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  • April 21st, 2009 | 6:56 PM
Tuesday memory challenge - Television

Today's memory challenge is inspired by me being a total flake, at least for a little while, to watch some television. Which got me to remembering television as a child. A really young child.

The two shows I remember most of all were the Red Skeleton show and The Ed Sullivan. Red Skeleton was my grandfather's favorite and Ed Sullivan was my grandmother's. I loved Red Skeleton, especially when he did the hobo clown. Ed Sullivan was boring except for Topo Giggio. Oh and there was Lawrence Welk, another one of my grandmother's favorites.

Watching television with my grandfather meant climbing into his lap when he sat in his red nubby chair. If I was lucky, he'd have a peppermint lifesaver to share. Watching television with my grandmother could never happen until all the dinner dishes had been washed, dried, and put away.

We watched Rifleman and I had a major crush on the son, Mark. When I started to make up stories because I was afraid to go to sleep at night I'd imagine that Lucas (the Rifleman) came to my house and told me I was really his daughter and I was going to go to the ranch and live with him and Mark. When I got older I told the same story with Blue and Manalito from High Chaperral.

We watched the Real McCoys and my mom liked to tell the story about how Richard Crenna grew up around the corner from where she lived.

On Sundays I got to watch the Wonderful World of Disney as long there wasn't something on that my grandparents wanted to watch first. After school I watched Leave it to Beaver.

Your turn. What do you remember about watching television as a child?

There are so many stories only you can tell.Tell them, please.


( 15 comments — Leave comment )
April 22nd, 2009 03:01 am (UTC)
When I got a job doing closed-captioning in Hollywood, my mom said she would never again tell me I watched too much TV! :)

Here's what I remember.
-Being required to watch documentaries with the family (instead of staying upstairs with my book). Still can't stand to listen to the National Geographic theme song.

-Watching MASH, when I was finally old enough to stay up that late, and just falling in love with a show (okay, and a couple of actors).

-Being grounded from television for not cleaning my room. Still not cleaning my room. Still not getting to watch television. Still not...you can see a pattern here.

-Watching way too many episodes of Mr. Rogers when I had to review other editors' captions. Graveyard Shift. Mr. Rogers. WAY too many sneaker-and-sweater change-outs. :)

April 22nd, 2009 03:51 am (UTC)
Oh I hated that National Geographic song too!

LOL on the Mr. Rogers.
April 22nd, 2009 03:47 am (UTC)
Amos'n'Andy on a.m. TV.

Captain Kangaroo.

Engineer Bill and Tom Hatten.


I hated the Musketeers as the girls all seemed shrill and annoying and the boys got all the fun.

Dennis the Menace, and Andy of Mayberry.

My crush was on the trail boss on Rawhide.
April 22nd, 2009 03:51 am (UTC)
Oh gosh...how could I have forgotten the Captain? I love love loved it when those ping pong balls fell.

and yes, Rawhide. Mmmm....:)
April 22nd, 2009 05:07 am (UTC)
As a 4-8 year old I watched upwards of 5 hours of TV a day. In the afternoon: Mr Rogers, then Sesame Street, then Three's Company reruns from the 70s, which were only a few years away. Those were the basics--I often watched way longer. And in the evening I watched a couple hours of sitcoms with my friends or my family. It was a great way to learn about the American culture. Not to mention how to read and write. (Thank you Sesame Street!) It was also a great way to pick up some very weird, confusing ideas about boy-girl relationships. (Thank you, Jack Tripper!)
April 22nd, 2009 08:57 am (UTC)
TV Memories
I am 57, and an Australian, so my memories might differ from yours. However, much of our TV came from America. I loved Disneyland and hope episodes about Johnny Appleseed and Davy Crockett are true, because I totally believed them. I remember Rin Tin Tin, later on F-Troop, Beverly Hillbillies, Bugs Bunny cartoons that introduced me to Wagner and other composers.

I remember Red Skelton, too. He was such a clever mime. Do you remember when he used to sew his fingers together? My mum and dad loved The Honeymooners and Black and White Minstrels, though I think neither of those would be politically correct nowadays.

For us kids in Sydney, TV was what we did when it was too dark to play outdoors. It gave us such great fodder for the games we played. And for the stories we told to each other.
April 22nd, 2009 08:58 am (UTC)
That was me waxing on about TV above: Book Chook!
April 22nd, 2009 10:26 am (UTC)
In our house, there was Girl TV, and Boy TV.

Boys got Star Trek, Doctor Who, A-Team and AirWolf.

Girls got soap operas, and kid shows.

Guess who I wanted to watch TV with. ;)
April 22nd, 2009 11:34 am (UTC)
Mom forced me to watch the Jacques Cousteau specials so I crossed my arms and hated him.

Loved Medical Center to see the hottie Chad Everett.

Liked Marcus Welby, MD but not in the same way as Chad Everett.

Brady Bunch and Happy Days were my faves.
April 22nd, 2009 01:31 pm (UTC)
Oh, I loved High Chaparral. Manolito was such a charming devil. And that show had the BEST theme music ever.

But my heart belongs still to The Big Valley. Nick, Heath, Jared! Never mind how weird it was that all these grown children remained at home with their mother and never got married.

We also loved Emergency and never missed an episode. I remember it as being terribly fast paced and thrilling but a few years ago when it was rerun on TVLand, it was shockingly slow-paced and tame. Sigh.

April 22nd, 2009 01:43 pm (UTC)
i watched the brady bunch every day after school and so wanted a bigger family! for some reason my favorite girl was jan- marsha always seemed like a snob though she had the best voice. my favorite episode was the one where marsha got hit on the nose by a ball (was it peter who threw it?) right before the big dance.
April 22nd, 2009 02:34 pm (UTC)
I loved both Red Skelton and Ed Sullivan, although I don't think I ever got to see a full show, because I had this 8:30 bedtime that sometimes I could stretch until 8:45. My favorite Red Skelton sketches were "Gertrude and Heathcliff," although why seagulls were funny I don't remember. As for Ed Sullivan, I did find most of it boring, but Topo Gigio was funny and so were some of the comedians. I remember a disco-do David Brenner and Robert Klein's "I can't stop my leg," which sent me into stitches.

Lawrence Welk--I think you have to watch him if you're a grandparent. It's a rule. Both my sets of grandparents did and when my daughter got to be old enough to spend weekends with my parents, she reported that they watched him, in rerun, on PBS. No way am I joining that club if I ever become a grandma.
April 22nd, 2009 02:56 pm (UTC)
Hawaii Five O
The Adventurers
Honey West
I Spy
The Brady Bunch
The Partridge Family
The Dobie Gillis Show (bec my brothers made me watch it while they were watching ME. Ditto for football)
Gilligan's Island

Wow, did I watch a lot of TV, or what?
April 23rd, 2009 07:23 pm (UTC)
I remember Saturday morning cartoons. There wasn't much on for kids during the week, but on Saturday mornings they ran cartoons for hours. My brother and I would actually wake up early to get the maximum watching time. Now what they were - Scooby-doo, Josie and the Pussycats, Superfriends - matters less than the feeling of anticipation. Now with so many channels and Nickelodeon and Disney and DVD's, there's no sense of urgency about watching anything. But that means that none of it really matters. When you had one six hour period to watch kid shows, it became an occasion.
April 24th, 2009 02:20 am (UTC)
Yes, kids nowadays don't realize how limited the cartoon time used to be. If I got up early on Saturdays I could watch cartoons but most of the time I chose sleep instead.

I remember getting to see Popeye after school...the old black and white one.
( 15 comments — Leave comment )

Who am I?I was born on the Cancer/Leo cusp and share a birthday with Ernest Hemingway and Robin Williams. The similarities don't stop there as I can go from depressed to ecstatic without ever passing go. I feel scared most of the time though my friends call me brave and I find it easier to believe in my friends than to believe in my own abilities to make what I want out of my life.

Who am I? A wife, a mother, a daughter, and even, gulp, a grandmother.

Who am I? A writer who never gets tired of playing with words, even when the words are hard to find. A writer of books for children and articles for grown-ups and many things in-between.

Who am I? A motivational speaker, writing instructor, workshop leader and full-time follower of dreams.

Who am I? Read and find out.

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