One of my father-in-law’s earliest memories was also one of his favorite stories to tell. As a young lad, Arthur Giannone grew up in the New York/New Jersey area in the 1930s, and was taught early on how to identify the various musical instruments that made up an orchestra. His father was a working musician, playing the trumpet in concert halls and in the theatrical district of New York City.
One day his mother decided to take Arthur to the theater where his father was working. As the lights dimmed and the audience hushed, the orchestra began to play. After only a few notes into their planned number, Arthur’s trained little ears picked out the unmistakable tones of his father’s trumpet and excitedly shouted out, “That’s My Pop!” As he tells it, he got quite the ovation from the amused audience in attendance.
A few weeks later, a new cartoon appeared in the Sunday funnies. Penned by the renowned cartoonist Milt Gross and carried by Hearst’s King Features Syndicate, it featured a bumbling man who finds himself in absurd situations shadowed by a doting son who is not shy about shouting out his admiration. That’s My Pop! became a popular running comic strip, and was eventually adapted at one point into a radio show.
My father-in-law was convinced that he was the inspiration behind the strip and that Gross must have been at the theatre that night he first shouted out the catchphrase that captured the nation’s fancy.
Michael Ondrasik and Home Video Studio specialize in the preservation of family memories through the digitalization of film, videotapes, audio recordings, photos, negatives and slides. For more information, call 352-735-8550 or visit our website. And don’t forget to check out our recent TEDxEustis talk!