Television Musings

When I was in high school, I had a pretty full plate—In addition to actual classes (which were the least important part of it), I had extracurricular activities including athletic teams, the band, occasional dalliances with clubs like the California Scholarship Federation and the Key Club, I also had a nearly full-time job at a gas station and other summer jobs. And girls. And beer. And a car. The jobs supported the car, the beer, and, mostly, the girls. It was a full life. And fun.

That covered the years from 1963 to 1967. No time for television. Ever. My Dad had a Kaye-Halbert B&W console TV—From my perspective, it was a blond wood cabinet that occupied a corner of the living room near the fireplace. I don’t remember ever sitting down and watching TV. Too much life to live, even when I was a little kid. Bike rides. Friends. Baseball.  Cub Scouts.  Sneaking a cigarette sometimes.

My only point here is that TV wasn’t important in my life. Not just “not important”--I hardly knew it existed. I’ve learned about 50’s and 60’s TV since, but I didn’t live it with the exception of The Howdy Doody Show, Superman, and The Mickey Mouse Club.

After I graduated from High School in ‘67, I was still busy. Joined the Army in 1968 and, once again, no TV. I got married and went overseas and such, but never bought or even considered a TV. Too much life to live. Friends. Parties. Music. Army stuff.

I was released from active Army duty in Decenber of 1971. Got a job at Maherajah Water Ski in Healdsburg and an apartment in Santa Rosa. Me and my then-wife. Plenty of partying and friends and music and you-name-it, but no TV. Still didn’t own one.

In May of 1972 I was hired by the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office and bought a house in Windsor, California. Same, same. I still had a busy full life, but those late nights alone after work…….. I worked a relief shift at the jail and two days a week got off work at midnight. So I bought a small B&W portable TV attached to a roof-top antenna. Became acquainted with old movies on the Night Comfort Theater (sponsored by a water bed company in Sacramento) and Channel 36, who’s spokesman was a stripper named Carol Doda, “The Perfect 36”.

Another thing I discovered while drinking beer and watching B&W late-night TV was……..Star Trek. Captain Kirk. Mr. Spock. Uhura. The Enterprise. It was unbelievable. And I bought a color portable TV to watch Star Trek in color. I was hooked.

Life happened--

I’m in my 70’s now, and technology has, um, matured, I guess. I watch more than my share of TV now. Apps, streaming, cable, computer, U-Tube…..The list is endless. I don’t watch much of what could only be called “current” Hollywood TV. On my ROKU box, I have a number of services including HULU. Searching their offerings, I saw that they had a series that lasted a few years (from TNT, it seems) and is no longer in production, but it called to me. “Watch Me”, it said. It was called The Last Ship.

Yesterday, I watched the first 4 episodes back-to-back.

It turned out to be Star Trek but not in outer space. And I still like it.


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