Monday, August 22, 2005

Found This The Other Day

Yep. That's me, back when I really was a "Child of Television". I must have been about 3 1/4 or 4 1/4 back when that picture was taken. Back in those days they used to have the date (at least the year) on the white border of the film but for the life of me I can't tell you if it was the date when the picture was taken or when it was developed. The date on this one was 1960 so that would mean Christmas of 1959 or 1960. Probably 1959.

What would I have been watching back then? There was quite a bit of local programming of course. There was a local early morning kids show host (and for CFQC early morning meant about 11 a.m. - in the summer they sometimes didn't come on until 2 in the afternoon) named Helen Hays who later became Helen Lumby and in the 1970s did Size Small shows for Canwest Global where some of the old hands from CFQC ended up. There was a local ladies' show host named Sally Merchant who would later be elected to the Provincial Legislature and would, years later, be followed into the Legislature by her son Tony (Tim Gueguen will know exactly who I mean). Network kids shows would include Maggie Muggins which I think was a carryover from CBC radio, The Friendly Giant with Bob Homme and Rod Coneybeare providing the voices of Rusty the Rooster and Jerome The Giraffe, and Chez Helene with Helene Baillergeon which was an early attempt at bilingual education. It was a good time for cartoons. The standbys were Ruff and Reddy, Yogi Bear, Huckleberry Hound and Quickdraw McGraw. The local station had a good news department, largely fuelled by the radio side which won a number of awards for local coverage. Network shows? From around this period I remember things like Maverick, Bonanza, Have Gun Will Travel, Gunsmoke and Wagon Train (there were a lot of westerns on the air at the time but these really stand out), The Untouchables, The Jack Benny Program, and of course Ed Sullivan.

Old memories are rosy. It may be that the stuff I remember wasn't that good and I simply remember it as being better than it was. It does say something about it that I remember it at all though, particularly when you think that I can remember the names of only a couple of the kids I grew up with when that picture was taken. Television was a big influence for me in the same way that it was for everyone else in my generation. I can't help but wonder what my nephew will remember in the same way. Will it be his Thomas The Tank Engine DVDs and looking at the website for The Wiggles "on the coputer"? I don't know.

Oh, and by the way, that plane that's sitting on the floor beside me? I still have it. It had a friction motor which meant that if you pushed it on the floor the propellers would spin. Somewhere along the line the nose wheel got lost and in a fit of childish verisimilitude (probably inspired by seeing airplanes on TV) I cut off the tips of the propellers, but I still have it.

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