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Thursday, November 7, 2013


Television now days has high definition, clear and crisp color and more channels than a person can possibly use. They are thin, and you don't have to walk across the room to change channels. It hasn't always been that way however.

I guess that makes me an old geezer at best. I remember when I was around 11 years old my dad coming home and carrying this big box up the sidewalk. It had a metal case and small screen. I asked what it was as I had never even heard of a TV before. I was told it was a television and I asked what it did. I was told it had moving pictures on it. Dad brought it inside and set it on a table and hooked up these two rabbit antenna to it. Plugged it in and test pattern came on. We got one channel back then and they did not broadcast until 7:00 PM.  I don't remember what the show was when it came on. I had never seen such a contraption before and sat there cross legged on the floor in total amazement waiting for the first show to be broadcast. I came down stairs the next morning and sat there watching the test pattern for a good long while since I didn't know what would happen next or when a show would come on.

Then sometime later the one station became two stations to choose from and then they started to broadcast in the morning too but everything stopped around 10:00 PM and the test pattern came back on.  I think the first daytime show was Don McNeil's breakfast show or one with Arthur Godfrey. Before TV we had radio and used our imagination based on what we heard.

Commercials were at the beginning of the show, middle and end.  Usually a commercial for tooth paste, kitchen cleaner or laundry soap. Now we have a Hopper that jumps through the commercials at lightning speed. Back then a little dab of Brylcreme would do ya..or Oxydol or Ivory soap... I think I counted around 10 commercials on a single break and they come at 10-12 minute intervals in the programs now. What used to be clean minded commercials has changed to sexy commercials now days. For low testosterone, to 'erectile dysfunction', to feminine hygiene, to every drug known to mankind with all the terrible side effects associated. I don't even want to start on political advertisements as they run incessantly. Car commercials, fast food commercials, casino commercials  arthritis commercials and cell phone commercials and they go on ad nausium.  I must say that for an old geezer like me times have changed dramatically when it comes to TV. Not only the advent of color over black and white on a tiny screen, to satellite broadcasting, to remote control and even with voice control now. Sure has come a long way from that metal box with the rabbit ears and aluminum foil to increase the reception. Having to adjust those rabbit ears was a delicate task and many times I'd have to actually hold them so my parents could watch a show. Now days we can see live events from almost anywhere in the world.

Boy oh boy things have really changed and for the better if you ask me.  Kids now have no idea of what it was when TV was first rolled out. When other houses in the neighborhood got televisions we kids would play outside until broadcasting would come on; then we would all go watch TV until bed time. We would play kick the can, tag, capture the flag, football or catch with big fat mitts. I don't know what the girls played because they rarely had any play with us boys.   Then they developed  a funny looking piece of plastic that went in front of the screen to make things appear in color before they actually developed broadcasting in color.

Seems to me that now a days kids take all this wonderful technology for granted and can't wait for the next advance. These are their good old days that children of today can't hardly imagine.  If they only knew how it was when it all started... Time to post this and turn the TV on and select a station to watch or maybe I'll go split screen and watch more than one show at a time... Technology can be a really good thing especially when it comes to television.


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