Saturday, March 15, 2014

First TV

When I was a kid my neighbor and best friend got a new thing called a television set. Every evening I'd go to her house and we'd watch the Howdy-Doody show. Some of the other kids in the neighborhood would peer in the window to watch it until her mother rearranged the furniture so they couldn't see the TV to keep them from trampling her flower bed.

It wasn't long before lots of people had TVs, but my mother considered it a luxury we couldn't afford. But then when kids were allowed to stay home from school to watch Eisenhower's presidential innauguration and I was one of the few who had to go to somone else's house to watch it, my mother relented.

Soon we, too, had a TV.

In the San Francisco Bay Area we could get three channels, 4, 5, and 7. (I wondered where Channels 1, 2, and 6 were. My mother said probably somewhere on the East Coast.) But when Channel 4 went "superpower" a wide, dark stripe appeared down the middle of the screen so we couldn't see anything. I guess a tree was blocking the signal since my neighbors could still see it. But it wasn't long before we got one more channel, Channel 13.

In the summer time, like many kids in our small town, I participated in Junior Theater. Two years in a row those of us who had important roles in the play went to San Francisco to publicize our performances on KCBS Channel Five. I actually got to be on TV!!!

Of course most of you are too young to remember the early days of television, but what shows did you watch when you were growing up?


Penelope Cole said...

Hi Jan, My brothers and I watched "Howdy Doody" and all the first TV shows, too. We were one of the first to get a TV (I think Dad went in debt to get it or went without something). We watched "Kula Fran and Ollie," "Captain Kangaroo," the "Mickey Mouse Club." We were even on a TV show on "King Norman's Wonderland!" He had a tiny amusement park in the Concord shopping Center that was moved and name changed to Pixieland Park -- still in operation in Concord.

Janet Ann Collins said...

I remember lots of those shows. Never saw that park, though.

Susan J. Berger said...

In Buffalo Ny we had a channel that played lots of old Western Movies. I loved Howdy Doody and got to meet Clarabelle the clown and Princess Summer Fall Winter Spring.
When we moved to New Jersey, we didn't have a TV and I listened to radio shows.
When we moved to Long Island, my favorite show was Captain Video and His Video Rangers.
Later Annie Oakley and, my favorite of all, Roy Rogers.

Janet Ann Collins said...

Thanks, Susan. You're lucky to have met such famous "people." I lived in New Jersey when I was a little kid. Nobody had TVs back then because they hadn't been invented yet. Can you tell I'm old?