I remember waking up 6am every Saturday and Sunday morning, racing to wake up my sister if she wasn’t already awake and running to the TV to watch the latest Saturday Disney cartoons or Pokémon. That disappointment you would feel when you were just those 3 impatient minutes early for the show to start. The attempt to make your breakfast in time without spilling it or waking up mum or dad in the process was defiantly a challenge.
A reoccurring conversation around my dinner table lately has been mum and dad reflecting on the moment that man took their first steps on the moon in 1969.
When I am with my children around the dinner table, I think I will reflect back on the 2000 Olympics when Kathy Freeman took the torch all the way up to start the ceremony. I remember sitting in front of the TV saying to mum, ‘why is she standing on a big barbeque’. That will be the happy story, to reflect on; I still remember mum laughing and running off to tell dad what I said. I still remember and often reflect on the 9/11 situation also. I was up early, mum had the TV on, and volume and lights woke me up from down the hall. I went and crawled into bed with mum and dad came and kissed us goodbye as he went to work. I remember looking at the TV squinting from the bright light on September 11, 2001, and seeing a small spec in the air crash into the two towers in New York City and the buildings just crumbling to the ground with panic on the streets everywhere. This is also a time of reflection for me as I am in America at the moment. I went to visit the Ground Zero area where the tragedy took place and it completely moved me. They have turned the area into a beautiful place of reflection for all of the victims that were lost in the attack. The water falls into the ground that run all day, the names around the edges of each of the buildings outline of where the buildings once stood tall. People move slowly, they don’t talk, and if they do, it’s respectful whisper. Still having the image on the dark room, the feeling of the warm bed and mums cuddles in the morning, the noise of the TV’s news presenter explaining the tragedy and showing footage of the disaster still plays in my head 15 years on and will continue to be fresh in my mind until the day I die.
When I spoke to my grandma from my dad’s side of the family about her history with the television, it surprised me. I knew that they came from a lower socio-economic background fleeing the war which influenced her television history.
It wasn’t until the 1960’s my grandparents got their first TV which was black and white. They lived in the middle of no-where,so it would not surprise me if they had poor connection. She explained that the lifestyle changed in the household as well when the TV was introduced. Things like watching the Sunday night football and having to have had dinner and washed up by 6pm so they could all watch together. My grandpa had the most control over the TV, but when he fell asleep, Grandma would kindly turn down the volume and change the channel to what she wanted to watch. If visitors were to come over, the TV would go off as it was considered polite. Her most memorable televised event in history was the shooting of JF Kennedy in 1963 and the walking on the moon in 1969. Both of my grandparents worked during the day, so they didn’t watch anything until all the cooking and cleaning had been completed. Sunday night football was a must in my dad’s household growing up; other shows they watched were Get Smart, The Andy Griffith Show, Rawhide, Four Corners and the News. Now days, she likes to watch Offspring, Winners and Losers, Australian Story, Boarder Security and cooking shows.
From now to then, 16 years on from watching the Olympics, it’s still a tradition to watch the Olympics as much as I can and it’s still a tradition for Grandma to have everything clean before sitting down for the night to watch TV. Some things will never change.