I pieced through old posts here and found this one from back in 2008; Rover appears and the story follows him and Hoogy as he’s dealing with an invention of his that saves gas: https://www.gocomics.com/gasolinealley/2008/08/05
Within this you’ll find little 4-year-old Boog hugging his leg. If you head back further (maybe 5-6 years?) you might also find the story where he meets Hoogy and they begin dating. I’d look further but it made me feel really sour to keep running into Rufus/Joel storylines, as well as Lil/Chubby visiting Slim and Clovia! (Maybe the previous Rover story is the one Brian linked above?)
Here’s roughly what the last year looked like in Gasoline Alley:
I went back to mid-July of last year and landed on the Joe Pye storyline in progress, which ran until about the end of October, at which point we join Slim and Clovia.
That storyline veers into Slim’s mom and cousin Chubby coming by, and it takes a while to get rid of them; then Slim & Clovia buy a new dryer, taking another month, and by February we segue to Gertie picking up her car from them.
Gertie spends most of February at the grocery store, then finally returns home to Walt, who then has his dream of returning to 1921 and the age of 20, and within days Skeezix appears as a baby, grows up, goes to war, then Walt realizes he’s only having a dream and wakes up, hungry for eggs, which sends Gertie back to the store. This all moves forward to the start of May, when in the store’s parking lot, Gertie finds that Joel & Rufus have accidentally scratched her car with their wagon. The camera stays on them and we’re still with them.
From this we might gather that Jim maybe tries to plot out each set of character stories to last about 3 months. So in the last year we’ve had about three months with the Pye family, so far about three months with Joel & Rufus, and probably about a month and a half just following Gertie… so 7 1/2 months with “non-Wallet family” characters.
Of the actual Wallet family, more often than not we’re getting “Slim” stories, with some exposure to Clovia within. And often on those occasions his mom and Chubby are afoot.
Walt’s dream sequence — which at first wasn’t clearly a dream — could have taken us somewhere; maybe even resolved the “aging problem” through some fantastical means (which Jim shows us to be a possibility in this strip)… but no, it was just a dream, and all too brief a visit with Walt.
Anyway, that’s just to say that Jim seems to have forgotten his Wallets.
Hopefully by the time August arrives, they’ll have finally gotten over that bridge….
Say, I wonder how the Wallet family is doing nowadays?
I sincerely hope that Jim isn’t about to have the strip explain that a non-powered colander is acting as a receiver for an old radio broadcast, and that this continually repeated plea for help over the course of unknown days and nights constitutes someone’s past idea of “entertainment”? Tabloids may have carried stories about old TV or radio broadcasts being amazingly picked up somewhere years later but of course these have been debunked. As Gweedo pointed out, the signal would be far too degraded to be useful to anyone (especially at the power levels used by radio/TV broadcasts — I can’t even get my rabbit ears to pick up ABC merely 20 miles from the broadcast antenna!). No! Just… no.
Just ask the folks aboard Polaris why they callin’ der Earth?
(If my aside about Walt being a “teenager” again confused anyone… I refer to the stretch where he was 113 through 119 years old…!)
A few months ago I came back to check on GA after having left it for about a year. I stumbled upon this strip here: https://www.gocomics.com/gasolinealley/2021/04/05 — which showed a story in progress with younger versions of Walt and Skeezix? Oh wow! (…I thought)… that must be Scancarelli’s storyline maybe FINALLY addressing the “aging problem”… I figured he’d decided to just roll everything back; maybe a sort of reboot. So I didn’t want to spoil that… I found where I’d left off a year prior and worked my way up to that point… only to find out it was merely a strange dream sequence. So each time he takes a leisurely sidetrack with Rufus/Joel and forsakes the Wallet family, I feel this sort of anxiety in realizing that our Walt is out there now over 120 years old… well, at least he got to enjoy being a “teenager” again for a bit… but that’s a situation increasingly more urgently calling for a resolution… isn’t it?
We have tiny things to chew upon which seem to indicate there could be a “fantastical” resolution available. First, we know Joel & Rufus (and the Mayor?) seem to be inoculated against aging, which is a fantastical element. Then we have likewise the fantastical suggestion from a few years ago that Walt had discovered a type of fountain of youth… but not really “youth” but which somehow must be sustaining him… and finally, likewise, the introduction and often recurring element of the Old Comics Home, where we might surmise Walt could venture and regain his youthful appearance again if he retires there; maybe also reunited with Phyllis and his old original cronies, Doc, Avery and Bill?
At least it seems “fantastical” has been established as an available plot device from which a solution could be drawn. Doesn’t it?
Maybe now we have inadvertently happened upon a couple of answers? I was thinking, “Why does Joel keep a colander hanging on the wall — on the opposite side of his bed?” And knowing his malapropism, maybe it’s because he doesn’t have to change it each year, as he would a calendar. So he doesn’t note the passage of time… and maybe neither does Rufus, thus… they don’t age like the other characters!
Meanwhile I fear the longer we follow their adventures in this strip which historically has been devoted to the Wallet family… that we may be losing more characters “off screen” and when we return to the other ones, eventually…! — possibly if they speak of Walt and Skeezix and others at all… maybe it’ll be in the past tense?
I’d be mighty disappointed to find out this is merely a “radio program” he’s picking up.
Plus, those people need help and meanwhile these nincompoops are about to make a colander famous?