Though most of us deny this truth, we watch that Boob Tube, as our parents called it, so much that it's an ingrained part of our lives. For this reason and many others, I've been thinking of how television impacted our generation. In many ways we were the first TV kids. Depending on where we lived, a lot of us watched television daily before we were ten years-old. I remember all sorts of shows that were meant for kids. Buster Brown was my favorite because I loved the “Hiya, Hiya Frogeeee” part. I also wished I had some of those Buster Brown shoes.
For us, television was more like a cherry on top a sundae. It was a treat but could not compete with playing outside with our friends. I’m not saying it didn’t give us some great ideas. After watching an episode of the Lone Ranger and Tonto, who didn’t hit the dirt and go after bad guys? Girls even had a hero in Dale Rogers along with her husband Roy... and of course the real star, that lovely Palomino horse, Trigger. Later came Superman and most of our mothers lost track of their colander/earth warrior helmets as we tried to fight evil men from space.
We grew up faster than later generations. Our parents had been through World Wars and many of us followed in their footsteps. We got married earlier. We had babies earlier. Our men went to war in Korea or Vietnam. Television grew with us, at times going places we didn’t understand but found fascinating and frightening. Hippies. Who knew?
There was a bridge built for women during these years but it wasn’t easy to cross. We went from WWII working heroines to not working out of our homes to working to keep our families whole. Regardless of color, we moved slowly toward being accepted in workplaces we’d never seen before.
We were the first generation to watch a war play out on television. As horrid as this was, it felt unreal. We were also first to watch a man walk on the moon. Millions of people thought this was a faked production. Instead it was a remarkable accomplishment by people from our generation who believed anything was possible.
By now you know I'm a believer in our generation... even though we sit in recliners and watch the boob tube. We are smart and have good common sense... an ingredient most of us have tried to instill in our own children. Oh, and I’d like to say we did a pretty darned good job of it but they and their children are facing much more than innocent television shows. The world is so very different than it was when we were kids but you know what? We are still growing up and I think we must be in Prime Time.
First, we've had enough years on this planet to know what we like, don't like or may be curious about. Our long history with the medium of television may not be as much of a love affair as it is a natural part of our lives. In some cases, we have been wed to television for more than 60 years. I don’t care how you measure that... it's a long time. During all these years we’ve made a lot of decisions on what to watch or not watch. In the good old days it was easy because we had the TV Guide. It worked for everyone... a miracle in print.
Now? TV Guide is still there but you have to decide who your provider is and what they will be showing on which day at what time. It is an expensive little magazine that might or might not include your schedule of programming. WAIT! There’s more! We have Netflix, Prime and bundles more kinds of television.
Do we need it? NOPE. Do we love it? You fill in the blank. Why? We're old and we should watch everything we want to watch when we want to watch it. We’ve been television fans for so long that it's about time they give us something back... and they have but most of us can’t find it.
This is the Prime Time of our lives. We aren't going to get any better than we are right now. We deserve to see every movie we ever loved and every TV show we ever were fans of. Some of us don’t have a computer and others wouldn’t know how to find programming but it’s out there for the taking if you have the patience.
At Casa Shaffer we got so confused that we became sustaining members of OPB a few years ago. We did it because they send us a programming guide every month that we can consult it every day. We are TV junkies and make no apologies. Think of all we've seen on the television my friends. It's time we use this experience to have choices on TV make life better!
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