Friday, January 30, 2009
I took this Thursday morning at about 7:30 from the Sea Breeze restaurant as people driving by wondered what on Earth I was doing. Speaking of wondering, I often wonder why I can never find anything decent on television when I have approximately 5,362 channels to choose from. How is that possible?
Every now and then I like to reminisce about the good old days, before cable TV and microwavable pancakes, but right around the time of 8-track cassettes, Tang and Space Food Sticks. (I loved the chocolate ones and swore I was turning into an astronaut with every bite I took.)
Yes, I often reflect back to the days when all television sets had aerials and rarely picked up more than three channels, which of course were ABC, NBC and CBS. There was no network devoted to food; no 24-hour cartoons; and no movies on demand. To watch a movie, you looked up the show times in the paper and drove to the theater. Before Gloucester's Hillside Theater and after Donk's stopped showing movies, that would entail a 40-50 mile drive for those of us in Mathews. You also didn't have to take out a second mortgage to buy popcorn, but that's a topic for another day.
Back during the 1970’s, the closest thing to Reality TV was the news, which was actually about The News, rather than what Katie Holmes wore to the Screen Actor Guild Awards or how a one-eyed grandmother in North Dakota gave birth to a flounder. For instance.
Here's a random list of some of the programs we watched and/or I remember from that decade:
Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman (Was this chick weird or what? She looked like an aging Pippy Longstocking, never happy, whiny, always in the midst of some crisis or drama....Wait a minute. I resemble some of these remarks.)
The Carol Burnett Show
Hee Haw (Yes, we did watch this, and we may have even liked it, but you're not going to get me to admit that here.)
Sonny and Cher
Lawrence Welk (We were forced to watch this. It was painful.)
Glen Campbell (I really wanted him to be my Rhinestone Cowboy; I had a huge crush, until I saw Medical Center's Chad Everett, who was later replaced by KC Royals baseball player George Brett, who has been replaced by my current boyfriend, Harry Connick, Jr.)
All in the Family
Mary Tyler Moore
Laverne and Shirley
Mork and Mindy
Dukes of Hazard
Charlie's Angels (I actually hated this show. Hated it! Also a topic for another day.)
The Waltons (I might have had a teeny tiny minuscule crush on John Boy back then, although that mole was very distracting, and he was a tad too gaunt.)
Little House on the Prairie (Tears, anyone?)
Walt Disney (on Sunday nights, preceded by Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom, of course)
Hawaii Five-O (a Chesapeake Bay Mother’s favorite, I could take it or leave it except for the theme song).
Six Million Dollar Man (I also wanted to marry him for about a day, but I quickly snapped out of it.)
Buggs Bunny-the all-time best in the cartoon category. Ever.
Josie and the Pussycats
Grape Ape (What kind of a person thinks up a character called Grape Ape? How much money does this person get paid? Are there currently any openings for the creative sort who spawns ideas like a ginormous purple ape who says two words, "Grape Ape?" I'd really, really like to apply.)
Scooby Doo (I might have had a crush on the blond-haired guy. Yes, I had a crush on a cartoon character. It was his broad shoulders.)
HR Puffenstuff....Who's your friend when things get rough. (Ummmm. Hello? Puffin' what?)
...and tons more I'm sure you will remember.
Yes, those were the good old days of television. Today we have hundreds of channels and rarely can find anything worth watching. In the days of three channels it seemed like everything was entertaining, even if it was a show featuring a midget dressed in a tuxedo living on an island where Ricardo Montalban granted people’s every wish.
Right now, I wish I was coming in for a landing in Ze Plane sitting next to George Brett. Or Chad Everett.
But definitely not John Boy or that cartoon character, just to be clear.