In church a few weeks back, the congregation sang “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God”, the popular Methodist hymn with such confident, faith-building lyrics. I’ve heard “A Mighty Fortress…” a hundred times over, yet try as I might to focus on the words I only ever seem to think: “Davey and Goliath”.
Davey and Goliath was an American clay-animated children’s television series produced by the Lutheran Church in the early 1960’s. The show was created by Art Clokey (better known for his characters on Gumby and Friends), and focused on childhood life lessons born out of Davey’s experiences alongside his dog Goliath. Davey always found himself in conscience-testing situations and Goliath brought the wisdom to steer him the right direction. Davey and Goliath aired on Sunday morning television for the better part of five years and I didn’t miss many episodes. So why the connection to “A Mighty Fortress…?” Because the hymn trumpeted behind the closing credits of every Davey episode. I can’t get that association out of my head.
Memory association is a strange bird, as if there are kindred thoughts floating around out there just waiting to be connected. I associate a Methodist hymn with an old children’s television show, whereas your association might go down a wholly different path. Take it a step further for example. With Davey and Goliath on the brain what comes to mind next? You might think of the Bible story – the young and future king David bringing down the Philistine warrior Goliath with one pull of the slingshot. Me, I think of The Monkees – the manufactured American rock band of the 1960’s. The Monkees had the only other Davey I can think of – singer Davey Jones (lower left in the photo below).
Now that I think about it (memory association at work again), I do have another Davey in mind, which you see in the below photo (not me – the shop). Davey Davey is a “top hair salon” smack dab in the middle of Dublin, Ireland. The owners – presumably brothers – have the surname Davey. That’s a rare find: a surname more commonly used as a given name.
The Monkees always make me think of The Beatles, and just this week The Beatles associate to “sensational” (intentional) misspelling: “Beatles” vs. “Beetles”. I never thought about it until my son brought it up but the “Beetles” became the “Beatles”, changing their name early on to associate more with musical beats than insects. How’s that for useless trivia?
The Monkees are also a memory-association “cul-de-sac” for me; that is, I came back to Davey Jones shortly after I left him. Davey Jones then memory-associates to several other David’s who made small but significant appearances in my life, as follows:
- David Cassidy – Alongside the Partridge Family (and The Brady Bunch), Cassidy occupied several years of my Friday night childhood television. Not one of my better life choices.
- David Lee Roth – Alongside Van Halen, helped develop my appreciation for American rock in the 1970’s (if not the current fashion trends). As Roth would say, “might as well jump!”
- David Robinson – Alongside his Navy teammates, helped develop my appreciation for the best in college basketball post players. Imagine, a class athlete and a class act. That was “The Admiral” in a nutshell.
- David Letterman – Reinvented late-night talk show for me and my fellow baby-boomers. In college I didn’t miss a single Letterman opening monologue (or Top Ten list).
- “David” – Michelangelo’s most famous sculpture, on display in Florence’s Galleria dell’Accademia near the Piazza della Signoria. (How “the David” came to be is a remarkable story – read Irving Stone’s biographical novel “The Agony and the Ecstasy”.)
- David Koresh – Alongside his Branch Davidian cult followers, showed me the horrors of brainwashing amidst the famous 1993 standoff with government officials in Waco, TX. (There had to be at least one “shame-the-name” on this list.)
- David Copperfield – Elevated magic to jaw-dropping larger-than-the-stage performances. My family and I saw him perform in Colorado Springs in the 1990’s. Copperfield was unquestionably one of the legends of his profession.
- David Schwimmer – Still can’t get “I’ll Be There For You” (or Rachel) out of my head.
The list goes on and on – dozens of David’s making their mark out there. Incidentally, the literal association of “David” is “beloved”, which also dates back to the Bible. Nice. But that’s not how my mind works. I just keep coming up with famous Dave’s instead.
Some content sourced from Wikipedia, “the free encyclopedia”.