ABOUT "PARKY THE KANGAROO"
Parky was "born" a champion...
In 1952, the Los Angeles Department of Parks and Recreation sponsored a cartoon contest to select a character for a litter cleanup campaign. My original "Parky the Kangaroo" cartoon (above) was chosen the winner, out of 450 entries! To the right is the letter I received from the City of Los Angeles with the exciting news that "Parky" had won first prize!
Parky decals were soon seen on every trash can on beaches and parks throughout Los Angeles. They were also placed on every DWP (Department of Water and Power) truck, and on each city vehicle. In addition, every letter that passed through L.A.'s Terminal Annex postal facility bore the Parky imprimatur.
In case you're wondering, Parky's name was derived from the Department of Recreation and Parks. (My original name for Parky was "Trashy," believe it or not!) Parky was considered a public service creation, and my only compensation (besides a three-day trip to Mammoth Lake with my wife; we were still newlyweds), was a small honorarium for two posters depicting Parky using her familiar cleanup stick.
Later, the City of Los Angeles announced a Parky song competition, which was won by a local couple. The song was recorded by Wilbur Hatch and the NBC orchestra, and sung by the prominent performer, Johnny Green..
Parky goes national, and international!
Parky's image was soon distributed to 275 American cities nationwide, as well as to Canada and Australia.
To the left is a picture of a Parky sign seen recently in Kansas by a blogger who was unfamiliar with Parky's history (see my answer to this person's post in the FAQ section). The "K.D.O.T." at the bottom of the sign indicates it was posted by the Kansas Department of Transportation.
Long live Parky!
You might notice that the sign portrays Parky a little differently than my original award-winning cartoon illustration. That's because the City of Los Angeles had a graphic artist slightly alter the original illustration to fit their needs. So, the public mostly knew Parky as you see her in the sign above.
Parky gets a new look in 2009
(c) 2009 Bing Bang Boom Publishing. All rights reserved.
It's been awhile since the heyday of Parky, so my daughter, Stephanie, and I decided to give her a little upgrade.
As you can see in the watermarked image to your left, we gave the popular anti-litter role model a little helper, Joey. And Stephanie came up with a great new slogan: "Don't trash your parks! Park your trash!"
Please see the Store page for all kinds of Parky & Joey products, such as tee shirts, mugs, iPhone and iPad cases, hats, tote bags, aprons, adult, children and baby products and much more! Or, just click here!
See other gifts available on Zazzle.