Stories from the Stringam Family Ranches of Southern Alberta

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



Thursday, March 10, 2016

Waiting For It

When I was four, my parents had a TV.
A wonderful, marvellous creation that stood on its own four legs in one corner of the living room.
And, if one waited, showed the most magical, amazing programs. Like Friendly Giant.
If one waited.
After breakfast, I would hurry to the living room—and the TV therein—and look to see if something had appeared.
Usually, nothing had.
Let’s face it. I lived on a ranch. Breakfast was E.A.R.L.Y.
And the TV stations didn’t wake up until long after morning chores were done.
Wussies.
I would stare at the dark screen for a while, quietly willing something to happen.
Then begin playing.
During those early hours, play often consisted of something that kept me close to said TV.
Or following Mom around, asking when Friendly Giant would be on.
Once in a while, the genius woman would say, “Soon,” park her repetitive and annoying daughter in front of the set, and turn it on.
The Indian Head test pattern would show its familiar face. So to speak.
And keep me entertained for some time.
Did you know that, if you stare at it long enough, it . . . changes?
That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.
Eventually, ‘O, Canada’ would start and, immediately after that, I would see tiny little figures and ‘that big boot’.
Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!
My day had officially begun.
Moving forward a generation . . .
No longer did one ever stare at a blank screen or a test pattern.
For my eldest son, it was a matter of watching some lessor show whilst waiting for Sesame Street to come on.
Because the programs just kept on coming.
Another generation forward . . .
Yesterday, my granddaughter (Hereinafter known as Little Girl—or LG for short—was sitting in her parents’ bedroom.
Looking up at the big screen TV on the wall.
The conversation went something like this:
LG: “Mo-om! I’m done watching that. I want to watch this, now!”
Daughter: “Well, here’s the remote. Choose which one you want.”
LG: “It’s taking too long.”
Me: “Sigh.”

8 comments:

  1. Sigh indeed. The television didn't go on until after dinner. And then only to selected channels. Which is probably why I never developed the television habit.

    ReplyDelete
  2. We didn't even HAVE a TV until I was, I think, ten years old. And I can recall only two things about it - watching the Ed Sullivan show with the puppet (TopoGigo) and watching The Fugitive when the picture tube blew in the last five minutes of the show! No reruns at that time. No internet to download. Gah! It was HORRIBLE! hee hee

    ReplyDelete
  3. Even now I only turn on the TV when I want to watch a particular show and if everything after that isn't what I like, I turn it off again. It spends more time off than on lately. My eldest daughter is the same, but the three younger kids have TVs and computers going practically nonstop. If they don't like what's showing, a dvd will be played. Slaves to the screens, they are.

    ReplyDelete
  4. My boys were complaining that we needed more channels the other day - I just shook my head and sighed!

    ReplyDelete
  5. You really took me down Memory Lane. We didn't have the Indian Head but we did have a test pattern. Oh, how I remember.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Instant gratification! They know nothing of anticipation! Sometimes that's the best part!

    ReplyDelete

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