A First Memory

photo credit:   jossarden.com

When I was a kid, we owned various models of black and white televisions over the years. In fact, we never had a color television until the last black and white one died.  My father always fixed the television on the kitchen table when the tubes blew and then it was back to business!  One of those crusty old models stands out in my mind quite well. It was tall and brown- a laminated wood sort of look-and it stood on four legs. The screen-when not on-was a murky green.

So there I was one night back in 1965, sitting on the floor with my trusty yellow blanket  and my footie pajamas watching the Art Linkletter Show. My mom was in the kitchen and my brother was elsewhere in our tiny ranch house. I was four years old and a very happy camper until suddenly the screen went blank and the house was encased in total darkness. Needless to say, I completely freaked out and ran to get my mom, leaving my blanket behind.  A second panic ensued once I did because I thought I lost my blanket! ( I totally identify with Linus, by the way). When I finally settled down, we found my brother, some candles and a flashlight.  My younger brother did not seem at all bothered by the turn of events. In fact, he appeared oblivious to the situation while I was totally anxious. My mother sat us down at the kitchen table by candlelight and served us some butterscotch pudding. I had no appetite so my little bro helped himself to a second serving with great relish. I am not sure if I was worried because we were in the dark or because I had nearly lost my precious blanket!  In any case, there was really nothing we could do so my mom sent us all (including herself) to bed. I was having none of sleeping by myself so my mom put me in with my brother in his bed ( we both had full sized) and then she joined us in the middle. I still was not satisfied and insisted that we keep the flashlight on. I can still picture it now: the three of us snug in the big bed with the big black flashlight standing upright on my brothers dresser-a beacon of hope and comfort.

(This early recollection was an actual event: The Great Blackout of 1965.)

Many thanks once again to Kellie Elmore who always has a way for us to show our creative selves at their best.


21 thoughts on “A First Memory

  1. A lovely memory… I used to love blackouts and still do…it has been a while but the last one we played charades by torch and candle light… with no television it was one of the best nights. I just loved this, thank you!

    1. Many thanks! And the fact that the words made it come alive for you makes me happy. Did you know that the event was inspiration for the old Bee Gees tune “Massachusetts?” (Not sure if you are old enough to know that but thought I would share that tidbit!)

  2. Charles chose the word…nostalgic. It reminded me of my first memory of watching tv…it was President Reagan and he was making a speech of some sort. I just remember looking around the room at everyone so intently focuses and thinking “whats going on”. I was real young.

    Anyway, great story! 🙂 Thank you.

  3. We won’t go how far back TV nostalgia is for me…but I could so totally relate to the feeling being suddenly in complete darkness. I probably would have sat still screaming my head off being too chicken to move!!! Great read:)

  4. I think it’s so much fun when the lights go out! Until an hour or so has passed! I laughed where you said your Mom put herself to bed – I’d be pushing for that option while I’m sure my kids would want to stay awake!

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