The first thing that caught my eye in today's news was not Rahm Emanuel leaving the White House, nor the NATO convoy in Pakistan being attacked, not once but twice (I don't even want to go there). No, what caught my eye was that today is the 50th anniversary of The Flintstones! The reason that seems to stick out for me is that I recall it being the first television program I watched on our new television. Well, it wasn't new, it was given to us by Aunt Gertrude, my dad's sister. Up until that day, about the only television we had watched was when we walked to our cousin's house near Easter time and watched The Wizard of Oz. There we were, all gathered around that small brown box of black and white images. We thought we'd died and went to heaven. Why that movie was shown at Easter time is still puzzling, but it was a holiday, of sorts, and holidays required something extra. Maybe it was the message it seemed to be heralding, "There's no place like home."
During the warmer months we would occasionally walk down to our grandparent's house, half a mile away, and watch Bonanza on Saturday nights. On late fall days we would walk home in the dark and hope against hope that we wouldn't hear the cry of the lynx that made its home in the woods next to our grandparent's pasture. It sounded to us exactly like the cry of a baby, which sent chills through us and a deep desire to run like hell. The problem with running is, it tends to create more fear and we were trying hard to contain it. Once the running started bad things could happen. Like me getting left behind, my short legs unable to keep up with my older siblings. A very unpleasant prospect for all concerned.
So, we finally got our own TV.
Here I am, fifty years later, with the same number of channels I had then. I will save myself, and you, from my diatribe about television. Instead, I'll just remember Fred and Wilma, Barney and Betty, when life was simpler and it all still seemed like a good idea.