He squints his eyes and taps his fingers- thinking hard about the days of television that seem so long ago. Back to a time where the best entertainment meant wrestling with your siblings and talking to your friends meant meeting up at the local park. It’s hard for me to truly understand and appreciate what things were like back then when today we are all immersed in such a technologically advanced world. Television these days are a household standard and people of all ages are entertained by the increased television culture. Growing up alongside the major developments in the history of television, dad helps to paint the picture for me.
The 60’s were the childhood years where my dad lived in a little white home in Sydney’s Gymea Bay. He spent his time with his parents; June and Les, and 2 brothers; Gary and Lee, as well as a dog, 2 ducks and chickens. In the living room, parallel to the front door, features a chunky black television that is held up four legs. The TV buzzes on with the black and white static screen. Using the round dial, you would have the choice between 4 different channels that would display a black and white picture.
Dad recalls his fondest memories around the television, his brothers and himself would lay on the floor in-front of the lounge (since when is the floor comfier than the couch?) and watch cartoons like Bugs Bunny. He also watched shows like Get Smart and Gilligan’s Island but only when his parents didn’t watch TV. He says “My parents always chose what to watch- it was usually educational stuff but when they weren’t there we would always fight over what me and my brothers wanted to watch. We would always pick cartoons though”.
“Television was such a novelty, imagine not having your phone or your computer, you literally have nothing but the television for entertainment.” Dad says as he explains what it was like to have a TV when he was younger. “It was so popular and we wanted to watch it all the time but mum and dad were strict about it”. Trends in the times where dad watched television showed that he was only allowed to watch it at nighttime after dinner and definitely not while they ate dinner (doesn’t that suck!). “Sunday night was always Disney. We would watch it for hours”, says dad about his favourite moments watching TV.
Most of dad’s childhood was seeing life through a black and white screen, until late teenage years when colour television began rolling out. “It was magic”, he says. “Thinking back now I can’t believe how long I was watching black and white television for. When it came out in colour, it was like everything came to life and the television was even more exciting”.
Back then, the importance that our culture placed on television was not nearly as high as it is now. Going from one household television to six, dad loves the new ease of entertainment although he does miss rolling around in the backyard and playing catch with his dog, Trixie.
Thanks dad, you’ve given me so much to think about! I guess I’ll go sit in front of the flat screen now and watch gossip girl.
For you 50’s babies, heres a blast from the past!