TV Watching… In Days Gone By

It’s Friday again, and that means it’s time to join Linda for another “Flashback Friday”!  Today’s topic is all about television.  If you would like to join in, or simply read the memories of others, simply click on Linda’s button!  I’m also joining with Java at “Follow Friday” at

When I was a little girl, television was not nearly as popular as it is today.  It didn’t dominate households like it seems to now a days.  It wasn’t until the last 20 years or so that everyone seemed to go “television crazy”.  We played outside most of the time, and television watching took place in the evenings, as a family affair.

I can actually remember when the first color televisions became available.  What a big deal that was!  My aunt and uncle bought a console color television not long after they became available.  On Sunday nights, sometimes my parents and I would go to their house and watch Bonanza in color!  I can also remember watching Walt Disney’s Wonderful World of Color on Sundays, too.  Apparently, those must have been two of the first shows to be broadcast in color. 

In my childhood days, there was only one television in everyone’s house, and it was located in the living room or den.  Everyone gathered around to watch a show together.  We had a large outside antenna(above the house) that picked up the television signals.  I remember only having 3 channels to watch, CBS, NBC, and PBS.  Eventually ABC was added, then Fox came last.  Guess what?  We didn’t have remote controls either!  Parents got their children to get up and turn the dial on the television to change the channel!

I remember the shows  Gunsmoke, Perry Mason, The Twilight Zone,  and Alfred Hitchcock.  My parents liked westerns, but as I grew older, I was more intrigued by shows like Alfred Hitchcock.  I can still hear Alfred say “Good evening!”

A few more favorite television shows that I remember from my childhood days are:  Captain Kangaroo, Dr. Kildare, I Love Lucy, Batman, Bewitched, The Beverly Hillbillies, The Monkees, Dark Shadows, I Dream of Jeannie, and The Rat Patrol(strange, I know).  I also remember sitting and watching “Rowan and Martin’s Laugh In” as a teenager.  Who remembers Goldie Hawn with all of that body paint?  The times were definately changing…it was the 70’s.

My parents bought their first color television in the early 1970’s.  They gave their old black and white television to me when I got married, but didn’t last very long.  A 19 inch color television set was my husband’s first purchase for our home.  He bought it  in 1972″on time” from Kmart.  One of the first shows that I can remember watching on it was “The Price Is Right”, back when Bob Barker still had black hair!  I also remember “The Waltons” being one of my favorite shows after getting married.  I loved the Walton family, and watching how life used to be in the “old days”.  My husband didn’t like “John Boy”…he thought he was a “sissy”.

I was nearly 40 years old, married, and the mother of 3 children before we bought a satellite dish and actually received more than four channels!  After seeing some of the programming coming in on some of those other channels, I was almost ready to go back to antenna television! 

My husband and I made the mistake of allowing our children to have televisions in their rooms.  I don’t recommend doing this.  Our oldest child, a daughter, used her television responsibly.  Our sons were a different story.  Several nights I caught our teenaged boys watching television in the wee hours of the morning, when they should’ve been sleeping.  I can only imagine what they were watching…  At one point in time, we had five televisions in our house.  What were we thinking?

Now that I am retired, and have more  time to watch television, I find that there really isn’t much worth watching.  I am appalled at the things that are shown on network television these days–during primetime!  It’s worse than what used to come on satellite/cable television late at night.  I miss the wholesome family-type shows that I grew up watching.  My daughter gets frustrated trying to find shows suitable for her daughter to watch with them. 

Sometimes I’ll find some old reruns on television, and watch just for old time’s sake.  I still enjoy The Beverly Hillbillies or I Love Lucy.  How about you?  Do you have any fond memories of television shows that  you used to like to watch?

Published in: on September 10, 2010 at 8:14 am  Comments (17)  

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17 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Loved reading this! Console TVs – when TV was a piece of furniture!

    Those were definitely the good ol’ days. They don’t make shows like they used to.

  2. We still watch a lot of reruns of old shows…Andy Griffith is one of our faves. Still funny and nothing to make anyone squirm.

    Have a great weekend!

    • I forgot about Andy Griffith, we loved his show, too.

  3. We had only one TV for most of my growing up years too. Your list lots of shows. Brings back many memories. Thanks for sharing. Blessings, SusanD

    • Thanks for stopping by and leaving comment. Those were the days, weren’t they?

  4. I’m with you, Kathy, there really isn’t much worth watching anymore. When things went digital we had to get cable. About all from it NEW to us is more sports and food programs. Mostly we still watch the old broadcast that we can’t get off the air without new equipment anymore.

    I am glad you mentioned the remote control. Wasn’t that a BIG deal when they came along. Did you try jingling keys to change channels? It worked with the very old systems.

    I enjoyed a lot reading of your memories, thank you. 🙂

    • Jim, I never heard of jingling the keys to change channels. That would be an interesting way to change the channel! I appreciate your visits. I’m on my way to your place now…

  5. Hi there.
    Passing through from over 40 Follow to say hello.
    You’ve really dug up a lot of memories:)

    Have a great Friday!

    • Thanks for stopping by. I visited your place the other day, then again today. I left a comment over there as well.

  6. Kathy, hello! I’m glad I found you again. You left a message on my blog last week and I couldn’t figure which blog was yours. I settled that by subscribing to your feed….Your memories of tv are almost exactly like mine. All the tv shows you watched as a kid, I did too. My parents got their first color tv in the early ’70s. I was amazed. I still manage to find a few good tv shows today to enjoy.

    • Thanks for subscribing to my feed. I love making blog friends. I wonder, are we close in age? Interesting that both of our parents got color tv in the early 70’s, too.

  7. I grew up in a much later era, but our only television sets were old ones with dials instead of buttons and remotes. People would joke about men and remotes and we kids would ask Dad why HE didn’t have a remote. He’d always answer, “What do I need a remote for? I’ve got seven kids!” (That was also the response he gave to the question of why we didn’t have a dishwasher. “We don’t have a dishwasher? I always figured I had seven dishwashers!”)

    • Funny! I guess you dad REALLY didn’t need a remote or a dishwasher! Thanks for visiting.

  8. Hmmm… When I was a kid I watched a lot of seasame street and Mister Rogers, and then also some of the oldies that came on Leave it to Beaver, I love Lucy, etc.

    Now though, we don’t get tv at all. We watch what we want on the internet and we rent all our other movies from netflix. Our children can watch anything in their movie section at our house, making it so we have complete control of everything they see.

    When we go to friends houses sometimes I am more appalled by the ads than the shows themselves. And so glad in those moments my children really are not subjected to such things.

    • You are wise to shelter your children from today’s television, so much of it is pure trash. My children watched Mister Rogers and Sesame Street, too. Brandy loved the Muppet Show, too.

  9. Sometimes I sit amazed when I can’t find anything to watch on all these satellite channels. It seems like when I was a little girl and all we had were 3-4 channels, something good was always on. Now it seems like we have hundreds of channels and there’s nothing good to watch. I liked The Walton’s and Andy Griffith too. In fact, I still like to watch those today as well as Little House on the Prairie. I find myself watching the antics of Laura Ingalls almost every afternoon. When I was a little girl, I think the riskiest thing on TV might’ve been the commercials for Playtex Bras. Boy, have times changed. I find that it’s better sometimes not to even turn the TV on in mixed company, because you never know what they’re going to say or show – even on shows that you think you can trust. I wish TV was like it was when I was young. You could pretty much watch anything in front of anyone. In fact, I wish ALOT of things were like they were when I was young. The world was a better and safer place back then.

    • Yes, it can be embarrassing watching tv in mixed company these days! Honestly, some of the things that they advertise on tv are ridiculous.

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