Saturday, October 27, 2007

Television--My life as an addict

It began in the 50s when I was very young. TV was very, very new and no one I knew had one if they were even available at that time. My grandparents who lived in Portland, Oregon had one of the first TVs--a Dumond. It didn't have a very big screen and everything was in black and white. In my young years my sister Jeanne and I would spend one or two weeks per summer with my grandparents....and the Dumond TV. Oh it was so glorious! Everyday in the Oregonian newspaper there would be a little TV schedule about 5 X 6 inches. Keep in mind that back in the 50s there were only 3-4 channels (if I'm remembering correctly.) When I was in the house that schedule never left my hot little hands. I studied it as though it were a textbook. The most incredible program was the Mickey Mouse Club with Annette Funicello. M..I..C (see you real soon)..K..E..Y.(Why?? Because we love you.) M.O.U.S.E. I'll wager there aren't too many people my age who can't sing that song.

And then there was KOIN Kitchen--a very early cooking show. That probably was the start of my liking to watch cooking shows, even though I'm not particularly fond of cooking. And I loved the way the announcer said: KOIN TV, Channel 6, Portland. There was just this lilt in his voice.

When Dr. Kildare was on the air Jeanne and I went down the street to the neighbors to watch this show every week. I don't think it bothered the neighbors because they let us sit on the floor and watch the show weekly. My mom even bought Dr. Kildare blouses for Jeanne and me. We were SO cool!

And then when I turned 14 dad bought a TV. By then he had remodeled our house so the TV was downstairs. On hot summer days Jeanne and I would be in the basement watching TV wrapped up in blankets because it was so cold downstairs. I think that is when my attachment to "General Hospital" began. An attachment that is now beginning to wane, believe it or not.

Favorite shows were Gunsmoke, Bonanza, The Phil Silvers Show, The Real McCoys, Jeopardy, and the soaps. I really didn't like it when NASA shot off a satellite or Apollo, Gemini or Mercury flight because it interrupted my regular television viewing. And then when something political happened like a state funeral that really messed things up. I couldn't understand how adults could like to watch all that stuff. I know I saw the news coverage of man landing on the moon and looking back I realize that is a good memory.

My years in college did interrupt my usual viewing habits but after marriage the watching became epidemic. And when I kids were young I recall with shame how often I put them off about doing something or going somewhere because "I had clothes to fold." That part was true but what I really wanted to do was watch the soaps. Nolan and Larisa....I sincerely apologize.

This past summer in Namibia I didn't have television to watch. I don't really want another summer without ANY TV. But I will say viewing has lessened. I hardly ever watch "One Life to Live" and "General Hospital" now. I guess my addiction has waned somewhat.

Maybe there is hope for this addict.

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