DON'T BECOME OBSOLETE
Black & White TV to VPNs & Streaming
Anybody know what this is — besides dusty? Ha!
If you do, you’re probably older than 50. Ha! Boy, times change… (Answer is at the bottom of this page.)
Back in 1954 like many American families, we were hypnotized by our new black and white TV. It was the golden age of television, and the wooden box with the big square glass screen sat on a table in the corner of our living room.
My sister and I went to an elementary school a block away from our house so most days we could rush home for lunch and catch our favorite TV show. Our mom would set up two metal TV trays — they were black decorated with huge yellow and pink flowers in the middle. Then she’d dart off to make our lunch. Since my sister was older, she always got to turn the two big knobs on the TV to find “The Guiding Light,” a popular soap opera. I can still feel how excited I was when I saw the lighthouse’s rotating beam first appear on the screen.
Each episode lasted 15 minutes so by the time Mom put our grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup on our trays, the dark clouds that introduced “Search for Tomorrow” were already floating across the TV. Since we only had 30 minutes for lunch, we had to run back to school as the Spic & Span commercial started.
When my sister was in high school, I waited impatiently for her to get home each day so we could watch “American Bandstand” together. We sat cross-legged on the floor in front of the same black and white TV swooning over Arlene and Kenny, teenage idols from Philadelphia dancing the Jitterbug, the Cha-Cha and the Stroll. We always pretended we were part of the special segment where two dancers were chosen to Rate- A- Record. My sister and I would often tell them how wrong they were. Ha!
Now-a-days, I find myself rushing down to my computer on Sunday mornings to watch the newest episode of “Heartland,” a multi-generational saga set on a ranch in Alberta, Canada. The newest episodes are only broadcasted in Canada so I have to use a VPN to see them.
Did you know VPN stands for “virtual private network”? Well, I didn’t either until recently. It’s a service like NordVPN that protects your privacy online, hiding your IP address, allowing you to use public Wi-Fi hotspots safely. It is legal in countries like the United States and Canada, but is banned by China, Russia, Iraq, North Korea, countries where their governments do extensive surveillance of their citizens.
Well, who knew you could actually teach an old dog like me a new trick?!?
I guess some things don’t change though: I’m still having fun rating TV shows -- but now I get to chat about each episode with my awesome Instagram friend from across the country. We’re having a blast deciding if Amy should move on since Ty died, bemoaning the fact that Lou really gets on our nerves and wondering who Finn really is.
Well, I guess an old dog CAN learn new ways of doing things — if they’re bribed with the right treat. Ha!
It’ll Be OK.
Answer: Betamax video cassette recorder introduced in 1975 — now obsolete
Black & White in Ohio View, Pa. during the 1950’s with my sister
“Wi-Fi went down for 5 minutes today so I had to talk to my family. They seem like nice people.” ~ Teach Your Kids To Code
COMMENT: How do you watch your favorite shows now? By the way, what ARE your favorite shows? I’d love to know…
Oh how I remember watching Anerican Bandstand! And Ed Sullivan on Sunday nights. Oh yes, I Love Lucy, Life of Riley, Mr. Ed, Lassie and many others. We all had tape players just like we all have Smart phones now. Wonder where we’ll be in the next ten years! So happy to have found Heartland and discovered this wonderful movie star, Graham Wardle, and other cast members, who actually interact with their fans! Thanks for the memories. Great picture of you and your sister.
Jan good morning I enjoyed reading your story again as I always do with your past writings thank you. Right now my favourite show is Heartland I quit watching after S14 when Ty died.I still watch the reruns of S1-14. I found HL during the pandemic and that is how I survived staying in my suite. I became attached to all the casts especially Ty and Amy.Lou and Tim they get into my nerves. I remember watching Dallas,General Hospital . When I was in the Elementary grades we walked to school rain or shine.My favourite game with my classmates was marbles we stopped under a tree and played before the bell rang. We did not have telephones and television when I was growing up.No Barbie’s,no housekeeping toys so we made our own toys. Now everything is instant children have everything.They are lucky growing children.