I’ve confessed to being a comic strip freak. Before I even learned to read, I’d spread the paper on the living room floor, and lie on my stomach to “look at the funnies.”
Some of the strips our small newspaper carried were, not surprisingly, war-related. Our nation was at war and the entire nation shared the pain and sacrifice.
There were daily strips centering around children who were either orphaned or had mysterious family circumstances. Nancy lived with her Aunt Fritzi, but her friend Sluggo had no family at all and lived in a shack somewhere. Moon Mullins’ young brother, Mayo, slept in a dresser drawer. Children wandered the streets, for the most part without any adult presence. Henry had a mother, but no hair and no voice.
Her leap year birthday somehow kept Little Orphan Annie 11 years old for decades. The child with no eyeballs had already been around since my mother was a child. After the comic strip fell into decline, L.O. A. was fortunate to find success on Broadway.
And then there was Dondi, the five-year-old tot who was found on the streets of Italy by an American soldier during World War II and brought to the United States. Eventually that was changed in backstory to the Korean War, since the dark-eyed little guy, like Annie, never aged.
While Annie found her niche on Broadway, poor Dondi faded into obscurity. In fact, I had forgotten about him myself until I drove past this sign:
I’m taking this as proof that he apparently shed his Groundhog Day time warp, grew to adulthood, found God, and went into the ministry. I hope you’re relieved, too.