Ye Olden Days

I’m off this week, so I’m trying to spend some quality time with the kids, teaching them the important things in life that will help equip them for the years ahead.

Today’s lesson: What TV Watching Was Like When I Was Your Age.

We made it through most of the day today without relying on The Magic Box.  By about 3PM, I had used up all my tricks and turned on the TV.  Looking at the onscreen guide, I noticed that Looney Tunes was showing on Cartoon Network.  Feeling nostalgic, I figured I might as well impart some knowledge while we vegetated.  So I decided to describe what TV watching was like when I was their age, waaaaaaay back in the seventies.

Some highlights of the discussion:

  • Only having 5-6 channels to choose from, 2 of which were only part time, 1 of which we got only if the antenna was set just right
  • Explaining what an “antenna” was
  • Of those 5-6 channels, usually only 1 showed kids shows, and that was usually only for an hour or so each day
  • The unadulterated magic of Saturday mornings (two words: Schoolhouse Rock)
  • Having to plan your entire week around the one TV show you wanted to watch, so you wouldn’t miss it
  • Only being able to see the schedule of one week’s worth of upcoming programs, located in this little paper “TV Guide” that came in the Sunday newspaper
  • Explaining what a “newspaper” was
  • No recording, pausing, rewinding, or fast forwarding
  • J asking when we went to the bathroom if there was no pausing …  I told him that’s what commercials were for
  • Explaining what “commercials” were
  • Describing how TVs used to be a teeny bit larger than a half inch thick
  • Discussing the genius that was Mel Blanc
  • Explaining the concept of an in-home TV repairman
  • Changing the channel meant actually getting up, walking over to the TV, and turning a knob
  • Explaining what a “knob” was

After finishing our little stroll down memory lane, A looked at me and said

“Boy, am I glad I was born in this century.”

I started to correct her with “No, honey you were born in the same century I …”

Then I realized she was right.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to take my Metamucil, find my walker, and make it down to Hot Shoppes before 4PM.  I hear the Blue Plate Special today is liver and onions.

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3 Comments on “Ye Olden Days”


  1. Well, you can always find an extra bottle of Metamucil in your dad’s medicine cabinet (explain was a “medicine cabinet” is to A and J….and Margaret (poor dear) probably has an extra walker from her bumps and bruises having to dodge around your dad’s junk….and oh yes, the Hot Shoppes….what are they? I was born in the last century, but never heard of them…I was born in the COUNTRY – explain that to A and J! xxoo Your former (and first) babysitter!

  2. miss V. Says:

    Wasn’t that a wonderful discussion !!! Take that back to what my children, and I admit myself,are referred fondly as the DARK AGES. Try and explain why you didn’t have a T.V. until you were in the 9th grade. No tv ? well, what did you DO? Lots of laughter, mostly on my part followed..It was the first of many..Blessings.

  3. quotation marks Says:

    Now I really don’t know whether to “reply” to your blog/observations or those of your former babysitter (above). I won’t mention any blonde jokes in respect of my former pastor, her father. At least she got a job at 18. Ha. a good friend.
    Now re the subject at hand. Let’s go back to the 50s. Early on it was called “radio.” No picture to worry about. Short TV hours, maybe mid afternoon to mid evening. Then you had to stand up for the “sign-off” of the Star Spangled Banner.” If you wanted to watch anything after that, you starred at the “test pattern.” Try explaining that to J & A. Some good shows for kids during those “early” years. Now you have to get them on DVDs (I guess that’s what they’re called.) Nobs; that’s what I had kids for; to turn them and to hold the antenna. Back to work. Wouldn’t want to miss the early-bird special this afternoon.


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