You should know my oldest son is a talented photographer and, to prove it, he’s won his share of awards and takes his cameras with him almost everywhere. A few days ago he took this picture in an airport on his way to boarding a plane. That evening he emailed me the picture. The subject line of his email was “I bet u had one of these.” Not putting words in his mouth, he really meant to say, “I bet u had one of these when you were a kid.” I can see him smiling as he punched the send button.



Well, I just couldn’t hold it in any longer. A few days later, I emailed him my reply…

About that picture of a TV you emailed me; that is not at all what our first TV looked like. The first television my dad bought was a “big fancy”, polished wooden cabinet, floor model with, I think, at least a 10” screen. Anyway, being an electrical engineer, my dad, your grandpa, also installed a big fancy roof-mounted antenna that had all kinds of rods and wires sticking out from it just so we could get the best picture possible. Guess how many channels we had back then? Three… NBC, CBS, and ABC. That’s right, three. A few years later we got a fourth channel, an “EDUCATIONAL CHANNEL”. Everyday my brothers and I couldn’t wait till mom or dad turned on OUR TV. Here’s the fantastic part, except for “newsreels”, all the programs were LIVE. No videotapes, no cut and paste, no timed delays, and no editing. What we saw was the real thing. If a TV “personality” or “actor” messed up, it was just too bad. That’s REALITY TV.

Looking back, I get a great feeling knowing I actually saw the FIRST REALITY TV. Our reality TV programs were not faked, altered and doctored up to make more out of them than than they really were. There’s a commercial that says, “Ain’t nothing like the real thing”. Well, I witnessed the very first REAL REALITY TV, and I’m proud of it. Oh, by the way, the picture was black and white. Best of all, all 4 channels were free! Let me repeat that, I said free!  Free! No strings attached!

“Thanks for the memories”…please send me some more of these wonderful memories.


  1. Hello Richard from Duke, Mo. Sandy Peecher Schwartz sent me you Netpub site and I am enjoying your musings. It’s good to connect with you.

    We had a very small B/W TV with those same channels and later got a small screen enclosed in a beautiful wooden cabinet. We got those same free channels.

    • Man, what a great surprise to hear from you and hop hope you guys are doing fine. Glad you enjoyed some of my Netpubing; I’m writing about 1 Netpub a week, as time permits. I sincerely appreciate your comments and interest!

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