Marty and I were invited to our new friend’s house to see a Yankee vs. Red Sox game on his new TV. We were in our car traveling to his home that is in a nearby town of Colchester when my mind started to wander back some 50 odd years.
I recalled the time when TVs were a rarity, and people used to stand in front of the store windows where there was a display of new television sets, and at times it would be playing a broadcast. Some big and some small crowds would always congregate outside the store trying to get a look at this new invention. They always walked away with a promise to someday get a television set.
Well, it wasn’t long after this that my dad brought home a 13-inch black and white television set. We were in our glory at this time. It seemed as if we were one of the few people on the block where we lived who owned a set.
We thought we had friends before this, but at this time, it seemed like everyone wanted to do things with us. I wonder why? Yes, all of a sudden, we were everyone’s best friend.
My brother and I, who would use the new purchase more often than the rest of the family and constantly fight over it, finally devised a plan between the two of us so that we knew who would have control of the TV. We designated a particular seat in the living room. That’s right; whoever was sitting at this certain seat had complete control over the television set.
At this time, there were no remote controls, so if the person wished to watch a different program on a different channel, he had to state, “Change the channel” and then get up and go do whatever he had to. Nobody, at this time, was allowed to take the seat. If the person forgot to say these words before getting up from the seat, anyone could take over.
This was a different way to do this, but there was no way to go channel surfing like we do today. Of course, all rules were put to rest if our father or mother decided they wanted to watch something. A small argument may have developed, but the end result was always the same — the parents won.
It was also null and void when the Milton Berle Show was on. Then, Uncle Miltie always won. I was so busy reminiscing of these earlier times that I almost missed the correct turn-off.
Well, we were getting closer to our friend’s house, and the home is in a beautiful section with so much scenery. The house is right on a lake with a little boat tied up to the docks. Oops, almost missed the house while gazing at all the beauty that surrounds us. We park our car, go into the house, and boy, their TV sure has come a long way.
It is so much bigger than the 13-inch black and white. This is a huge set that is plastered against the front of the den, and I would say it is approximately 40 inches or so.
When the Yankee-Red Sox game came on, it almost felt like we were in the park. We cheered with the rest of the crowd in the stands. If a batter hit a foul ball, I actually could see the ball coming my way, and I reached out to catch it. Darn it, the person next to me in the stands caught it.
Since it was the New York Yankees vs. the Boston Red Sox teams, we could sense the friction between the two. The coloring was so vibrant that I could almost smell the grass and see each bead of perspiration on a player’s face. When a fight between the two teams broke out, it almost felt like we were on the pile of players kicking and punching one another.
Eventually the game went on again and the better team won. Seeing it on thin plasma left us with a feeling that we were at the game.
The end of the game came, and we left the house quite content but not knowing how we will stand using our television set after seeing this.
Yes, TV has come a long way. Each year finds something new and different on a set.
–Helene Rubenstein, Grand Horizons