Yesterday, all the weather people predicted overnight rain lasting into the early morning hours so I didn’t set the alarm figuring I’d sleep in and rest on my laurels. Of course I regretted the extended slumber when the rain didn’t arrive for hours … grrrrrrr. Well, I’ll be back to pounding the pavement again tomorrow, striding toward that 400-mile goal.
Tonight is the long-anticipated return of “Sixty Minutes” after Summer hiatus. It seems like forever since there was a new episode. This is the only show I follow. I don’t say that I watch it on TV because I listen to “Sixty Minutes” on radio station WWJ 950 AM every Sunday night. I don’t sit staring at the radio with rapt attention like this girl pictured above who was probably engrossed in “The Lone Ranger”. I have the radio on in the background. Sometimes a particular “Sixty Minutes” story will intrigue me and I’ll check out the interviewee or perhaps the scenery on a podcast or “Sixty Minutes Overtime” the next time I’m online, but mostly it is just listening to the show on the radio. My mom and I watched “Sixty Minutes” live for years and never missed an episode, even though it never started on time during football season. Those stellar interviews by Mike Wallace kept you gripping your armrests and on the end of your seat while you watched him interrogating someone or you were privy to what dirt he uncovered. He was the best in my opinion. I don’t think “Sixty Minutes” is as interesting as it was years ago; they seem to interject more fluff stories or world politics pieces now. I miss that old curmudgeon Andy Rooney as well.
As to not watching TV … well, I cancelled my cable years ago and unplugged the TV from the wall. I have not seen a television program, nor rented a movie in many years. I’ve not been to the show since ”Sommersby” in February of 1993.
After the FCC switched our TVs over from analog to digital, my mom’s tiny bedroom TV no longer worker, even with the new converter box. That RCA TV never had stellar reception to begin with. It had extraordinarily large rabbit ears attached to the back of the TV. You could adjust the rabbit ears and it was still fuzzy on some stations. Sometimes we’d hang a paperclip or wadded-up piece of aluminum foil off the top of the antenna … very scientific, but it worked! I bought my mom a 7-inch digital TV for her nightstand and it worked about half of the time. She liked to watch the news and in the middle of a news story, the picture would freeze and only the audio worked. I bought and hooked up a flat antenna, but freeze-frame was the name of the game with this TV so I gave the TV and antenna away.
I don’t miss TV. I’m a bit of an oddity I suppose. I’m probably the only person alive who has never watched one reality TV show. Reality TV would not be my cup of tea. After last Sunday’s Emmy Awards, I listened to the names of the winners the following morning and realized I had no clue about any of the shows, nor their players, despite hearing bits and pieces of TV shows or trending movies on the Warren Pierce or Mitch Albom radio programs. I am hopelessly behind in knowing who’s who in the TV zoo, so gone are the days of “must-see TV” … for me anyway. I watched more TV before I got a VCR. Of course I was younger then and staying up ’til 11:00 p.m. watching TV, then topping it off with the news followed by Johnny Carson’s monologue before turning in for the night was easy. We didn’t get our first VCR until 1989. Before then it was hard to pick and choose what to watch. There was alot of excitement in September when Premiere Week started and the old favorites were back and there were always great made-for-TV movies. The sweeps in November and February had absolutely awesome television – how about all those wonderful miniseries from years ago? My favorites were “Roots”, “Lonesome Dove” and “The Thornbirds” … I was just glued to the tube every night. I had my favorite night-time soaps: Thursday was “Knots Landing” and Friday night was “Dallas” and “Falcon Crest”. Sometimes by the end of the workweek, a nap was in order after dinner to ensure not nodding off during the Friday night television shows. There were spectacular end-of-season cliffhangers and we’d speculate around the water cooler all Summer who Abby Cunningham would be stabbing in the back or who shot JR? Do the new shows have that intrigue? Just wondering? And what happened to walking over and turning on the TV with the “on” button and checking out the regular channels 2, 4 and 7? Now you have low-tier cable, high-tier premium cable or Netflix, Hulu – it is mind boggling. I’m glad TV no longer has its hooks in me. I am liking the simplicity in my life now. Perhaps I should have lived in another era and been classmates with Richie, Potsie and Ralph Malph and suckin’ down a malt at Arnold’s Drive-in. How about living in Mayberry, North Carolina with Aunt Bee, Sheriff Taylor and his boy, Opie? Life and TV was a whole lot simpler in those days, even with those dumb ol’ rabbit ears.