TELEVISION

10 09 2011

When the television stations first came on the air in my area of the country, it was probably late 40’s, early 50’s.  I am sure everyone has heard of the dancing toothpaste images with the jingle that went with them.   It was really something to see.  In fact, we were invited to my brother’s boss’ house so we could see television for the first time.  No one had a set then.  Just those privileged few who had dared to purchase one of those ‘things’.  And it was considered a real folly to do so.

The television set was very small, probably a 9″ size.  It was on top of a cabinet and all their family and all my family sat in the dark room in order to see it because with the light it generated, it was possible to see the images through all the snow.  And there was definitely a lot of snow.  It was very hard to see through it all sometimes.  And then the television set might start with those diagonal lines that were all too frequent and we might just miss seeing anything at all.

But this night at my brother’s boss’ house, we could see well enough to make out the dancing toothpaste images.  And we were all properly impressed.  I think we were probably watching the Ed Sullivan Show at the time.  Of course I had no idea who Ed Sullivan was nor what the show was all about.   But I was very impressed with those dancing tubes of toothpaste.   I had never seen anything quite like that!

Later on, my husband and I, being newly married and without any children on the way, bought our first television set.  Ours was small, too, but it was larger than what we had seen before.  And there was not quite as much snow anymore.  Besides that, you could actually make out most of the people on the shows and actually keep up with what was going on.  That was a big plus at the time.

We had so much company then that we almost had to make appointments for people.  It got so we couldn’t even go to bed on time at night because someone was watching the Dave Garroway Show in our living room.  But it was o.k.   We were young enough to take all that and still keep going.  And we were both working and making enough money to afford all the popcorn and colas and other snacks that we were serving every night.

After that ‘new’ phase passed though, we had less company.  Most of the people decided that this new fangled thing wasn’t so bad after all and they were buying their own sets.

I went to work for a firm of accountants in the early fifties.  None of my bosses had a television set.  But that Christmas, they all got one.  It was the happiest bunch of people I had ever seen.  They were all talking about having the sets delivered to surprise their families and how exciting it was watching their first shows and how the kids were enjoying all the kiddie shows.

At that time, we only had television during the evening hours.  So we all turned on our sets in the late afternoon and watched the test pattern until the shows came on.  Oh, we were really hip at that time!  But it was all a lot of fun.  And I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.

And speaking of the world.  Our world was never quite the same after that.  Such is life.  Progress, you know.

 

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