Welcome to Awakenings

Life IS history in the making. Every word we say, everything we do becomes history the moment it is said or done. Life void of memories leaves nothing but emptiness. For those who might consider history boring, think again: It is who we are, what we do and why we are here. We are certainly individuals in our thoughts and deeds but we all germinated from seeds planted long, long ago.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

The Smiley

There is probably not a single one of us who has not at some point in time drawn a smiley face. Fogged-up windows beckon fingers of children and adults alike with the art of the smiley. In fact, that is exactly the source of this whimsical little fellow. Such a simple little icon but when did this button of a smile first appear? Who is its creator? 

In 1994, the Academy Award winning film, Forrest Gump depicted its own version of how the smiley got its start. In one of the scenes when Gump runs across America, he is given a T-shirt from an down-and-out T-shirt salesman. Gump wipes his face, then, hands the T-shirt back to the salesman. The dirt soiled shirt reveals a imprint of what appears to be eyes and a mouth. Thus, the smiley is born. Fact or fiction? This account, of course, is purely fictional but with the movie's setting in the 70s, its appearance was quite apropos. At that time, the smiley was the symbol of peace therefore providing encouragement along with its happy face. 

In actuality, there is a connection to a shirt but the smile did not come out of the dirt. The smiley's first appearance in pop-culture was on a sweatshirt as a result of a promotion by New York radio station WMCA in 1962. Much like the iconic smiley it had two dots for eyes but the smile was crooked instead of full and was void of the creases in the mouth. 

Many claimants have stepped forward to register the first smiley. The most popular, which is also considered the iconic smiley, was created by Harvey Ball in 1963. Ball was a freelance artist who created the smiley face to be used on buttons, desk cards and posters. He completed the smiley in less than 10 minutes earning $45 for his design.

Through the years, the smiley has mirrored many faces, happy, sad, loving, mad, quizzical, whimsical, with the list going on and on. There are 2-D versions, those in 3-D, animated and gyrated. Did you know there is even a smiley dictionary?

Smiley Faces 

The ubiquitous smiley face, a classic bit of Americana, can be seen almost anywhere: buttons, posters, notes, greeting cards, T-shirts, bumper stickers, jewelry, and key chains, just to name a few. What started out as an ad campaign grew & grew & grew.

A yellow button with a smile
Two dots representing eyes
Satire of a happy day
The image that never dies

Smiley faces in all kinds of places
Over, under, all 'round town
Feeling low, keep your head high
One is surely to be found


Two parallel vertical lines
Atop a quarter moon
A circle wrapped all around
Bright as the sun at noon

A happy face in a somber place
Warms the hearts of those near
Contagious smiles swiftly abound
Shifting the atmosphere

Two tiny circles round
Above murky shadows that loom
A nifty smiley face
Upon the craters of the moon

Happy faces of sudden smiles
Convey an element of surprise
Pass on a smile in someone's way
Capturing the gleam in their eyes

Muah! Have a nice day! Make someone smile!