My grandfather was an early adapter - he had a TV as soon as WGAL went on the air back in 1949! They had a color TV as soon as they came out too - I remember because we went to their house to watch Neil Armstrong walk on the moon, and if memory serves me correctly, my dad would slip over on Monday nights to watch Laugh-In. I suppose Goldie Hawn looked better in living color.
It wasn't until my mom was away on a trip that dad brought home our first color TV, along with a new living room set (orange naugahyde - it was all the rage in the 70's). TV was pretty safe back then...we only had 4 channels to choose from so we were more content, believe it or not. Ahhh, the good old days when the big three networks ruled and shaped our culture.
I lived out in the country, and didn't have my own wheels (another poor me moment) so I spent most Friday and Saturday nights at home. I didn't mind too much - we'd watch The Love Boat, Fantasy Island and I remember the Bay City Rollers had a show for a season.
Of course the really big deal was staying up till after the news to watch "Saturday Night Live," back in the golden years of John Belushi, Chevy Chase, Jane Curtin, Bill Murray, Gilda Radner, Dan Aykroyd, and on occasion Steve Martin...oh my! Must see TV indeed!
We were allowed to crash on the orange naugahyde couch (it conveniently converted to a sleeper sofa) and stay up till SNL was over. More often than not we'd fall asleep before the closing credits rolled. But it was good and life was good too.
Tonight Ethan is on a date, Hannah just got home from work and is upstairs in her room watching a movie, Justin is on his computer in the man cave, and I am on my laptop in my room - feeling a bit wistful...with so many different ways to entertain us all, well, we don't huddle around the campfire, er, television any more.
And with 100+ choices (and still nothing worth watching on TV) it's a challenge to come to a consensus. Sure, we all watched the Olympics this summer, and we'll watch a football game on Sunday afternoons, but the times have changed. Not that there's anything wrong with that, its just reality.
Sometimes I wonder what changes my children and grandchildren will experience in the years ahead. And I'm not just thinking about entertainment, or technology. I wonder if my children will have the security in their jobs that I have now, or the ability to do half the things that I have been blessed to be able to do.
And truth be told I wonder if we, the church, will be more sensitive to the financial and emotional stresses that families are facing with rising gas and food prices, I wonder how we will use our assets to maximize our outreach to those who are in need; the least, the lost, widows and orphans. I earnestly pray that we will rise to the occasion...and be a place of peace, hope, love and extravagant generosity.
And I am grateful for technology - for websites where I can watch great skits from the 'good old days' like this one... cheeseburger - cheeseburger - chips anyone? Perhaps a Pepsi to go with it?
in Christ, together,