Per Linda G. Hill:

Today’s prompt comes to us courtesy of Barbara. Thank you so much, Barbara! Please be sure to visit her blog to read her post and say hello. And follow her while you’re there if you’re not already!

Your prompt for JusJoJan January 28th, 2020, is “television.” Use the word “television” any way you’d like. Enjoy!

This is a bit meandering, but I guess you’re used to my wandering s by now.

In the 1950s when we got our first Television, black and white, it was a huge box with buttons to turn to get the few stations, a small screen, and shows like Buck Rogers, Howdy Doody, various cartoons, wrestling, and roller derby. The news was on one station and everyone watched it.

Our generation was the first raised with the fifteen-minute interval for commercials. Some shows like Sheriff John sold stuff during the show, like Maggio Carrots. I could have sworn I could see the bright orange of the carrot and the crispy green of the ends.

I don’t know if the commercial is to blame for the short attention-spans. Nowhere else in our lives did we get those breaks. Sunday School lasted the hour. Church another hour. School breaks every few hours for recess. I know this.

My grandmother taught Sunday School. It taught me to read as she had the 23rd Psalms and the Lord’s Prayer on the wall as big as the door. Each week she would point to the words and the class would recite. When she was teaching a lesson she made sure we had crayons and paper to color. She believed busy hands kept our minds open to learning.  If we grandkids sat next to her in church, a lifesaver and a pencil and paper was her go-to. She did carry those plastic number puzzles that I learned weren’t impossible if you pulled a number or two out and then rearranged the order. At any rate, being in the adult talking room was boring, but Grandma was smart!

And now I still see her genius. While bingeing television shows, fast-forwarding the commercials, or watching where you don’t have any of that nonsense, I keep my hands busy. I can remember what I was watching last time the next time I pick up the project. I thank Grandma. It is my drawing during lectures in school or college that helped me get good grades. I remembered my notes for tests because of the doodles on the page.

But back to commercials and attention-span and television. Fast-forward to the bingeing without commercials. My concentration is able to do hours of watching. And I have ADD. Maybe the proof is in the hyperfocus I can put into what I do every day. I think television has a lot to offer. So much to learn about writing, good and bad, news, the arts, especially acting (good and bad), not to mention pain relief as a distraction. In my position, a good book wouldn’t work, like it used to a few years ago. Now I get most of my stories on screen. The books are text-to-speech or Audible. But I do love watching the story acted out. How the score behind a show can add or subtract, how a side-eye or nod can do wonders and writes up well when used. Television is inspiring for me. Even at its worst.

Everwood was my newest binge Just finished yesterday. As I told a friend, it is Hallmarky but it kept our interest. My husband had to watch with me and loved it enough that we couldn’t go it alone. You know those kinds of shows! Anyway, here’s another trailer. They are taking it off Hulu soon so binge away.