things that Cecil personified! I do agree the anatomy doesn’t exactly match as manatees have flippers, Cecil was just flexible. Manatees are gray, Cecil is green and purple. Manatees have whiskery snouts and Cecil was clean shaven, but minor appearances aside the behavioral similarities between manatees and Cecil are quite apparent.
As I reminisce on my life, from that little girl in her Sunday best enamored with her friend Pinky the Iguana, then now, remembering all the fabulous marine creatures I’ve met and all the ones I’ve helped… Has it all been a continuing spiritual search for Cecil the Seasick Sea Serpent?
Thanks for reading and helping “All Creatures Great and Small”.