Lots of comments about the latest Sleeper Ave. blogs and story about the arrival of television in the neighborhood.
We got a TV in 1952, when we moved to our new house. We had a huge selection of channels: 3. It always seemed like plenty.
I well remember my family taking a vacation to DC the summer I was 10. My mother said she could barely drag me out of the hotel room to see the wonderful educational sights of Washington because I didn’t want to leave the TV. It would be another year before we had one in our home, so I was mesmerized.
I remember two things about television in the early days:
1) how annoyed I was that the political conventions (shown gavel to gavel in those days, of course, by all the major networks) interrupted my favorite programs, such as the Lone Ranger;
2) going over to a rich relative’s house on Sunday nights as an entire family to watch the Shirley Temple program of fairy tales or the Disney Wonderful World of Color, because we had only black-and-white tv. It was like a different, magical world, not unlike your experience of Oz in the theater.
Again you seem to have dredged up some of my oldest memories!
The first TV in our neighborhood belonged to the family that lived directly behind us on the next street. It had a very tiny screen but was magical! I remember conning my way there by agreeing to play “little girl games” with the girl who lived there in order to get TV time (dress up, tea parties, etc.). It was excruciating for a little boy, but the TV-time payoff seemed well worth it. However, I recall having nightmares about going from my home to hers. They involved battling aliens, fires, monsters, rabid dogs, etc. as I crossed from my backyard to hers. So, even at that young age I clearly had mixed emotions about the value of television.
Comments about “The Kindergarten Band” are still coming in.
This touched and disturbed me, but from the other way around. I’ve always been musical and taught music for almost 30 years. Now I’m doing other musical work with adults in Germany. So many people here were also told as children that they weren’t musical. My standpoint is that everyone is musical and rhythmical (with a very few exceptions; see Oliver Sachs) and hearing such stories makes me sad and angry.The human race has made music for literally eons. Musicmaking only became something for “experts” in the last several hundred years.You should take up the cymbals again!
Those Waco Ladies in the 50’s were either glorious or completely misguided.I was actually told that I was rejected from the Crestview Elementary School Talent Show to be put on for all the parents because when I “auditioned” for the show, my self choreographed ballet performance (complete with flowing pink costume I designed) was too “long”.It was crushing.I was so proud of myself – flying around the stage like that – scarves flowing in my wake, lost in the beauty of Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker (I was the Sugar Plum Fairy of course) completely unselfconscious. And yet to the PTA “judges”…my performance was “too long”.It was the beginning I think of a lifetime of performance anxiety I’ve had to struggle to overcome.Like going on American Idol at the age of eight and being humiliated by Simon Cowell.Thanks for such a vivid illustration of what that is like for the young soul.