Monday, September 20, 2010

Radio vs Television

It has been some time since I have posted to this my personal journey blog. The next part of my journey was to deal with the people who were influential in my life and that portion was feeling a bit too painful so I let the blog be.

But, here I am, after reading Ralph’s blog today about television and Jerry’s about high school drop outs. I don’t know whether to consider the two of them inspirational and just aggravating!

Anyway, one at a time. On television and the utter waste of time it has grown into. I know someone with two satellite dishes so they can receive both American and Canadian content …. To the tune of 900 channels on each dish! I’m afraid I couldn’t even feel comfortable reading the programme directory it would eat up too much of my time.

I was brought up in the days of radio. Do you remember radio! Ours was an old floor cabinet style, you know, the ones with the ‘green eye’ that would glow when turned on. A tube model; had a difficult time finding tubes for my father in later years hunting all over the city of Toronto until I found some; but that is another tale for another day.

Do you remember Amos and Andy, Fibber McGee and Molly and Fibber’s closet that would rattle and clang when he opened the door. The Green Hornet…ah yes, the Green Hornet. The Green Hornet was as violent as it got….and it wasn’t violent.

On occasion when I have company and a movie or programme is being watched I will go to my little kitchen and prepare snacks or desserts and the comment usually is “your’re missing half the movie” or whatever. I cannot seem to make those watching understand having been brought up with radio I don’t have to see ‘television’ to envision what is happening.   When I am, it seems forced, to watch television I usually do something else and frequently read at the same time; don't feel like I'm quite wasting so much time that was.  Listening to radio we would conjure our own visions, visions that remain today far more vivid than what is produced for television. And what fun it was imagining the programme. Our imaginations could soar to so many different levels. Or, was that just the artist in my head?

I remember sitting with my father Saturday evenings when he listened to opera. I’m sure he didn’t know the words, but he knew the score and the music; the conductors and the instruments. What a wonderful introduction to classical music. And radio was not turned on until after all evening chores were done and the smaller children tucked in bed.

My father also had a battery operated short wave radio from his homestead farming days. That was fun, trying to pick up signals from remote places.

Television didn’t come to our town until the mid 50’s. My best friend's father owned an applicance store and we would sneak up at night to turn the television sets on to watch the ‘snow’ on the screens. The towers hadn’t yet been installed in town and it was such an exciting introduction to the modern world.
Programmes were simpler then weren’t they. We did not have a television set in our home, so Thursday evenings the family would congregate at my grandparent’s home to watch Thursday night wrestling. My, oh my what an event. A few years later I was to meet a wrestling star and was quite chagrin to find he was just another human being.

And comedy was comedy….the comedian didn’t have to be vulgar or obscene to be considered funny. Remember Red Skelton and Freddy the Freeloader. I have a cassette of Red Skelton and it is one of my favourite programmes which I often play. We truly had it all didn’t we!

I leave you with  The Green Hornet and Red Skelton with his kindly humour and his nightly ‘God Bless’

Today's other blog talks about watercolours. pinnacles and potholes


  1. Ruby, what a great today, invoking wonderful memories of my childhood! I also grew up in a house without a television and I was 43 years old bnefore I finally caved in and bought one!
    I remember playing a lot when I was a kid, outside "kick the can" and softball and inside with my family scrabble and monopoly and listening to the same radio programs you did! We were never bored there was always a lot going on!

  2. Hi again... Friend Ruby!... This is my first visit to this second blog site that you create!

    We are certainly on the very same "wavelength" Ruby about the use and abuse of media... but hasn't that always come down to personal choice... even back in the good 'ol Amos and Andy...Our Miss Brooks... The Happy gang... Red Skelton... the Green Hornet... The Shadow... Neighbourly News... et al???

    My 14 and 16 year old sons choose to have Saturday lunch... at TV tables... a constant "menu" of... home made soup...along with an episode of Gun Smoke.... Red Skelton... The Lone Ranger from our family collection.

    They identify Leonard Nemoy aka Spock in Gun Smoke as an apache "renegade"... or is that liberator... both views are suggested. Lou Grant... aka Ed Asner is a gruff and less-than admirable cavalry sargeant. Life changes... a great lesson to children... and adults alike!

    A wonderful and insightful look at yesterday... and today Ruby! "You" create and leave... much food for thought! Thank "You"!

    Lastly... "You" are NO wannabe in either of your works Ruby! Stand tall... and proudly!

    "Happy Trails to "You"... until we meet again!"
    Warmest regards,

  3. A marvellous post Ruby brings back many memories.