Saturday, March 23, 2013

I Cut the Cord

I’m sitting here watching of all things, “The Lawrence Welk Show”.  That’s strange for me because when I was a teenager, I had a short-sleeved sweatshirt with an iron-on decal (that I purchased at Kuhn’s 5 & 10 Cent Store) that read, “Help Stamp Out Lawrence Welk”.  I wore it all the time, because I wanted to ‘make a statement’. 

Why am I watching Lawrence Welk?  I had my cable TV turned off, that’s why.  Cable companies are the biggest bunch of crooks there’s ever been.  Their prices just keep rising and the content of the shows keeps falling.  I finally had a talk with myself and asked the question, why am I paying to be advertised to, and why am I paying to watch 50-yr-old reruns?  I had to admit it didn’t make good sense.  So I discontinued the service and bought an antenna from which I get six channels:   CBS, FOX, ABC (which is really ‘GAY’ B C), and three channels of PBS.  And what really amazes me is that I don’t miss any of the 100 plus channels that were available on cable.  After all, I had cable TV for the last 38 years!  Which is where Old Lawrence come in.   

The Lawrence Welk Show (1955) Poster
As I sit here listening to the music of the show, I think back to my childhood.  During the summer months, I’d be outside till nearly dark, riding bikes or playing hide and seek with my cousins.  I would invariably walk down to my Granny’s house and sure enough, the TV would always be on the Lawrence Welk Show.  She never missed a week with her date with Lawrence.  She loved to dance and she especially liked to see the dancing segment, where Lawrence would dance with the ladies of the audience.

So now when, I watch Lawrence Welk, or put in a DVD of The Andy Griffith Show, or Bonanza, I can almost believe that outside my door, it’s 1963 and there’s a gravel road running by my house.  The doors and windows in the house are all open.  There’s a window fan blowing cool (cool?) air into the living room.  There’s only one telephone in the house which sits on a little niche in the wall that my Granpa built.  It’s an 8-party line and the phone number has only 5 digits.  There’s a 1959 Ford Fairlane in the driveway.  There’s a ringer washing machine on the screened-in back porch.  And best of all, there’s great family programs on the television.  Shows that really entertain.  Shows that don’t offend or embarrass you.  Shows that you look forward to seeing week after week.  And that you didn’t have to pay a monthly fee in order to watch.

I think I will dwell in this alternate universe forever.  It is just too sweet, too gentle, and too perfect to let go of.