The following email was sent to me from my father. (He’s in his 60s) It relates a bit more to him than me but I had to share and comment on it.
I really do remember black and white tv. I am under 40 by the way. We got our first color TV when my mother’s parents replaced theirs (at least that’s how I recall it). My father’s parents had a really old floor model TV that was b/w and we had a small b/w. I remember watching Captain Kangaroo and Howdy Doody on the b/w and was amazed at the colors when we switched, as I hadn’t watched Captain any place else besides home. We got maybe 5 channels; 5, 6, 8, 10, & 13.
Even though I know this dates me & makes me seem OLD, I have to agree that it was a much better time.
Black and White TV
(Under age 40? You won’t understand.)
You could hardly see for all the snow,
Spread the rabbit ears as far as they go.
Pull a chair up to the TV set,
‘Good Night, David. Good Night, Chet.’
My Mom used to cut chicken, chop eggs and spread mayo on the same cutting board with the same knife and no bleach, but we didn’t seem to get food poisoning.
My Mom used to defrost hamburger on the counter and I used to eat it raw sometimes, too. (I never ate burger raw) Our school sandwiches were wrapped in wax paper in a brown paper bag, not in ice pack coolers, but I can’t remember getting e.coli.
Almost all of us would have rather gone swimming in the lake instead of a pristine pool (talk about boring), no beach closures then.
The term cell phone would have conjured up a phone in a jail cell, and a pager was the school PA system.
We all took gym, not PE…and risked permanent injury with a pair of high top Ked’s (I never had high top Keds but we had to change our shoes) (only worn in gym, or you just wore your socks) instead of having cross-training athletic shoes with air cushion soles and built in light reflectors. I can’t recall any injuries but they must have happened because they tell us how much safer we are now.
Flunking gym was not an option…. even for stupid kids! I guess PE must be much harder than gym. (I got an incomplete in gym because my teacher was an ass & I actually had improved over the summer. Maybe it was also because I told him off because he was being an ass.)
Speaking of school, we all said prayers and sang the national anthem, and staying in detention after school caught all sorts of negative attention.
We must have had horribly damaged psyches. What an archaic health system we had then. Remember school nurses? Ours wore a hat and everything. (Mine didn’t have a hat.)
I thought that I was supposed to accomplish something before I was allowed to be proud of myself. (Encouragement is different than entitlement… I learned that, my kids have learned that too.)
I just can’t recall how bored we were without computers, Play Station, Nintendo, X-box or 270 digital TV cable stations. (Kids weren’t obese until cable TV was in every home & with game stations.)
Oh yeah… and where was the Benadryl and sterilization kit when I got that bee sting? I could have been killed!
We played ‘king of the hill’ on piles of gravel left on vacant construction sites, and when we got hurt, Mom pulled out the 48-cent bottle of mercurochrome (kids liked it better because it didn’t sting like iodine did) and then we got our butt spanked. (We’d climb the neighbor’s trees & fall out of them & get a stern lecture when we’d come home hurt.)
Now it’s a trip to the emergency room, followed by a 10-day dose of a $49 bottle of antibiotics, and then Mom calls the attorney to sue the contractor for leaving a horribly vicious pile of gravel where it was such a threat.
We didn’t act up at the neighbor’s house either; because if we did we got our butt spanked there and then we got our butt spanked again when we got home.
I recall Donny Reynolds from next door coming over and doing his tricks on the front stoop, just before he fell off. Little did his Mom know that she could have owned our house. Instead, she picked him up and swatted him for being such a goof. It was a neighborhood run amuck. (Kids will be kids no matter where they are & suing someone because your kid is stupid is just STUPID!)
To top it off, not a single person I knew had ever been told that they were from a dysfunctional family. (Dysfunction was hidden well and created the deviants of society, serial killers, child molesters, & multiple personalities. This is the one thing I am glad has come a long ways.)
How could we possibly have known that we needed to get into group therapy and anger management classes? (Meh)
We were obviously so duped by so many societal ills, that we didn’t even notice that the entire country wasn’t taking Prozac! (Prozac is a band aid for a greater issue, it’s good for a time to get you through but shouldn’t be a fix.)
How did we ever survive?