One of the joys of growing up here in the '60s and '70s was the common connection we shared with the hosts of our favorite children's shows. In those days, "Chicago's Very Own," as WGN-Channel 9 was called, employed a cadre of talented performers whose careers revolved around amusing, engaging and entertaining us kids. Ray Rayner, Roy Brown, Ned Locke and the greatest of all, Bob Bell, became members of our collective family. As Bob Sirott noted in his foreword to the book Chicago Television: "They greeted us, kept us company and never left without saying goodbye."
One more personality on that list (though he differed from the others in many respects) was Frazier Thomas, whose 34 years on the air here left an indelible impression on local television -- and on the countless kids who watched him every day. Twenty-five years after his death, his name still evokes warm, nostalgic memories of afternoons in front of the tube.