Nancy Pike "Miss Nancy" writes: I was Miss Nancy on WCEE TV in Rockford, Illinois, for a couple years in the early 1960's. We had a stock set that came from the franchise in Baltimore. The toys, games, scripts, songs, and even some of the commercials were also from headquarters. The teachers were trained for several days in Baltimore with the original "Miss Nancy" Claster. I particularly remember the woman who taught us the songs. She was an old vaudeville era singer/pianist, who had written most of the tunes. In addition to doing the regular in-studio segments, periodically we made filmed visits to such locations as the fire station.
These clips were then incorporated into the regular session. The program in Rockford was 30 minutes and live every day. After RR went off the air in Rockford, I was hired to substitute in the quad cities for Miss Judy. There the program was an hour long. We were live for an hour and then taped one or two sessions each time (I believe this was the beginning of "tape" for TV) so I only had to travel down state twice a week.
Once their teacher had her baby and came back to work, I retired from Romper Room permanently but I have very fond memories of the experience, including some hilarious moments on live camera. In retrospect, I think it is amazing that the majority of children who appeared on Romper Room School seemed to know exactly what they were supposed to do and did it. Even though the program was done in a large warehouse-type building with the news set over in one corner and the car commercial set up to go in another, the children marched straight into Romper Room School without a glance at the other areas. They were instant actors, taking on the persona of a child in school, sitting at their place at the RR desk and participating in the activities - and all without any rehearsal!
Aren't kids wonderful?!
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