Saturday, December 4, 2010

Childhood Memories #1

Anybody remember the Japanese anime "RAIDEEN" from the 70s? This was possibly the first transforming robot that spawned everything that followed. They used to show it on Saturday night at 10 p.m. on UHF channel 47 (the Spanish channel in NYC). I watched it with my entire family, living in a 5-story walk-up tenement on the Lower East Side, on a black & white television that you had to get up to change the channels or move the aerial antennae around to get decent reception.

We watched t.v. together as a family. We all decided on what to watch, and the minority vote had to watch what the majority wanted to watch, or go do something else. We also didn't have remote controls either, so we sat through entire programs, without flipping channels once, because:
1) spinning the knob too often was liable to break it;
2) dad would smack us for doing so because television sets were extremely expensive back then;
3) we were too lazy to get up every 5 minutes to flip channels.

Attention spans back then were a lot longer than what it is today, what with all the distractions from handheld gadgets to televions with over 1,000 channels from which to choose. Is it any wonder people today have the attention span of Iceberg lettuce? Back then, there were only 7 network channels and a handful of UHF channels to watch and we weren't flipping channels every 10 seconds to see if there was anything better on another channel. We also planned our viewing schedule in advance, looking through the TV Guide and dog-earing pages and memorizing on what day and what time our show was going to come.

We also dined together at the dinner table. Dad was an excellent cook and I started watching him cook when I was two. I started cooking for the family when I was nine. I learned just by watching him.

I learned a lot of life's lessons from my parents, one of which was I would get the tar beat out of me if I did something bad, and I learned never to do it again. My mom was a very good role model, even if she did cut the apron strings a little too late. The one thing I regret was never defying her to go join the Marines when I graduated high school; she threatened to disown me, and back then, we had respect for our parents. I often wonder what my life would be like had I'd gone the 20 years in the Corps. Oh well. Life goes on.

1 comment:

  1. You had seven channels, WOW! We had the big three networks and one independent station here. You’re right about the tv guide it was essential. Every week you pawed through it marking what you wanted to see that week, because usually it was only shown once and you weren’t going to record it to watch later either. Kids have got it way too easy now. I’m starting to feel like a grumpy old man more and more these days…


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