RIP J.P. Patches. Sad news for Patches Pals everywhere. We just learned that Chris Wedes -- the man who portrayed the beloved and hilarious Mayor of the City Dump in the nation's longest-running local children's TV show ever -- died this morning. He had been battling cancer the last several years.
I remember when he was battling the evil Boris S. Wart and talking to all of us through the ICUTV every morning. JP was part of my childhood -- part of childhood for nearly EVERYONE in at least two generations of kids growing up in the Puget Sound area. To children he was a protector, a gentle older buddy, and the funniest guy we knew. To parents he was a slapstick comedian able to to slip in some very funny jokes that completely flew over the kids' heads and hit adults in the belly. I met him a couple times -- most recently about 9 years ago. A photo from that meeting hangs on my mother's living room wall to this day. Yeah, he was NOT your average clown. He was JP.
I took this photo of the JP Patches statue "Late for the Interurban" in Fremont last winter.