Black and white TV

Since it's Walter Cronkite day, I began thinking about B&W TV and how we always complained about it, even though we never knew color could exist on those odd boxes. We knew we were missing SOMETHING. During the famous black-out in NYC in the 60's, my father was trapped in his office building's elevator. The TV of course didn't work and couldn't tell us what was going on even though we somehow surmised it knew something we didn't, looking out our windows into blackness. My sister and I were getting our hair shampooed, and my mother ran out of the bathroom when the lights went out. We followed, fully shampooed into the living room to look out the windows. How terrifying not to be able to see anything but car headlights coming off the East River Drive. And only B&W TV could have done that night justice. Finally my father came home, cheerfully asking for a martini. As if he'd been bathed in something wonderful. Darkness.
Later on, we'd lived in the Bahamas for a year before we got a TV and it was color, finally, and it was the weirdest experience, gauche, gaudy, unviewable. The first movie I saw in on this TV was actually a B&W one, "Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte" and the blood as I now imagined it was so red and terrifying I couldn't sleep for days. Color TV was going to be a problem for me and my imagination.

Now we all expect colors that haven't even been invented yet.

No comments:

Post a Comment