Friday, October 1, 2010

A Long Time Ago in a Galaxy Far, Far Away

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.


  1. ha ha ha...those were the daze!!! Fun to remember those things. I remember eating potato chips and dip, watching the Million Dollar Movie on Saturday night. Thought I'd gone to heaven... Remember Gregory Graves??? and all his scary movies? Boy you sure drummed up some fun memories...LOL!

  2. I remember my family gathering around the TV for this show. My dad's name is Fred so he was stuck with a Freddie Flintstone nickname. We loved this show...and the nice part was so few commercials. This was such a simpler time.
    I was just thinking back on this tonight when my daughter and her family were here this evening...their lives seem so chaotic. SIL with the constant texting and phone calls through our meal...and just the amount of chaos they bring in. There is such a whirl in the house.
    I grew up with 5 siblings in a very small house and yet even that felt simpler than today.
    Thanks for reminding me of those wonderful times.
    Yabba dabba doo!

  3. What a delightful post. Good writing that portrays vivid imagery. I think eveyone can relate to the early days of TV, when families gathered to watch this moving picture right there in your home. I always think of the Jackie Gleason show as my TV watching debut. The old Texaco ads were as much fun as the show. Thanks for the memory.

  4. ...I"m thinking your fruit tree is a nut tree....the Buckeye tree that Ohio-ans are nicknamed for and which is prevalent in the midwest....They bring good luck, and people have been known to pierce them, wire them together and make wreaths and swags and things from them. They are really beautiful but you can't eat them. Children, and me, collect them in the fall. They love hanging out together in a bowl on a table, and they last forever. Enjoy!

  5. Thanks for sharing your own memories with me, and thank you Anon for your thoughts on the chestnut tree. I think I will put a few in a bowl on the table. Good idea. thanks!

  6. I enjoyed reading this ...great memories of TV in the early days. NZ celebrated 50 years of TV earlier this year and we didn't have one at home until a couple of years later and when we did we suddenly had more visitors! The Flintstones was a favourite and also Bonanza but myself I liked Rawhide I very seldom watch TV.

  7. I, too, liked Rawhide. Wagon Train and Paladin, were other favorites. I watch only one show now, with anything approaching regularity. Thursday night for half an hour. Alas and alack, those nerds on "The Big Bang Theory," have found their way into my heart.

  8. I loved this post, Teresa. Was thinking much the same when the Flintstones' 50 year anniversary was announced that day.

    My best friend lived across the street from the school and we'd go to her house after classes and watch American Bandstand with Dick Clark!

    About the Lynx...I know that cry well as we lived five miles outside of town in the "sand hills". Chills up the spine is exactly what I would feel. I remember once when my sisters and I were berry picking, we heard the lynx and we absolutely FLEW home terrified! As we were coming into the clearing by our house, my father was sprinting in the opposite direction with his gun!

    The Big Bang Theory is great.

  9. Hi Cheryl! Yes, I loved American Bandstand. So many great singers/groups were introduced there.

    Your story of the lynx sounds so much like my own. Thanks for sharing It!

    I was glad to read that "Sheldon" won the Emmy. He is a hoot.

  10. When I was growing up we had 2 tv stations. And every Saturday morning was Buggs Bunny (im still a huge fan)....Then Saturday night was Lawrence Welk and HE HAW.....It's funny in life how you try to leave what you have when you are younger. But then once you are older you want to go back to what you had......

  11. Isn't that the truth... Life was simpler, or so it seems. Thanks for visiting... :)