As a young lad I was an early riser. On Saturday's, that is!
The TV festival started early and I didn't want to miss a bit of it. Sky King. Commander Cody. Bullwinkle and Friends. And, of course, Tarzan Theater.
We all loved Tarzan, Jane and Cheeta the mischevious chimp. Tarzan saving the explorers, Jane soothing Tarzan's fevered brow (or so we thought) and Cheeta stealing the important jewel, map, key or one of a thousand important things to steal. Cheeta came through in the end, though, and there was a happy ending.
Of all the actors and actresses in all the Tarzan films from the 30's and 40's, one actor remains: Cheeta.
Yes, Cheeta the Chimp is alive and well and living the Life of Riley. He's 76 years old which makes him the oldest chimpanzee on record. He's also an accomplished artist and produces what has been called "ape-stract" paintings.
And, believe it or not, you can purchase a painting from Cheeta and support him through his old age.
Just go to the Cheeta website and navigate to the Want a Picture link to make your contribution. In a few weeks you will receive your very own, unique painting by Cheeta, a couple of autographed photographs and a Certificate of Authenticity.
Here's my painting. The black smudge at the botton right is a thumbprint.
And here's a picture of Cheeta with Tarzan star Johnny Weissmuller. Cheeta is on the right.