No TV Until You’re 16 Years Old.


I remember JFK is blogging about game shows in the sixties. People are always freaked when I tell them we didn’t own a TV until the early sixties. I never asked my folks why. We could afford it, we had a nice house, and drove decent cars, and I we had nice clothes.

But we got along fine without TV. It was easier then.

Sometimes I would get to walk to my Grandma and Grandpa’s house and watch their set. Kinda bugged me though because if I went on a Friday night, Grandma would always want to watch boxing.

Saturday mornings were OK though. They were always busy doing other things so I got to watch Winky Dink, the Lone Ranger, and maybe some cartoons, I don’t really remember.

I do remember the surprise Dad had for us one winter. He said since Grandpa and Grandma had gone to Florida for the winter, we could bring their TV to our house until the got home in the spring.

He bought a used TV antenna and put it on a pole beside the house. Since this was just a temporary antenna, we didn’t have a rotor to adjust it to get a better signal. So when we got the TV, he adjusted it so we could get two of the three networks pretty good. The third was very snowy. So we really only had two networks for us to watch.

I mean, would you want to go outside in the dead of winter in Michigan and grab a lead pipe and turn it to adjust the antenna?

But once in a while we did. How did the person doing the twirling of the pole know when to stop? The person in the house watch the TV would scream GOOOOD.

But the really bad part was when we would get a slight thaw and the water on the pole would freeze in the base. Then it wouldn’t turn – unless we heated up some water and thawed it out. Yep, we did that once in a while too.

My wife claims to this day, I’m a couch potato because I was deprived of watching TV when I was growing up.

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