Growing up our TV was also a piece of furniture. When I was in the first grade my Dad (always the lucky guy) won money off of the radio and purchased a new TV. It was big, and encased in wood. As I said, it was a piece of furniture, we had things on display sitting on top of it. That thing lasted forever. I don’t know how many times it was affected by lightning and had to be taken to the repair shop, but each time it returned back to my parents’ house working like new. That is, until a few years ago, when lightning finally won the battle with it. Rest in peace, large wooden TV. To my surprise, my parents bought a snazzy HD flat screen TV. They’re more up on technology than I am!
After searching through heaps of photos, I finally found one of the entire TV. Most were of just a corner or a fraction of the TV. Wouldn’t you know, it also had to be a photo of me in all of my absolute un-coolness. (I went to Catholic school, if that helps explain anything.) I mean, not that I’m any cooler now, but I may cover it up better. Now that you’re done snickering, please move along and keep reading. While going through all those photos, I also found the previous TV in the background. Turns out, it was almost identical, except it appears to have knobs and the newer one was fancy schmancy and hi-tech with buttons. Apparently, we were just like The Jeffersons, and we were movin’ on up.
While those were quite the TVs, they still don’t fulfill my love of true vintage TVs. My own TV was a present from my parents for Christmas in 1998. A 19 inch plastic encased thing with a built-in VCR. It isn’t officially antique yet, but it’s getting close. That doesn’t fit the bill either, though when someone comes to my house for the first time I get the standard, “Whoa, look at your TV!” Usually followed by laughter. Not sure what is so funny, considering television (as in, what’s on) doesn’t interest me much, as I don’t have stations at my house to watch, nor do I find it important to have high definition whatsamajig, surround sound, blah blah. I don’t need to see every pore on an actor’s face. I am plenty entertained by movies and shows on DVD and VHS (yes, I still watch VHS tapes) on my small TV. I can see them. I can hear them. Beyond that I don’t see the big deal. But I digress. . .
I dream of having an antique television. Since everything went all high-tech a few years back, and those old TVs (including mine) no longer work to pick up antenna stations, nor could you hook a DVD/VCR to it, I need some magic worked on one.
Wouldn’t it be brilliant if you could take one of the old TVs and have it fitted with a new screen and guts, so it would function with today’s technology? I daydream about this all the time. If I were any sort of handy or if I didn’t think it would cost me an arm, a leg, and a kidney, I’d look into if it’s even possible. It may not be, or maybe it’s already out there somewhere being done by someone.
As old as my TV is, it sticks out in my otherwise very mid-century modern living room. Sorry, 90s TV, you’re just not making the grade. (Though I am pleased you have lasted this long and still function, so please don’t poop out completely just yet. Thanks.) One of these other televisions I have found would look quite fetching in my house.
Until the day comes when my dream and vision could be fulfilled, I will settle for looking admiringly upon the old TVs I find out antiquing. They always catch my eye and tease me with their curved screens, bulky encasings, knobs and dials, and their retro seduction. When I return home my TV always stares at me with that knowing look, “I’m just not old enough for you, not good enough. I’ll never be good enough!” You are correct TV, but don’t let it affect what little time we have left together.