[SeMissourian.com] Fair ~ 80°F  
High: 85°F ~ Low: 64°F
Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Visits to the past

Thursday, February 25, 2010

I was recovering from a bad cold for several days last week. I didn't have too many responsibilities and the weather wasn't inviting to be outside, so I decided to really take good care of myself and stay inside and rest. I was disappointed that I didn't have any good books to read as I had neglected to pick up some from the library, so I turned to the TV for entertainment.

After the Today Show got past its first hour of breaking news and important issues, I turned to the Game Show Network. I have always been a game junkie and since I lead classes in games at Exploritas (formerly called Elderhostels), I felt justified in watching several hours of the show.

My favorites were the ones from the past. I watched so many of them during this week that I almost got used to the fluffed up hair, bright colored leisure suits, and women with bright red lipstick. I could judge the date of the first filming not only by the styles, but also by the questions the contestants were asked.

In "Match Game" some of the audience matches were so remote in my memory that I could hardly remember the incident or name. It was a good lesson in how quickly fame fades.

Even some of the celebrity players were almost unknown to me now. Part of that was that I wasn't able to be a frequent TV watcher in the years that some of the shows were being filmed. Little things like raising kids, having a job, church responsibilities and occasionally housework kept me from watching.

But this week I could convince myself that none of those things mattered and I could watch all I wanted without feeling any guilt.

And I did.

I saw Richard Dawson kiss so many women that I almost got chapped lips myself. I saw Charles Nelson Riley smoke his pipe while actually being on the air and thanked the authorities that such action would not be allowed in present day TV.

I beat several challengers in "Jeopardy," Well, I mean I beat them to one or two answers on the show. I marveled at the range of knowledge some contestants displayed.

Some of the shows are still being produced and I am amazed at how the hosts still look so young. However, some of the celebrities show that they are joining me in the middle age plus category.

I remembered how the whole family used to watch "Melody Matinee" at noon when our children were quite small. The Nash School children went to watch a program being filmed in Pittsburg when Helen Gast was the teacher. She invited the parents and pre-school children to come along also so I took our 5-year-old son to join our third and fifth grade daughter and son. Although he travels all over the world professionally now, he still remembers the thrill of having the camera sweep over the guests at the show. One of the stars is still seen on a hearing aid commercial but he doesn't play his guitar on the ad.

Even though the game shows I was watching last week were probably twenty years old I still found myself "rooting" for the contestants and being pleased if they won. Maybe being sick made me easy to please, but I don't get that excited at some of the newer shows

Carolyn Gray Thornton
Middle Age Plus