ZOOM’s 40th Reunion

Cast members of WGBH’s original ZOOM show (1972-1980) met recently with series creator Christopher Sarson in Marshfield MA for an evening of stories, music and lobsters (paid for by viewers like you).

Despite their current ZOOM Rap subjects like “trips to the doctor,” “mortgage payments,” and “the kids,” the Zoomers still keep in touch and manage to get together now and then.

ZOOM's 40th Reunion Party, August 11, 2012, Marshfield MA

Left to right Nina, Christopher Sarson, Nancy, Tracy, Leon, Ann, Joe and Tommy White.

74 thoughts on “ZOOM’s 40th Reunion

  1. It’s so great to see a picture of the ZOOM cast! As a young child growing African American in Chicago it was great to see a show with kids of all kinds just being kids. It was wonderful all the original ideas that were in the show and how me and my friends lived for new stuff from zoom and tried to get shirts. Nancy was my crush before I had a crush lol. We need more shows like this now without adults messing it up.

  2. How incredibly fun to see this! I was the Contributions Editor (selected all the segments to do on the air from our thousands of letters from kids). I loved working with the Zoom kids in the studio to do these segments for the viewing audience. It was an ingenious idea that Chris Sarson cane up with— to use TV to get kids active and creative! Glad you had a reunion wish I had known about it!

  3. Definitely had a crush on Tracy, but Ann wasn’t far behind. The slightly dark studio and the kids in socks were surreal but it all somehow worked. Other children’s shows had perfect looking kids and bright lights, the zoomers were kids everyone could relate to.

  4. This was my favorite show, growing up in Brooklyn NY. The kids were great/relatable, the songs, videos, activities, etc. I loved it all. (Getting mail back from the show when you wrote was also amazing.)

  5. Hubi, frubends. (Sorry, had to do it).
    Just wanted to say that this show was so important for me when I was a kid in the seventies.
    I grew up in a very small, very white, town in New Hampshire. The word diversity was not even in my vocabulary… until the sixth grade. That year I got not only my first Male teacher, but he was the first Jewish person I ever knew.
    At Christmas time that year he told my class that Christmas was not his holiday, but if we wanted to give him a gift, it had to be something we made ourselves.
    I just happen to have had a book about Zoom. And the book had a recipe for Challah in it. I had never made bread before. But I tried it. Nailed it!!!.
    He really appreciated the bread, and the fact that I honored both of our traditions.
    So, anyway… I looked up Zoom tonight because I want to make some Challah. I know I can find hundreds of recipes online, but I want THAT one. Anyone know where I can find that book?

  6. I had a big crush on Tommy.. the sparkly eyes and cute nose, ha ha. Nina was so cool; I admired her greatly even as a kid. The imagination was delightful, not at all pedantic.

    • We need a reunion and updates on all zoomers .I used to live for that show. Any zoomers out there in this group?

  7. I grew up loving this show! I’m 54 now and still remember “Write Zoom, z double o m box 350, Boston, Mass 02134! Send it to Zoom!” Also, learned what a SASE was (Self Addressed Stamped Envelope) and collected my Zoom cards for years! Donna was my favorite!

    • YES! Loved it as well! There was a little blonde girl named Edith in Season 3, I believe….I wonder where she is now……I wish there were more shows like this for kids today!

      • Many years ago, while shopping at the Burlington Mall, a woman approached me and said that she remembered me from WGBH. That woman turned out to be Edith from Zoom. As best that I can remember, she was happy and doing well.

  8. I loved that show Zoom as kid. I knew one cast member, his nickname was Red, but his real name is name was David O’Brian. What he been up to since the show? You guys look great. Sincerely, Maria Saia Martin

    • David is married and lives in Lynchburg, Virginia. He is a pastor at Blue Ridge Community Church (www.blue-ridge.org) and ministry leader of Celebrate Recovery. We have 4 children & 5 grandchildren.
      He is an awesome husband & loves the Lord!

      • I remember Zoom from my childhood and looking it up now to show my 14 yr old son. I was surprised to see it look so different from what I remembered (which was all-black leotards).

  9. I lived for Zoom.

    It aired during a very different time, the early to mid 70s, when a cultural shift was taking place. Moms started to go back to work, families were splitting up, and the innocence of the 60s was disappearing.

    For so many of us, Zoom was the ultimate escape for urban kids whose lives weren’t the way life was depicted on the Brady Bunch, and Zoom had a cast of kids who weren’t California perfect, and somehow made us feel like we were fine just the way we were.

    Watching the reruns, there is a bit of a melancholy vibe to it all, and that realism is what made it work. Kids weren’t patronized, they were valued and heard.

    Listen to City Child. For me, that haunting beautiful melody perfectly captures the vibe of Zoom, and those chilly autumn evenings in NY sitting in front of the TV, watching kids with a very peculiar accent sing, dance, and ‘rap’.

    A pure treasure.

  10. Wow! I loved ZOOM, the original cast was my age. It was a great break from daily afternoon sitcoms and reruns. It was creative and made me ponder things as I sat and polished off several bowls of cold cereal. Kids living in an eastern city, a bigger city, not much different than myself and the kids in po dunk Puyallup.

  11. How bout a complete box set with a scrapbook? I have the one put out about ten yrs ago with clips and a small book. The fans would love the whole ball of wax! Zoom represents my childhood!

  12. Wow!!! It’s GREAT to see this cast photo. I hope PBS does a ZOOM Reunion Special featuring the casts of the 70’s. I had a crush on NANCY – I thought she was soooo talented. Plus she had a great precocious personality. God bless them all. I’d like to know what happened to Luis and Andrae who were members of two different casts. THANK YOU FOR THIS PIC!!

  13. I do the arm thing too, and my kids hate it so I do it more! I loved that show as a kid. Come on and zoom zoom zooma zoom :)

  14. Wow! I watched Zoom on PBS ch13 in Dallas. I loved the show. I had such a crush on Tracy. I was so angry when she was no longer on the show that I wrote an angry letter to the show, but I don’t think I mailed it. That is what I remember the most. However, reading these other posts brings back other cool memories. Enjoyed the reunion picture! Tracy is still cute.

  15. It’s so good to see you all. I grew up watching Zoom. Being a black kid growing up in New Jersey, it was nice to see Nancy and Kenny and Leon, and everyone together having fun. I also had a crush on Nancy, I also wanted to wish Nancy a happy birthday ❤ on July 20th but I didn’t know where, so I’ll do it now, this is a great photo. God bless you all and thanks for the memories.

  16. Hi. I was soo in Love with Nancy when I was little, watching the show. It’s really good seeing Nancy again. I can see that it looks like you’re using a cane now. Good to see you Nancy. Cane & all. Thank for posting your picture. You’ve put a smile on my face.

  17. I loved this show growing up in the suburbs of Boston. With my two sisters and our friends we would reenact the shows and we each got to be our favorite character. Of the girls, we all fought over being Ann. Great memories!

  18. I grew up watching zoom in the 70’s and it was my most favorite kids show!
    Did you know they had different kids for each season?
    I sent a picture I drew, but they never shown it on TV.

  19. I really liked this this show. As a kid from small town Arkansas, I really related to the kids on this program.

  20. This is definitely a show that needs to be released on video. Not just the “best of”. But the whole series needs to be brought back. The remake just doesn’t hold a candle and lacks the charm of the original. Just find out who holds the license and bombard them with requests.

  21. Hi…what a nice photo…Tracy certainly was my favorite sooner too…Leon I didn’t know (2years older) but he was kinda kewl..went to my school…in Dover, what I wanna know is how come of all these local Boston kids not even a single kid…has that Boston dialect?

    • Oh, but some did. Tommy, David, and Maura all had great Boston accents, and Nancy had a bit of one. (I directed the first three seasons.)

      • Hey James, I was a huge Zoomer during the first 3 or 4 seasons. I am also a fan of your work on Zoom. What memories can you share regarding the production of the shows. How much input did the cast members have regarding the content of the shows, songs. Etc. Were the kids easy to work with? How about their parents? Was it true that the parents signed very long contracts preventing their children from performing on other shows? Thankx!!!

    • it began in march & it ended in may, i remember the hour & i remember the day, i remember how long it’s been since he went away, so Lord please bring him back to me, today, right away…

      “The city is the grossest place, ii’d rather live in outer space!”

      Twinkle twihihihihinkle – little little cat …how, oh how i wonder just where you are at….

  22. Where is Bernadette? She was my favorite. I was so proud when I learned to do the arm-fan-thingy, like she did in the opening credits. Lol.

  23. My husband David O’Brien was “Red” on Zoom in the 70’s. I would LOVE to be able to connect him with his cast mates. Can you help?

  24. Oh My God, I can’t express in words the joy and happiness that came flooding through when I found this photo. I was Googling where are you guys now. I loved, loved, loved Nancy. My other favorites Leon, Joe…well, truly all of you. The Cat Came Back, my favorite. Bring back my childhood, please! I am just smiling. Where is Bernadette?

  25. An absolutely wonderful time in my preteen/teen years. I wouldn’t eat dinner or be disturbed when that show was on! Best friend gave me a “Zoom Back to the 70’s” dvd for my 53rd b-day. Best gift EVER! And, all the best to the cast members!

  26. What a great photo!
    I’m a singer songwriter
    Currently recording an album
    But way back in 72, 73
    I was still just a boy
    & just starting to write songs
    And boy did I have a thing for Tracy
    I used to be glued to the set
    I wrote one of my 1st songs about that
    Little girl a song called Tracy
    It was about how I thought it was our destiny to meet
    And be together
    Kind of hallarious
    What a lonely little kid
    Can talk himself into
    She does look kind of the same
    Nice to see Nina, joe, nancy, ann and tommy in the photo too!
    I loved all the kids in the first 2 casts
    It really brought back a very innocent time in my life

  27. Ok, I will admit that Tracy was my favorite Zoomer, although I loved them all. I even went so far as to name a beloved pet after her. A little yellow duckling that I got one Easter. She grew into a beautiful and elegant white duck that lived long past her life expectancy.


  29. I am a Canadian who absolutely loved Zoom and watched it religiously each week on PBS Detroit.
    It is so nice to see that 40+ years later, you are all still looking fantastic!!!
    Thank you so much for posting, Tommy…what great memories this one photo conjured up for me!!!!

  30. I just discovered and watched the old Zoom opening and closing songs on YouTube and remembered every word and every cast member, can’t believe it, I loved that show! Thanks for the memories :-)

  31. I absolutely loved Zoom! So refreshing to see and know that you guys stay in contact with one another. While I liked all of the Zoomers,my favorite was Nancy. She was so talented. Would love to know what the original and second season cast are up to these days.

  32. What a sweet treat to come across this picture. I watched the show regularly and still have my collection of Zoom cards I sent away for.

  33. I wish I could see reruns of the show on TV to show my granddaughter. I loved the it! I never missed a show. Thank goodness for YouTube. Thank you!

  34. It is such a wonderful thing to see all of the kids I grew up with on TV as happy adults who still brought smiles to my face.

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