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Lund At Large: Remembering Captain 11

March 4, 2005, 5:18 PM by Doug Lund

Lund At Large: Remembering Captain 11

Monday will mark the 50th anniversary of the Captain 11 Show which ran for an incredible 41 years. To celebrate, KELO-TV will present a half hour special Monday evening at 7:00 pm.

It was 1955 when KELO-TV got it's first live studio camera. It was also the year when Captain 11 first appeared on the air.

Dave Dedrick actually won a coin toss to host the afternoon kiddie show which lasted a remarkable 41 years. In that time, the captain visited every corner of KELOLAND, rode in hundreds of parades, and met hundreds of thousands of adoring fans.

People always want to know if Dedrick remembers them in light of all the places he visited. When it comes to parades, Dedrick says, "I have no idea how many I've been in. It's been more than anyone, I'll bet. I might have been in a dozen each year for 40 years. But I never saw one of them."

For years the annual live broadcast of the Captain 11 Show from the State Fair in Huron was always a huge hit and drew the biggest crowds to the Freedom Stage.

It just seemed like the longer the show was on the air those who once had the unforgettable experience of having Captain 11 put their funny faces on television, didn't want their own kids, or in some cases grandkids, to miss the opportunity either.

Now at nearly 77, Dave Dedrick still has no intention of growing up.

He says, "I've always admired that about Peter Pan. I don't want to grow up. I want to continue seeing life through the eyes of a 7-year-old.

Most every television station in the 50's and sixties had a locally produced kid's show but none had the staying power of Captain 11 which, until someone can prove otherwise, was the longest running show of it's kind in the world.

In the words of Captain 11 as he closed his show each day, "Remember gang, to mind mom and dad, eat everything they tell you to eat, brush your teeth and say your prayers, that's the most important part."

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