Rushville Republican

Columns

February 25, 2014

Looking back as television came about

I sure miss the times when auto tires had tubes, radios had tubes and if one wanted, your car had whitewall tires with big circles of white on them. Television was new and still being found out not only by the viewers, but those doing the broadcasting. I believe Channel 6 and 8 were the first two with 6 being first.

The first year we had a TV they broadcast the 500 mile race and dad and I thought that was a great thing to do. Of course it was far from the coverage one gets today, but for the time it was really fun and interesting. We spent all afternoon in front of the fuzzy tube watching the cars go around the track. That stopped later on when they figured out they could make more money if it was not broadcast but people had to pay to get in to see the race.

Roller Derby was a mainstay in TV’s early years both men and women. That and professional wrestling were the major sports on the tube and everything was real time, no taping or anything like that.

Even the ads were at times live. I remember Betty White one time doing a commercial for a GE refrigerator and she had opened the door for some reason and the darn thing would not shut and stay shut. She did her usual outstanding self and muddled right on through the ad. Because of her problem with the door and it being live, it was what today we would say went viral.

Children’s shows Captain Video and Howdy Doody were fun to watch and usually something would go awry during the show.

One thing I really remember was how primitive the productions were at the time. Of course the fact that TV even existed was the main attraction, but the growing pains of the media were at times even more interesting than the shows. Dad and I thought the wrestling was fun to watch even when much to my displeasure I found out it was all basically a hoax. If Roller Derby or wrestling was on, dad was there.

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