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Thursday, January 12, 2006

When a Man was a Man

My sister was at my dad's yesterday and overheard dad and one of his best friends talk about the old days.
If you remember from a previous post that dad has been a man of few words all his life then the fact that she even got to listen in on his memories was a rare event for all of us.

How my Father's family got their first TV.

Dad's mom died when he was just a baby and he was raised by his granddmother whom we called Granny.

When dad was about nine he and his older sister acquired, in his dad's marriage, two stepbrothers, one

stepsister, and a farm with lots of acres. My grandad was a farmer all his life. He lived and breathed the rich

Oklahoma soil and expected and taught his children to the same. Some of my favorite memories are the lazy

Sunday summer afternoons with my cousins swinging on the tree swing he put up just for us while eating

watermelon from his garden. Grandad loved to laugh and talk at the same time and honestly I could never

understand a word the man was saying.

When dad was 16 he and his stepbrother presented to their father the idea of buying a television. This was

1951 in rural eastern Oklahoma and was a very bold move to even ask the question. Grandad mulled

it over for a few days and then called the boys out to a 5 acre patch of land and told them:

"You boys see this land? Whenever planting time comes I want this 5 acres to be planted with corn. I want

this garden to be beautiful. If you can make this 5 acres of corn grow and keep it tilled and without weeds

when harvest comes I will take ALL the money we get from selling it and buy you a television.

Dad and Uncle Richard proceeded to pour their hearts into their 5 acre garden, worked it every day until

it was what grandad expected it to be, and when harvest came they presented perfect ears of corn to be sold.

Grandad did keep his word and they became the first family in the area to own a television. In 1951 dad and

all the area families got to watch their favorite boxer, Rocky Marciano, score a first round knockout on their

new TV.

What are your thoughts on the moral of this story?


Anonymous said...

proof read your posts.

just kidding.

my thoughts and of course i have some, who wouldn't.
Back then if kids wanted a luxury item, they had to work for it, and now adays, we just go to walmart, and bring home a 27 incher and they don't have to life a finger, except to work the remote. And I think that this is a good story, and so the moral is that with times now, we are not teaching our kids the value of a dollar earned, and a dollar spent.

Anne said...

Great point Susie. It reminds me of what I tell my kids all the time "good things happen when you obey" - we actually have a melody for it.

I tell them, "what are YOU going to do?" We all have to do our part to have the things God blesses us with.

This story also hits home the fact that we all have way too much.

Anonymous said...

i'm considering going through my stuff, and getting rid of anything and everything that has no sentimental value, or was not handcrafted by an actual person , not some 7 year old working in a factory in china. i have tooooo much STUFF and it doesn't matter. right now, i'm boxing up a good deal of it, in the form of a "care package" which i'm sending to uncle joe. most of it i found under my bed. i tried to get all the dog hairs off it, but if you find a few, don't panic. the dog is bathed a couple of times a year at least.

uncle joe said...

Garage sale for your vaycayshun. or ebay it.Dog hairs sell like hotcakes on ebay.

Jamie Dawn said...

I think that was basic, good parenting. If you want something, be willing to work for it. Kids today (including my own) get things handed to them.

Anonymous said...

i just spoke to your wife. she wants to take up knitting. do you think she could borrow your size 12s' to make me that hat with the beer cans in it?


Ted said...

I watched the first season of Brady Bunch on a 19" Black and White TV that my parents got when they got married.Every year we watched "The Wizard of OZ" not knowing that it had a color section as well as B&W. We bought the video a few years back and it changed the whole thing for me. The first fight I watched in color was when Leon Spinks knocked out Ali. I was about 16 or 17

McSwain said...

Excellent! I've been thinking a whole lot about the consumerism we indulge in today--throwing things away rather than fixing them, and the instant gratification in buying things for ourselves and our kids even if we don't have the money. I'm trying to make the "good old days" more relavent here in my home.

Anne said...

cheryl - Earlier I was thinking of just that, how we throw things away so easily. My son has a hole in the rear of a pair of sweat pants and you can see his white undies. I thought at first about pitching them and then I thought, I can just stitch the fabric together and he can keep right on playing in them.

Aunt Jo said...

I don't know Joe, sounds kinda "corny" to me. :o)

Aunt Jo said...

But you think kids (or adults for that matter) these days would do anything on 5 acres of land all summer long for a tv? A computer? An Ipod?

We turned cable off at our house and the kids didn't know quite what to think. Maybe they will do just that.....more thinking....and playing....and singing....and dancing....and talking to one another. Yea...that sounds good to me. I have not been watching much tv since my addiction to blogging and I truthfully don't miss it. It gives me more time to spend with you-know-who #1, #2 . :o)

Anonymous said...

what are those little symbols there, AJ?

i've tried to hog up some of your time, with my 4 page email rants. i'm a ranter. once i get on a roll, i can't stop.

i think we should make our kids log trees, and dig trenches and stuff, just to watch tv. i think we should make them clean the whole house, just to live there

okay, i'm just kidding. i'm bored, and have nothing better to post.

hey, uncle joe. remember the first time you posted on my blog? you saw me on jamie dawns blog, and you posted a comment on my coffee post. those were the days. huh?

Aunt Jo said...

Ha! I am still on line.....and running from Joe! AHHHHHHH

Bryan said...

Ah, yes. The good old days. I agree with the opinions already posted; they all seem to share a common thread.

Seeker said...

It was a bold move for Grandad to even consider getting a TV set in those days. I mean, in rural Oklahoma... how much programing was available?! But it was good he made them WORK for something they wanted.
(No one knew the grip TV would come to assert on our lives.)

uncle joe said...

Ah yes Seeker he made them work and they were also willing to work. This is a new concept to me.

Anonymous said...

i don't know, i was sort of willing to work when i was a kid, if there was money involved. if there was no money, i didn't want to work. that seems to be carrying over into the here and now.

seeker, remember that back in those days, there were lots and lots of fundamentalists who called the tv "the devil" and 'the babylon box". people who seemed like they were crazy, were actually right on the money

the media has contributed greatly to the demise of our society. i've looked up research articles on this sort of thing, including video games, and such in relation to violence. there is a corelation for sure

Luke said...

I grew up without a TV in the fact, we still don't have a TV in our home.

That's why I'm tall, dark, handsome, rich, engaging, charming, and humble. :)

But seriously, I'm very thankful my parents made the decision to not own a television.

Jory-san said...

moral? you mean there's only one? i think it also shows that you can get what you want through hard work. and at least Luke didn't grow up with a TV and not a Home, like so many kids now.