I wonder if anyone remembers this PBS program, Hodge Podge Lodge, hosted by Miss Jean



Here is a description on Wikipedia :


I had read that she was still alive and wrote a fan letter last year.  One was to a garden club where she had spoken and I can't remember the other address I got off the web.  I don't know if she ever got it, but I wanted her to know what an imp[important influence she was in my life.

Here I was, a little gay boy, immersed in reading everything about nature and when given the opportunity to visit up-state NY, from the city, would disappear in the woods for the day.

Besides the usual pets, I kept slugs, snails, crickets, earthworms, preying mantis, turtles, frogs, toads, snakes and more.  I would put an interesting weed in a pot, to see it grow.  Well, these were not only the things I read about, but they were the things that Ms. Jean featured on her show.

To this day, I can remember things that she advised and still incorporate them into my nature observations.  At the time, even my own family didn't fully understand me, and she was the only one who I could relate to, when it came to my interest in nature.

I remember the time when there was a spider on my arm and I blew it off with my breath.  The adults around me couldn't understand why I didn't kill it.  They could not understand my appreciation of something from nature, but Miss Jean did understand.

It's amazing how something that is almost forgotten, with I believe one remaining video tape of the program, could of had such a nurturing effect on a child.  

Although loved and nurtured by my family, my love for nature was weird to them.  Remember, there was no internet in those days, so that I could share my love with others, as we all do on this forum.

Just as being gay was an issue for my family to eventually embrace, so was my love of nature.  We are finally at the point of where it is not questioned when i add new plants or animals to my collections.

At 53 yrs of age and 40 yrs after Hodge Podge Lodge, my family is finally accepting and even understanding my love of nature, and they even have memories of Miss jean, since i forced everyone to watch it at one time or another.

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Replies to This Discussion

Thanks for posting this about your earlier experiences!  As a midwesterner in a small town, we didn't have PBS let alone Hodge Podge Lodge!

You had, and have, a great love of nature.  Me too.  


Thanks for your story, Dominic! I was also drawn to nature when I was quite young, watching spiders at their weaving, collecting plants, and so on. I can't tell you how that interest comes to an 8 years old girl in an apartment in town. Not from radio or TV, my fundie parents wouldn't allow those. Perhaps because of the contrast between nature and church.  

Just let me clarify that my interest was always there and I would spend a lot time in empty lots, examining plants and animals.  I always had pets also.  Miss Jean just reinforced that interest in the natural world.


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