Driving in this morning, I found my thoughts returning to those days of “Leave It to Beaver,” and “Ozzie and Harriet” and “Father Knows Best.” Those were the days that television plots and problems weren’t so complicated and everything was happily resolved within 30 minutes, albeit commercials were fewer and shorter. Back then Chet Huntley and David Brinkley and Walter Cronkite would report the day’s news assuring us, “and that’s the way it is.”
Everything was black and white including the TV screens. Or was it? Even the table-top Zenith needed shades of gray and images were often grainy and unclear.
The first memorable movie filmed in color was “The Wizard of Oz.” With Dorothy’s first step into Munchkin Land, the world was never the same. Technicolor to Cinema Scope to High Definition TV to 3-D, we have made great strides in seeing the world in all its glorious variety! But just as Dorothy and the first audiences of that classic movie experienced, there is a sudden awe, a shudder of the strangeness of seeing life as it is for many people. Remember, Dorothy spend the rest of the story trying to find her way back home, encountering and experiencing things she had trouble understanding before appreciating all the beauty that surrounded her.
Today, there are so many ways to connect with that which is new and different as well as to revisit the tried and true aspects of our lives. Yet, many don’t want to see clearly, to encounter, experience and understand. It is just too scary.
The 12”, black and white, round screen Zenith in the first living room I remember as a child is a far cry from what keeps me entertained and informed today! Do I really want to go back to those “good old days?” Nah. I look forward to the Rose Parade too much!