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Looking Back - Just a Boomer Moment In Time - The World of Home Entertainment and Communication
by Paula Ezop
TheSyndicatedNews columnist

Paula M. Ezop writes a weekly spiritual/commentary column for Blue Ridge Today, a South Carolina publication. Her most recent book, Spirituality for Mommies is soon to be released.

The World of Home Entertainment and Communication

Looking back…just a Boomer moment in time…
And, oh we were so cool...

Can you remember your family’s first television set? I remember my Great Uncle was the first in our family to get a television. They lived a few doors down the block from us. I can remember all of us gathered around this small set in amazement.
It was a small set with a round screen. To change channels you had to turn a crank. If you wanted color (remember in the beginning all the pictures were in black and white) an enterprising company came out with a piece of plastic like material that stuck to the screen. It had various colors on it. So, when you put it across the screen people might have a green face or a red face, but you could say you watched the show in color!
When we finally got our first television we had to ask permission to put it on, ask permission as to what show we could watch, and ask permission as to how long we could watch T.V. I can hear my daughter saying, “You’ve got to be kidding!”
There was only one television per household and parents ruled!
We didn’t have pay for T.V., cable, satellite, or dish T.V. We didn’t have surround sound. We didn’t have video players or DVD players. No, if we were lucky we had a black and white television!
Imagine your life without remote control…our remote wasn’t working the other night and it was like going back to the dark ages. You certainly don’t channel surf without a remote!
Back in the 50’s we watched live television shows. Nothing was taped, everything was live and we loved it. What were some of your favorite shows?
One of the all time classics was The Ed Sullivan Show. I think the whole country was glued to their TV’s when Ed Sullivan aired.
Programming was different. Everything was geared towards the family. There was no profanity or nudity. I remember lots of musicals and westerns!
When it came to records we had 78’s, 45’s, then LP’s. We had record players, HiFis and Stereos.
You could go into a record store and ask for a copy of a hit song, they would give you the 45, and you would go into a booth and listen to it. Back then 45’s cost $1.00. Teenagers spent a lot of time in the record stores. We loved those 45’s!
Families did go to the Show to see the latest movies. The Movie Theaters were different back then, just one screen. You would see two feature presentations, a couple of cartoons, a newsreel, and coming attractions. I can’t remember what it cost but it seems to me that it was reasonable seeing as you saw two feature presentations.
I don’t remember much about radio other than when I was really young we used to listen to shows like, “Only The Shadow Knows,” and “Fibber McGee and Molly.” They held our attention…
I do remember the style of radios. My Grandfather had a huge
radio that we would all gather around on New Year’s Eve. We would listen to the New Year’s Eve Ceremony in New York. The radio was constantly drifting in and out and if you were lucky Grandpa would let you turn the dial to tune in the station…didn’t take much to entertain us!
Home entertainment consisted of radio, records, and television. We didn’t have video games or computers and the World Wide Web. But at the time we thought we lived in an age of technological advancements. How times and technology have changed…and Boomers have witnessed the changes…
I can’t even begin to imagine what the next twenty years will bring…maybe Frank Sinatra knew something when he sang, “Fly me to the moon and let me play among the stars…let me see what Spring is like on Jupiter and Mars…”

Looking back…just a Boomer moment in time…
And, oh we were so cool...

Published: Jul 16,2008 15:49
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