"The Jingle Bell Bum" (Read The Touching True Story...please!) Comment at patriciahanrion.com

"The Jingle Bell Bum" (Read The Touching True Story...please!) Comment at patriciahanrion.com
Still available on Amazon for Nook and Kindle, hard copy booklett to re-print November 2013

Thursday, September 15, 2011

As seen on TV never works!

Before we lived in California, we lived in New Jersey and my dad's office was in New York.   He rode the train into the city every day with his sister who worked in the city too.  Then he was told he had to move 3,000 miles away to Hollywood where all the work seemed to be.  He was the financial controller of a sound production company,"Westrex, Sound Services." The newest growth in this area was on the west coast where studios popped up like mushrooms to put together "talkie" films.  My dad was involved in the transition from silent to talking movies so my mother brother and I went with him, off to the strange land of Hollywood California.

Up until then silent films were enhanced with a few written words and the creativity of an organist or person on the piano to help the plot.  Often the music played had nothing to do with what was happening on the screen but soon specialized musicians became sought after for their ability to play music and other inventive sounds to enhance a film.  The musician had to do this in the dark while watching the screen.  The acting on screen was overdone along with exaggerated facial expressions, the makeup and costumes were very bold to help tell the story and convey the plot.  Once sound was added the exaggerated actions and other things were slowly done away with along with some actors who had raspy or unattractive voices.

I remember as a child seeing my first TV.  We were living in our little post war, plastic door knob California house.  The neighbors down the street were the first in North Hollywood to buy one of those things with pictures inside...until then my brother and I would listen to the radio every Saturday morning.  We loved "The Lone Ranger", and the "Creaking Door"....

Of course before TV came the talking films.  My brother and I were allowed to walk to the theater most Saturdays to see the latest release.  They had a great deal in the candy shop next door to the theater.  If you bought a big candy, you got a free ticket.  We always got the candy, I don't think we ever told our parents about the deal.  The theater would have a serial where each week some woman was in peril and just when the white hat clad hero was about to save her from a train or other life threatening disaster it abruptly stopped...to be continued next week!  And the next week without showing how the woman was saved the story continued.  Then there was a news reel about the armed services or war pictures and next came a cartoon and two movies....it took most of the day and the candy was gone long before the string of films was completed. I was only six, and got very squirmy, considering I even now have a hard time sitting through an hour of church, I guess I should apologize for my wiggly pestering behavior to my brother.

Most evenings that first summer of live TV the neighbors would drag their new contraption out onto the front porch facing the yard.  Many would gather on the lawn sitting on blankets to watch the very small square of black and white moving pictures.  I became severely attached to Beanie and Cecil, and Howdy Doody.

It wasn't very long before we got a TV too! (I think ours was about one inch bigger than the neighbors, with a yellowish tint screen  which made everyone look jaundiced).  After all, my dad's studio was putting the sound track on most of the shows...as well as most of the films in theaters so we were supporting his studio by watching those shows.
I continued to love watching my kiddie shows, except after a short time Howdy Doody was banned in our house...don't ask me why...my mom simply hated the show. But I would sneak watching it whenever she did the laundry and pulled the washing machine into the middle of the kitchen.  The machine made so much noise...I could have bombed the front room down and she would never have know.  I dreamed of being Princess Summer, Fall, Winter, Spring.  And sometimes still do.

Soon after my introduction to TV....I was introduced to TV commercials.  The Popiel potato peeler was amazing to my 6 year old eyes.  I wanted my mom to get one in the worst way but of course having adult common sense she never even budged to buy one.  I can't say I have always been so strong.  It could be I was  deprived of TV gadgets as a child so frequently feel I must sample many of the ones I can get my hands on...but I am finally beginning to gain some restraint. 

I have determined gadgets never work as advertised or demonstrated!  I havent' recently bought many "As seen on TV items" until I had a bank account hacked and my grand daughter saw a special metal wallet on TV.  It protected all contents from scanners so no one could get your credit card numbers. She told me I needed one of these wallets because it not only protected your credit cards it was said to be indestructible and could be run over by a truck and stay intact.  So I folded and got one for me and then one for my mom.  I used it for about a month and it seemed to work, then one day I dropped it!  Of COURSE...after it hit the concrete of the market floor with a tinny thunk,  the latch made out of plastic broke...now it won't stay closed. 

The wallet was only $10 but come on...if a truck can drive over it, how cum if I drop it, all of a sudden it breaks!  I guess, as with most of those gadget things...you can't win!  I am hoping Wallmart will take it back!   

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