A Mystery Solved!

A few days ago, someone posted a thread at the DVD Talk forums about PBS shows your remembered from your childhood. I ended up posting this:

OK, I’ve been looking for the name of a 70s PBS show for ages, but it seems as if PBS only made the show for my elementary school – no one else I’ve ever asked about it seems to remember it at all:

It was called “SOMETHING & Butterflies”, where SOMETHING is a word that’s been lost to my memory. It was your typical PBS “what would YOU do?” show, where they’d have a little story, then the screen would freeze, and your teacher was supposed to talk to the class about what just happened and ask how kids in the class would react in a similar situation.

But here’s the thing, though: it was a bit surreal. I remember one episode where a little Hispanic kid (the show was “ethnically balanced” in that 70s PBS kind of way) was asked by his grandfather to help him paint a chicken coop. The kid wanted to help his grandpa, but also has a daydream where he’s covered in paint and chicken feathers, and all the kids from his school surround him in a circle and laugh at him. The camera work during all this was really surreal, and there was calliope music in the background that got louder and faster as the camera spun ever faster around in a circle.

There was another episode where a group of friends – since this was 70s PBS, it was a Hispanic boy, black boy, a white girl and an Asian girl – were walking down a street when they passed by an abandoned warehouse. One of the boys wants to go inside and check it out, and the other have a discussion about whether it’s the right thing to do. The boy eventually convinces the other to go in, and after a few minutes in the warehouse (which looked like something out of the Saw movies), someone falls and gets seriously hurt, and the rest of the kids try to help. I can’t remember what happens next, but I think the fire department shows up and saves the kid.

Anyway… I know it sounds silly, but I’ve been trying to remember the name of this show for years. I don’t obsess over it or anything, but I *do* think of the show several times a year and try my damnest to remember the name of it… only to come up blank. If ANYONE remembers the name of it, I’d be forever in your debt. It would resolve one of the great mysteries of my life, right up there with what happened to those car keys I lost back in 1994!

No one over there could (or would) help me with this, so I looked into it myself. Of course, I’d done that a few times in the past, but this time I used a carefully crafted Google Search to find out that the show was called Bread and Butterflies. I guess that seems a bit obvious now, but for years I was under the assumption that the first word had two syllables, like Breadsticks and Butterflies.

In any case, there’s precious little information about the show on the Internet. Google only found around 4 pages that even referenced the show at all. There is no “Bread and Butterflies Tribute Site” or anything like that. The show doesn’t even merit a Wikipedia page, so I guess I’m not the only one that (almost) forgot the show!


One Reply to “A Mystery Solved!”

  1. Hi. Yes it was Bread and Butterflies. I know because the episode “The Way We Live” was based on the life of my family. I was the 12 year old boy in the purple sweatshirt hunting with my dad, shooting a bow in the back yard, and speculating what life would be like on a farm or playing with the Cochoran Family, a traveling bluegrass troup. I know Northern Virginia & PBS had a hand in producing that episode as part of the series. Would love to find a copy. Jon_Gi@hotmail.com

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