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Opinion: Earth’s favored children, part IV

We “favored children,” born before the Baby Boom which began in 1946, did not suffer helicopter parents, soccer moms, or problems with gender identity. However, every adult in the neighborhood was like our parent. We didn’t worry about mass shootings at our schools, but we did have to duck under our desks in drills that were intended to protect us from atomic bombs. Bullies didn’t hurt our feelings, they punched us. A person recovers from a punch without going to therapy. Best of all, we had our TV programs and music.


50s Television


Somehow, we survived our preschool years without television. Really. I remember playing with blocks, doing jigsaw puzzles, and listening to radio. I tuned in to “Straight Arrow,” “Bobby Benson and the B-Bar-B Riders,” and “The Green Hornet.” For reasons that I don’t understand, I was able to read early in life. Perhaps it was the influence of my maternal grandmother with whom we lived for much of my early childhood. She taught me “vocabulary” by giving me a new word every day, instructing, “Say it three times, use it in a sentence, and it’s yours forever.”


I don’t remember exactly when we got our first television set, but I do know that it was a black, white, and snow nine-inch screen in a large piece of furniture, much like the radios of the previous decade. Perhaps we were one of the 4.4 million families that owned TVs in 1950. We members of the Peanut Gallery loved Howdy Doody, Buffalo Bob Smith, and Clarabel. 

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