SouthCoast Man Recalls Channel 6 ‘Romper Room’ Appearance
Kevin Gomes was four when his grandfather brought him to the WTEV-6 television studios on County Street in New Bedford in 1967 to appear on Romper Room. He has a certificate to prove it.
Romper Room was an American children's television series, franchised and syndicated from 1953 to 1994. There was a national version of Romper Room broadcast in television markets that did not produce a local version of the show targeting preschoolers.
WTEV-6, the local ABC network affiliate, had its version of Romper Room, which featured Miss Diane as the "presenter."
The Romper Room set resembled a classroom. There were readings, snacks, and of course competitive games for the boys and girls to play.
Don't forget the "magic mirror" and how, at the end of each program, the presenter would peer through a glassless mirror frame and pretend to see the kids at home, not fortunate enough to be in the studio, and call them out by name.
Kevin Gomes' grandfather worked at WTEV-6 and brought his grandson to work one day to appear on Romper Room. During a recent move from New Bedford to Berkley, Gomes found his Romper Room diploma, which brought back a trove of memories.
Gomes recalled being nervous in the television studio.
"My grandfather was there behind the scenes, so that helped a lot," he said.
Gomes, who at the time was a student at St. James/St. John School in New Bedford, remembered having to walk on "Romper Stompers" and that he wasn't very adept at it.
"They were like upside down red plastic cups attached to rope, and you had to balance yourself on them as you walked," he said. "I think I almost broke my ankle."
Gomes said his appearance on Romper Room was "so long ago" but is "glad I still have memories."
For the record, your humble correspondent also appeared on Romper Room with Miss Diane at WTEV-6 in New Bedford around the same time as Kevin.
WTEV-6 changed its call letters to WLNE and moved to Providence. I have no idea what happened to Miss Diane.