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Monday, August 31, 2009

Television

The black and white television sat in a corner of our living room facing an old couch and two well-used parlor chairs.  I'm not quite sure which one of my parents advocated for its purchase or how they arranged for the financing.

My first recollection of its existence was my infatuation with  Wunda Wunda;  a lady clown puppeteer who made my mom grit her false teeth and blow air between them.  I don't think my mom approved of Wundas clingy tights and her silly skits; and moms teeth had been poorly designed.

One of the puppets always left me unsettled. It invariable got into trouble. Then, whimpering in a sad nasal voice, it would ask Wunda Wunda for help.

I outgrew the puppets when I became a big girl and attended school.  After which, my sister and I would rush home to watch The Mickey Mouse Club.  We each filled a widowed thermos top with dried oatmeal, powdered and brown sugar, and maybe some raisins. Then, while eating our own strange recipe for granola (before we even knew granola existed) we would sit on the floor and become Mousketeers.

"Annette, Bobby, Karen.....Pamela!"

At suppertime, Dad required one of us to run and flip the television on switch -- to give this new technological wonder an opportunity to warm up. Nightly he watched The Huntley-Brinkley report.  My favorite part was "Good Night David.  Good Night Chet." 

The Lawrence Welk Show on Saturday night meant for some special moments with my mama.  She sat quietly in her old rocker while I looked for errant hairs growing on her face and pulled them out with her tweezers.  Then, for an encore, I shuffled through her small collection of Avon samples and painted her face.

My oldest brother waited until someone called out that "The Lennon Sisters are next."   He set aside his book and leaned casually in the doorway during the performance.  He made little whistling sounds and remarks about Peggy's feminine wiles that caused me to make a very careful study of her persona. 

Television has changed dramatically, except for one thing.  You can still watch Lawrence Welk on Saturday night.  Those Lennon girls haven't changed a bit.

* * *

Jan, Life According to Jan and Jer, has asked us to write about our television habits for the Fun Monday project.

We have one in the family room and one in the bedroom.

The "ancient" Big Screen Television in my family room is an electronic dinosaur compared with the Big Picture LCD and plasma screens in all the show rooms.  My eyes roll when I consider how much wall space is wasted on something we rarely use. Then my eyes go crossed when I even contemplate spending more money to replace the monstrosity with something less ostentatious. How could I justify that kind of expenditure on something so blatantly otiose.  Except as a magnet for dust and cat hair.

The little dresser top TV in the bedroom provides background noise when we are beginning our day, or   company as we hop into bed.  It needs a little Pledge, too.

I admit to being swept up by Dancing With The Stars.  But I'm not beholding to TV for for a dancing fix, as I can watch any of the episodes on my lovely computer.

WR and I also indulged in Desperate Housewives, The Bachelor or Bacherlortte,  Deadliest Catch (which is about crabs, not bachelors... bwaa ha ha ha), an occasional NFL game, Cycling races, news, Numbers, and a few other shows.   We've been known to click one of the 389 remotes it takes to control the system and watch something totally irrelevant out of the corners of our eyes. 

I've threatened to throw any number of remotes through the screen as well.  They never work.


There are
times when
I think rather than TV,
I would prefer to
watch
my begonias
grow.

They grow  slowly.


(WR is my Vanna White
for showing off the size and color of
a BIGonia.)
BIGonia

Please -- let me  encourage you to post about and link your television habits.
Sign up HERE!

28 comments:

Ami said...

I loved the memories from the first part of your post. You may be a few years old than I am (I'm going to be 49 in a few months) but my family had only a black and white television until I left home in 1978.

I clearly remember watching the moon landing on our slow-to-warm set... and hearing the national anthem play when they went off the air at 9 pm.

Thanks for the trip down your memory lane!

Janis said...

Thanks for the walk down memory lane. I also loved the MICKEY MOUSe CLUB...yep I was a mousekateer also.. my fave was when they had the Spin n Marty series. I had to laugh when you mentioned Lawrence Welk, somtimes my hubs will be channel surfing and he will stop on the Lawrence Welk show...I yell at him and tell him to turn it off...its for old people (like we aren't there yet)haha. You are so right..Television has changed dramaticaly since our youth. Thanks for playing Pamela and Happy FM to you

Jenni said...

I remember watching The Lawrence Welk Show at my Gram and Pop's house when I was very young. The end with all the bubbles was my favorite part, but some of the music and dances charmed me as well. They always watched the evening news with Walter Cronkite, too, and I remember being very impressed with him. When I was older and we had moved back to Texas near my mom's parents, I remember watching Star Trek with my youngest aunt and uncle and my grandmother. I'm still a Star Trek fan (TV, not movies). I also loved watching reruns of old westerns when I was a kid. The Rifleman, Rawhide, The Big Valley, and Bonanza were all favorites.

David said...

Carmi sent me and its NO mistake.
I just posted some classic Lawrence welk on my blogs

LadyStyx said...

Lawrence Welk.....Sunday evenings at gramma's house. It was the last show we'd watch before going home.

grammy said...

We had Bozo the clown. I loved a few Saturday morning cartoons like Fury. I hate that my sweet little granddaughters watch things like Hanna Montana. Yuk compared to Mickey Mouse and Sky King and Fury.
love the flower!

Gattina said...

When I was little there were no TV the first once came up in the 50th, my parents bought their first TV in 63 when I was 20 !! But at that time I had other things in mind then a TV. I don't like these huge hanging on the wall screens either I would feel like in a cinema. We bought a flat screen now because our old one gave up its soul, but it's still sitting in our "old" TV appropriate furniture.
The desperate housewives I love to watch too, that's always funny.

Ali said...

Desperate housewives I love too. I watched the first three series on a portable DVD player whilst recovering from surgery in hospital! Surprised I didn't get bedsores...

Hootin' Anni said...

I really, REALLY like how you opened your blog entry for today. All the reminiscing...brought back so many good memories of life with FAMILY unlike what it's like today with computers, games, etc. Y'know.

My F M is now posted. If you can find time, won't you stop by? Have a great week!!

DesLily said...

i would sit and watch the channel number in a circle type thing waiting for the next program to come on! Imagine tv when there wasn't something on every minute of every day!?~ wow..

Janis: what blew my mind years later was to find out "Marty" (David Stollery) designed a car (a honda I think, not sure at the moment).. I met both Spin and Marty as adults and ..and.. I STILL had a crush on Marty! lol lol

Shelby said...

fabulous post as always.. love your reflective writing.

jill said...

I remember having to turn the channel manually on the tv. A remote sometimes still seems foreign to me! I love Numb3rs! Dang, I forgot to put the 3 in on my site, oh well! It is a great show, though.

Sayre said...

One summer I had a full-time babysitting job. At naptime for the little boy, the somewhat older girl and I would sit and watch Dark Shadows and drink Kool-Aid. Your trip down memory lane sparked one of my own!!!

Watching begonia's grow sounds like good entertainment to me!

Robinella said...

Your take on life is most refreshing, Pamela. Love reading about "olden" times as well as your current affairs. Beautiful begonia and Deadliest Catch and Whale Wars are my two favorite shows.

ChrisB said...

You have taken me down memory lane. I remember my grandmother had a TV for the Coronation and back then very few people in the village had one so the room was packed with neighbours watching this tiny screen. We had one a couple of years later-my mum bought it while my dad was away working -using the extra money he was earning for being away. It's funny how little things jog ones memory.

Swampy said...

Brings back memories of having two channels and in order to change channels, I had to go outside with a pipe wrench and turn the pole to the antenna while my dad would yell, "back to the north just a little."
Great post.

hulagirlatheart said...

Wow. Who needs TV when you have begonias like that! I remember our old black and white TV when I was a kid. And I certainly remember serving as the remote. Great post.

Anonymous said...

Did you forget Howdy Doody??
Wild Bill Hickock and Jingles, The Cisco Kid, Hit Parade,Sargeant Preston of the Yukon and his dog king, Superman

Mike

DesLily said...

Mike: don't know about Pam but I watch all of those!

Peter said...

We didn't get TV in Australia until 1956, and then only got some of the shows you mentioned Pamela, but early memories of TV are still fun.

Karmyn R said...

I used to sit on her lap and pull hairs out too! hahha

Far Side of Fifty said...

Great Memories, I so enjoyed your look back! I loved The Mickey Mouse Club too..and The Lawerence Welk Show with a one and a two and a three..was my Parents favorite..and those Lennons sure could sing. We didn't get our own Black and white set til about 1959..I was immediately hooked:)

Kila said...

That's quite a flower!

My boys LOVE Deadliest Catch.

I rarely watch TV. When I do, it's usually something about travel or home improvement, or the TLC channel.

I posted a photo for you!

Intense Guy said...

It doesn't happen everday but you sent me to the dictionary. :)

o⋅ti⋅ose  –adjective

1. being at leisure; idle; indolent.
2. ineffective or futile.
3. superfluous or useless.

My grandma loved Lawrence. She even went out west to see him tape his show way back when.

I remember Shary and Lambchop. I think I grew up before Sesame Street and the Electric Co. made it big. I confess to enjoying Mr. Rogers. Thanks for the trip to the dictionary and down memory lane!

lisaschaos said...

I do remember b&w tvs and lack of remotes but I never watched MM. I did watch Lawrence Welk. :) Love your flower! It's huge! I have a love/hate with my tv.

Merle said...

Hi Pamela~~ Long time since our early days of TV. I hadn't seen that "Shoulda bought a hat joke" before.
I don't know about gunning the car
either. I liked the Tail light one and the Baby crying and the Water one
These crooks think up some scary things. Take care, Love, Merle.

Junebug said...

Ok Pamela, I will make a silly comment. I saw that you said,"WR is my Vanna White" and for some reason I thought you were saying something about "vagina". :D LOL

~~ Nancy ~~a quilter~~ said...

Okey dokey, Pam...I'm a-lookin' for a Hummer post...I know I need to use one of your pictures on my blog (I wanted to type bologna) so bad, but I refrained!

Will watch for a Hummer here!
Hugs