Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

From the 50s and 60s to today . . .



Sunday, April 28, 2013

SSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS

Yummm!
Though we lived at the back of beyond, the modern world did at times intrude.
Certainly it was there in the tools we used and, increasingly, in our entertainment.
Sometimes, miraculously, in both at the same time.
It was that way when we got our first ever television.
I remember it well. A large unit which stood on its own stubby legs and emitted a magical black and white picture. Mom would turn it on in the morning and I would sit and watch.
The Indian Head Test Pattern.
For hours.
That picture was amazing. It never occurred to me that it was unchanging.
It was there. I stared at it.
Okay, I was really waiting for ‘The Friendly Giant’ to come on.
But Mom would craftily switch on the set long before the program aired and I was caught. Snared by the light that flickered from the magical box. Her little 'dear' in the headlights.
It was the first ever electronic baby-sitter.
What genius!
As time went by, we discovered that, with an enormous antennae perched at the very top of the tall tower on the hill which rose to the north of us, we could miraculously get . . . two channels. The variety: endless. The choices: unlimited.
Sundays were the best.
On Sunday evening, after dinner, there was a whole line up of goodies. First was The Disney's Wonderful World of  Colour (in black and white), followed by Ed Sullivan Show, and finally, if I had been really good, Bonanza!
Surprisingly, I watched it often. It was amazing how a week’s worth of mischief could be erased by the advent of Sunday evening.
Peace filled the land, and flickering light filled our living room. We were glued to the set, as adventure after adventure unrolled before us.
But at some time during the week was the best program of all. The one I waited breathlessly for. The show with the best and biggest of heroes. And the nicest horses.
Gunsmoke.
Sheriff Dillon was my hero.
But I loved Chester, with his limp. I just knew that, when I got older, I would marry Chester.
Okay, my knowledge was sadly lacking, but the spirit was there!
There was only one hitch to my love of this program.
My pronunciation.
I couldn’t say it.
If Mom made the mistake of telling me a wee bit too early in the day that it was a Gunsmoke night, I would walk around all day chanting, “Gunmoke! Gunmoke!”
And I do mean all day.
It probably got a little . . . irritating.
My Mom would try her ‘Mommy’ best to help me. She would kneel in front of me and say, and I quote, “GunSSSmoke. GunSSSmoke.”
I would stare at her and move my mouth with hers.
She would repeat. “GunSSSmoke. GunSSSmoke.”
She would smile at me encouragingly. “GunSSSmoke. GunSSSmoke.”
Expectant silence.
I would open my mouth.
Mom would nod.
“SSSgunmoke! SSSgunmoke!
I never really noticed her disappointment.
Or irritation.
I was too happily watching my hero of heroes.
Sheriff Dillon.
On Gunmoke.

9 comments:

  1. All across the country we were all transfixed by those simple innocent programs....look what a bed of snakes has evolved from that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I liked Cheyenne, with Clint Walker. And really a good looking man, too.

      Delete
    2. And the SSSSSSSSSSSS would still apply . . . :)

      Delete
  2. My name is %name&% and first off I want to say great
    blog. If you don't mind, I just have one quick question. What do you do to clear your thoughts and find your center of focus before you sit down to write? Recently I just can't get my head clear so that I'm completely ready to give attention to my ideas. I love writing once I get into it, but most of the time I feel as if I end up wasting the first 10 to 15 minutes driving myself to concentrate. Do you have any suggestions or methods?

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    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Actually, it usually takes me a few minutes to get myself 'into the writing space'. I hem and haw and type a bit and change it. And then, finally, I take off. I think most writers have to work to get themselves into their writing. You are not alone! Thank you for visiting! I hope you'll come back again!

      Delete
  3. My favorite was Cheyenne with Clint Walker. What a hero! And so....good looking, especially from my adult viewpoint.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hmm . . . I'm going to have to find this program! Sounds like my kind of entertainment! :) We didn't get it on either of our two channels!

      Delete
  4. I haven't thought of Gunsmoke and Cheyenne in decades! Now I'm going to have to see if I can hunt up the series and buy them. Were you able to say "smoke" on its own? That might have been easier to learn. Gun, then Smoke. Until you could string them together.
    My brother had a problem with Kellogs, for him it was KelloNgs. I think it still is.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. HeeHee! I'll have to come and watch them with you!
      Mom tried to get me to say 'Smoke' by itself. I just said 'moke'! I was a slow learner. I think I would get along with your brother . . .

      Delete

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