By John Matonich
I don’t watch as much TV as I used to, but it amazes me that with today’s selection of hundreds of channels, I have a hard time finding something I would like to watch. It didn’t seem to be as difficult when I was growing up and we only had a few channels to choose from. It seemed then we wished we had more than one TV so we could watch a couple of the minimal choices at the same time.
I remember shows like the “Andy Griffith Show” and “I Love Lucy.” They were prime-time hits that everyone in the family seemed to enjoy. Sunday nights were set aside to watch “Bonanza.” I always enjoyed the lessons learned from that program.
Occasionally, we were able to watch afternoon TV. It was usually during some winter holiday when there wasn’t any school. Summer afternoons were never spent in front of a TV as there were too many games to be played with the neighborhood buddies or chores to be done. I do remember one of the programs I enjoyed in the afternoon was Art Linkletter’s “House Party” and his segment on the show of “Kids say the Darndest Things”. I believe it was aired from 1952 until 1970.
Mr. Linkletter would have a panel of young children on stage and he would spend time during the show asking the individuals questions. You never knew what the answers would be and neither did the host. I remember one segment when Art asked a young lady about her favorite bible story. The young girl told Art it was when Jesus turned water into wine at a wedding. Art asked her what lesson she learned from that story. She replied that the more wine you had, the better the wedding was. I guess I have been to a few of those over the years.
On one of the episodes near the Thanksgiving holiday, Art asked a young lad what he was thankful for. The young lad answered, “I am thankful to be an American.” Art nodded and asked, “What is an American?” The boy without hesitation answered, “Someone who lives in California.” I will leave that one there and let you add you own punchline.
I also remember Art asking a young girl if she had ever been in love. She thought about it for a second and answered, “No, Mr. Linkletter, but I have been in like.” I don’t think Art knew how to respond to that answer, but it made me think I have been in like a few times over my life as well.
I think it is a good idea every now and again to watch shows like “House Party.” It certainly can bring a smile to your face and remind you of simpler times. I don’t know if it is ever played again, but I guess I can check our 75 page program guide.
And that’s the situation as I survey it …
After a 35-year career downstate amongst da trolls, during which he built a successful engineering and surveying business, John Matonich is back home in da U.P. His column will appear here occasionally, don’tcha know. His book “Surveyin’ Da Situation” is available on Amazon.com.
Image credit: tomislav medak