Sunday, 17 March 2013
Sunday thoughts . . .
I think over the past couple of weeks I have watched more television than I have done in years. I normally never watch television during the daytime . . . but these past two weeks I've watched a lot of it. Just goes to show I have not been well at all . . . television is such a waste of time, especially daytime television.
I never actually saw a television when I was a child until I was 4 years old. We had been living in Germany up to that point and my parents hadn't had one. They didn't speak German I guess and didn't see the need. The first television I saw was my Grandparent's, and it was the old fashioned one which kind of looked like this . . .
I don't think it made much of an impact on me because I can't really remember actually watching it. My mother, sister and I were staying with my Grandparents while my father went out West to Manitoba to find a house for us. We were there for about six months, during which time my mother gave birth to my brother. When we finally did get to Manitoba, my parents purchased their own television and it was a little more modern looking . . .
I would imagine it was a pretty expensive piece of kit. I know it took pride of place in our living room, much like our modern one does today. It had the old test screen, of the Indian, which would come on early in the morning while the telly was warming up. Once it disappeared we had regular programming until midnight, when it would show the Queen riding on a horse, whilst our National Anthem and God Save the Queen played . . . after which the Indian would appear once more.
There was a horizontal and vertical hold on it, that you sometimes had to fiddle with to get the picture to come in just right. If it was wrong the picture would roll up or sideways until you did get it right. It was black and white of course . . . we never had a colour television until the early 1970's.
The television was an important part of our family. That's how we kept in touch with the outside world. We had our favourite programs . . . Saturday night was always the Ed Sullivan show, and Hockey Night in Canada. Anyone who was anyone appeared on the Ed Sullivan show. The first time I ever saw Petula Clark and the Beatles, it was on Ed Sullivan. I don't think we children were really all that interested in Hockey, but my parents were and I can remember my father and mother cheering when their team would score (Montreal Canadians) and we got to each have a small bowl of potato chips and a glass of soda pop for a treat.
Of course back then we only had about 6 hockey teams . . . the Montreal Canadians, Toronto Maple Leafs, The Boston Bruins, The Detroit Red Wings, the Chicago Black Haws and the New York Rangers. You knew all of the players names. They were real celebrities and role models for little boys. That was when Hockey was a sport which was played in the back yards and on the streets of every small town in the country. You didn't need special equipment to play . . . just a stick, a puck and a pair of skates.
I remember when I first moved out to Winnipeg as an adult, and my husband gave me the tour and showed me Bobby Hull's house. It was a bungalow. It was a nice bungalow, but it was a bungalow all the same. Obviously the players didn't get paid the big bucks like they do today.
Sunday night television was dominated by the Walt Disney Show, Bonanza, and Don Messer's Jubilee. Don Messer's Jubilee was very popular in our house because it came from Halifax, Nova Scotia and was a little taste of home for my mom. Walt Disney was something different every week. I really liked it when they had cartoons on it, not so much when it was the animal programs . . . but when I think back on it now, I learned a lot from watching the animal programs, and of course . . . I thought Little Joe Cartwright was the most handsome man on television.
My mother quite liked Dr Kildare. I would sometimes be allowed to stay up and watch as well. There always used to be a chalk board at the beginning of the show where a Doctor would be drawing these medical symbols on it in chalk and saying what they meant . . . I remember the man and woman signs . . .
Of course in those days most television shows taught you something . . . there was a moral and a lesson to be learned from everything. There was a purpose to it . . . and the good guys always won.
You never heard anyone swearing or cursing . . . and there wasn't any nudity or sex. People may have gotten shot in a cowboy show . . . but it wasn't accompanied with a lot of blood and gore. It was a really simpler time. (Just look at how young Burt Reynolds is in that picture above!)
It was a magical time when a Martian could live in a room over top of your garage . . . and he wasn't a threat . . .
Genie's lived in bottles . . .
The local Sheriff didn't need to carry a gun . . .
You could discover oil in your own back yard . . .
Everyone loved and admired the girl next door . . .
Nun's could fly . . .
Shoes could talk . . .
And this was about as racy as it ever got!
That's only the tip of the iceberg of course, but these shows and others like them were shows which helped to shape my character and my values. They were a very important part of my childhood . . . and I suspect yours too.
Things are really different now . . . I don't think television teaches you much in the way of values, not like in the olden days, but I could be wrong. Nothing is simple now . . . fantasy has been replaced with reality. There is vulgarity and nudity galore . . . violence and sex abound, and with each year that passes and each new program that arrives . . . the limits are pushed further and further . . . nothing is left to the imagination anymore. I do like shows such as Downtown Abby and Call the Midwife . . . but in the scheme of things they are pretty tame shows compared to a lot of others that are on . . .
We do watch dvd's a lot. We collect them . . . The Waltons, Little House on the Prairie, Andy Griffith, Leave it to Beaver, etc. and others. I think we have the whole Father Knows Best Series as well as Mary Tyler Moore and a few other ones. We like period dramas like Cranford, Larkrise to Candleford and Downton Abby. I am always disappointed when one of them gets cancelled.
I suppose they call it progress . . . I think I am a bit of a dinosaur . . . caught up in the past. I think I like the past better. When I watch television I want to be entertained . . . not assaulted.
Yesterdays silver lining . . . and chat and a laugh with my sister and my father. I am glad that my father is feeling better. He was actually going to venture out yesterday. He likes to go to his local coffee shop for tea and toast in the morning. He calls it crusty toast because it is made from the crusts from the bread. They save them for him. We all like crusty toast in our family, which caused quite a dilemma when we were growing up because there were five of us in the family . . . and only two crusts. Dad always won.
A thought to carry with you through today . . .
Out beyond the ideas of right-doing, and wrong-doing is a field . . . I'll meet you there.
Baking in The English Kitchen today . . . A Very Good Lemon Loaf.
Delicious Cinnamon Blondies. Like brownies . . . but cinnamon and brown sugar flavoured.