One thing about my parents. They are …
frugal … hoarders … sentimental.
Which means that they rarely if ever threw things away. No, it did not rise to the occasion of the TV show, but there were definitely things in the house that had been there for a long long time.
And as we were emptying the house out the other day, I realized there were seven television sets in the house. Not that this is the only house with seven television sets, but this was every single television set that had ever been in the house … with the exception of my black and white one that I took with me when I moved out to be on my own.
Lots and lots of memories. For example …
Television Number One … An Admiral which belonged to my Grandpap. I am not sure if this was actually the first television, but it was the one that made it upstairs in the three-story house we shared with my Grandpap and my Great Uncle.
It later became the one that my brother and I would get up at 5:30 AM on Saturday mornings and watch. Safari and Bwana Don (Don Riggs) and Tarzan movies … Diver Dan and Minerva the Mermaid. Those were the days.
Funny about that. My parents room was at one end of the long hall. This TV was in the room at the exact opposite end of the long hall. This TV … Television Number Two … was the one of my childhood. Unfortunately I didn’t get a good picture of this to see what brand it was. Admiral or Magnavox or what.
But this was the television of all the pictures of my childhood. My brother and I on a hassock in front of this TV (ages 5 and 2). This was the television that was covered in brick paper for Christmas to resemble a chimney. This was the television that held the Christmas Tree up high so little hands could not reach.
And this was the television that also contained a radio … that we sang along to. My first crush Bennie Fisher (Eddie Fisher) and I Feel Pretty and all the other sounds of my childhood.
Yes, as I recall, the year I went away to college the family bought both an automatic dishwasher and a color television. Yes, the same automatic dishwasher was in the house until the other day … forty-three years later.
You may notice that the television is located in a bedroom. My parents bedroom to be specific. Because the “rules” were that you did not have a television in the living room. “If people come to visit, they come to visit you, not to watch television.”
So the brown Television Number One went to the den (fourth bedroom), the Television Number Two went to my brother’s room, and the new color TV went to my parents bedroom.
Flash forward several years, and it occurred to my parents that a television downstairs might not be such a bad idea after all. So a small black and white twelve-inch TV … Television Number Four … entered the scene.
It found its home atop the refrigerator … and was used primarily for watching the news during the day. At that point everyone would adjourn to my parents room and watch the color television set.
This whole set-up worked very well for a number of years … until the color television died.
At that point Television Number Five … a nice new much better (read: had a remote control) color television … was introduced into the mix. But so as not to hurt the feelings of good old Television Number Three, it was positioned on top.
For a better view.
Flash forward a few years … maybe decades. Old reliable Television Number Four, the one on top of the refrigerator, starts to fail. Lots of static, lots of problems.
So Holly … who by this time has a job and money … decides to buy a new little twelve-inch color television. Television Number Six.
Parents decide to not hurt Television Number Fours’ feelings … and dispensed with the No Television In The Living Room rule. And left the old one on the refrigerator. And put the new one on a nice new handmade stand in the living room.
Finally, just a few years ago, younger brother decided to replace the failing large bedroom television with a sleek, new, LCD television. This made it Television Number Seven.
And the Television Shuffle took place.
The color twelve-inch (Television Number Six) moved from Living Room stand to Living Room corner where you wouldn’t trip over it.
The color old big one (Television Number Five) moved from atop Television Number Three to the stand in the Living Room where Television Number Six used to be.
And the nice new one (Television Number Seven) moved to the perch on top of Television Number Three where Television Number Five used to be.
In their move, my parents took one television. Television Number Seven. It currently sits on a very nice new television stand … in their bedroom.
After all, when you go visit them in the living room, you are there to see them, not watch television.