Monday, March 19, 2007

while rumbling around through my unpublished drafts, I found this...

"What was your favorite t.v. show when you were a kid?"

I grew up in the boonies. (translation: country, rural, podunk, middle-of-nowhere) We had an aerial antennae. The wind would blow the antennae and we would lose the tv's signal. Except then, we didn't call it a "signal". It was a "picture." One of us would go outside ad turn the antennae, trying to tune into the "picture" better. Those of inside would stand as close as possible to the exterior wall near the antennae but could still see the tv and yell: "More! More! Wait! WAIT! TOO FAR! GO BACK! A ittle more! STOP! GOOD!" Then we'd watch until the wind blew it again.

I have the best, sweetest memory of when we got CABLE!!!

I was 15.

The first week, the cable company offered a free preview of the movie channels. Lucky us, though. They installed our cable just before a rare, long-lasting winter storm (that means that we got a couple inches snow, whuch melted and then refroze and melted and refroze again for several days in a row. That winter storm prevented them from turning off that free preview for a whole month!

Now that I think about it and know a little more about technology, I wonder what kept them from throwing the little end-of-free-preview switch at their office on time. It's entirely possible that the equipment they installed required a cable guy to come out to our house to end the free preview. (I almost said "service technician". um, yeah.)


BC tv?

BC = Before Cable

We had 3 channels. Chattanooga, TN's channels 3, 9 and 12. NBC, ABC and CBS, respectively. Occasionally, we'd get their public tv channel, but that was before educational/informational tv was worth a crap. Pre-Discovery Channel, when all they showed was documentaries about the mating rituals of the South American three-toed red ant.

At least that's what my mom says. Ant sex.

Then Huntsville, Alabama's channels boosted their signals a little and we then got 3 MORE CHANNELS! But they were the same dang channels. And the same dang public tv with the same ant porn.

Channels? This was the old way of saying "network tv". Shoot, I'm old.

And a hillbilly.

So, what did we watch on our abundance of viewing choices?

I remember fighting with my older and very mean brother over what we'd watch right after school. We'd race from the bus to the house and bust open the front door. No, it wasn't locked. It never was. We lived in a place like that. And I still do, for the most part.

I preferred Tom & Jerry and the Smurfs. He wanted something else. I don't remember at all what he liked, just that it wasn't Tom & Jerry or Papa Smurf. I do remember that we agreed on the He-Man cartoon and Thundercats. (both of which creep me out now. I mean YUK!)

And I LOVED the School House Rocks shows sooo much that when Stinkerbell was 1 (1!) I bought her the dvd set of all the episodes.

sing along with me: "conjunction junction. what's your function?"

At night, we'd have to find a show that the whole family could agree on or go to our room and listen to our radios. (My Michael Jackson "Thriller" 33rpm LP!!!) The whole family had to agree because we had ONE! TV!

ONE! I tell you! And it was in a beautiful REAL WOOD cabinet that required dusting with PLEDGE! with the grain!

real trees sacrificed themselves for our television viewing. we were special!

Mom and Dad - Dad mostly - insisted we watch Hee! Haw! (hillbillies, all) I hate to admit that there are still moments in my life when singing one of their regular songs is quite appropriate.

My brother and I loved the Dukes of Hazard, Three's Company, Love Boat and Fantasy Island.

I waited with great anticipation for the Wonderful World of Disney specials. "Extra popcorn for me, Mom!" (and the popcorn was made with a hot-air popper or on the stove! no microwave popcorn way back then!)

I think my FAVORITE memories of tv shows are also the vaguest ones.

There was one after-school special that first aired when I was about 5. In it, the kid lacked confidence and learned to believe in himself by saying "You can do it, Duffy Moon!" My mom must have watched this with me and was able to use it to encourage me as I encountered challenges of all kinds in my life.

I can't begin to count the number of times my mom said "You can do it, Duffy Moon!" to me, with a wink and a knowing smile. And that was all it took. I knew that if I tried my best, I would succeed. Even if I didn't actually hit the home run, make the cheerleading squad, become a talented artist, I succeeded by simply "doing it" and doing it with my best efforts.

I'm pretty sure that when Lucky was born in January, my mom said it then too.

It still works.

And I now share the same encouragement with Stinkerbell.

No comments: