How I Use to Watch TV
We were living on Jackson Street.
The Swanson Apartments.
This was in 1953 .
I was 5 years old.
I wanted a TV.
My mom wanted a TV.
It took a lot of money to get a TV.
I only knew one family with a TV.
But it was summer.
And it was hot.
I would ask my mom if I could go get an ice cream cone.
She would give me some spare change.
I would walk the 3 blocks to Birdsall's.
It was over on Pierce Street.
Near the corner of 16th.
I would get 2 scoops of ice cream in a cone.
Maybe chocolate and chocolate chip.
Mr. Birdsall always said that I should get the lime sherbet.
He said get it in a dish with chocolate sauce on top.
I did it once.
It was good.
Birdsall's had a lot of pinball machines.
I was not allowed to play them.
My mom said that they would lead me to a life of gambling.
Lead me to a life of sin.
She was a Methodist you know.
Got saved at an outdoor rally in the 20s.
But, I watched the older guys playing them.
These guys were having fun.
And they seemed like important guys to me.
Well anyway, after I got my cone, I walked outside.
Into the hot summer night.
The bugs were always out.
Millions of them.
I would walk over to William's Appliances.
They were next door.
They sold TVs.
They would put several TVs in the window.
And they had some speakers outside too.
I could watch TV and listen, too.
People would be standing outside watching TV.
Watching the news.
Watching a movie.
Watching a clown
Maybe a test pattern,
One night I watched a test pattern for a long time.
Just standing there.
Licking my ice cream cone.
Waiting for Fred C. Dobbs to come back on.
Wondering what was going to happen to the Treasure of the Sierra Madre.
I finally went home.
When I got back to apartment 303,
my mom was waiting for me.
She said that I had been gone an hour.
She was worried that I had been kidnapped.
Or that I was playing the pinball machine.
She grounded me for a week.
Later that summer she bought a TV.
Sylvania I think.
Got it at William's.
$5 a week.
We were now part of the TV elite.
Later my mom would buy 2 metal TV trays.
We could eat our TV dinners while watching TV.