Wednesday, January 27, 2010

'70s Shows With Grandma & Grandpa


When I was in first grade, we lived with my grandparents during that "in-between" houses stage. My parents were moving from Suffolk to Nassau because of Mom's teaching job. It's really odd because that one year honestly felt a lot longer to me as a little kid. I'm close to six years old in the photo above.


For some reason, I remember watching lots of TV with my grandparents. I have no idea where my folks were at the time. Maybe they were watching something else upstairs? Maybe they were taking classes for their Masters? Maybe they were sitting on the couch, yet for some reason I can't visualize them.


What I do remember is the smell of Sanka, a nightly handful of Hydrox cookies and my eyes glued to a small fuzzy color TV in my grandparents' basement. I remember back then the news included typing sounds simulating a newsroom. I was always an anxious kid and the sound of the typewriter and fast-paced music made my heart beat faster. I was a weird kid. I found Tom & Jerry stressful.

I remember names like Water Cronkite and Dan Rather. I remember laughing at Howard Cosell's nasally whiny voice. I'd make a funny face and whine in my Long Island accent,"This is Howid Coe-sell speaking of sports..." I don't think my grandpa found it very funny -- he just wanted to hear the lowdown on yesterday's game. Grandpa's famous line back then was, "You know, children should be seen and not heard?!" Grandma would scold him every time he said it. I looked it up, it's an old proverb. My mom would pull that line on me too. Guess she got it from him. In their defense, I was a chatterbox. What can I say?


For some reason, I have these visions in my head like old faded Polaroids. I see myself watching The Jeffersons and All In The Family with my grandma and grandpa. I wish I could ask Grandma if she remembers, but I'm certain she'll just smile and say, "What show? Oh I can't remember that." Her memory has faded pretty badly. It breaks my heart that this past Thanksgiving, she didn't know what turkey was.  Now if Grandpa were still alive, I bet he'd perk up in his favorite chair if I asked him about our TV watching. He'd probably say,"Yeah yeah, we always watched those shows. You have a good memory Allyson. A good memory."


Grandpa thought Three's Company was a filthy show, so we rarely watched that. I mean the premise of the show was that Jack was gay and living with two hot broads. Jack himself was hot by the way! Did anyone else think so? We did watch The Carol Burnett Show religiously. Oddly enough, I developed a strange crush on Tim Conway. Dude, I was five, he was like super old! Like really old, what was I thinking? I remember Grandma telling me that every time Carol tugged her ear, it was to relay a nonverbal "I love you" to a family member or something. I think today if I became a TV star, I'd tug my ear so my family would know that I love them.






18 comments:

Grgg said...

I can sooo identify with the smell of Sanka - that's what my grandparents' entire house smelled like. It's funny that you also have a photo of an oreo in this post - my grandmother swore that Sanka only tasted good if you dipped oreos in it.

Jack WAS hot - seriously, the entire reason I even watched the show was him. I used to get totally ticked off at his landlord for treating him like dirt...

On the Carrol Burnett show Lyle Waggoner was my big crush. He wasn't always on the show, and those episodes for me weren't even worth watching :o)

The Girl Next Door Grows Up said...

I love reading your blog because it takes me back. Thank you!

I loved Three's COmpany.

WHen my grandparents baby-sat for me ZI got to watch Fantasy Island and Cell Block H which was about a women's prison. Talk about smut!

Kitty Moore said...

You looked adorable with your hair in pigtails!

Kitty x

Copyboy said...

my parents wouldn't let me watch SOAP. Loved CB's tarzan!!!

Lisa Marie said...

OMG I have VERY similar memories of watching TV with my grandparents!
I loved the Carol Burnett show!

TS Hendrik said...

But Jack wasn't gay, he was just pretending.

Nice post. Reminds me-ish of my grandpa.

jen said...

Ally - there is more than Sanka brewing on this blog. There is a memoir, a book toasting and roasting. I love your blog.

Elise said...

Ah, the Carol Burnett show...those Mrs. Hu-Whiggins skits always killed me.

Kato said...

Awww...you are sweet. I would tug my ear too :)

Melissa B. said...

I used to watch Carol Burnett with my Nana...The Guiding Light, too. I was a Soap Opera Junkie!

RainyDaySaver said...

I never liked Hydrox cookies, lol. I remember watching Falcon Crest and Dallas on Friday nights with my grandmother!

Betty (picture circa 1951) said...

As I suspected...you were a chatter box. I bet you were one of those little kids that was constantly asking, "Why?" Or a zillion other questions.

Such a cute picture!

Geof said...

I love Three's Company as much today as I did watching it back then. Funny thing is that at least I get the jokes now. I didnlt know what the hell they were talking about when I was little-little but as time went on and I got older, this show got better and better.

My sister was a HUGE Starsky and Hutch fan. so I watched them as well growing up.

Ally said...

Yes, I was a total chatterbox when I was a kid... still am :) my aunt would play, "Who can be the quietest?" And I always lost! That is so funny about "Three's Company" I never knew what they were laughing at back then too! Yes, I know Jack wasn't really gay :) I should have said he lived in sin with two girls!!

Sadako said...

Mmmm, Hydrox cookies!

ASBLACKASOBAMA said...

I love All In The Family and The Carol Burnett Show! Ooooh! Three's Company too! Thank goodness for Nick at Nite, huh?

I'm so sorry about your grandparents.... I just lost my grandfather, and during the decline of his health, my grandmother fell deeper and deeper into the depths of Alzheimer's.... When we went up to his service, she looked us in the eye and had no idea who we were....

50sme said...

Funny, my memories of grandparents house smells are of regular coffee and not oreos but those thin chocolate wafer cookies. Famous brand or something like that. They came in a yellow box with a cellophane window and they were so thin they crumbled easily. Anyhow, I always called them coffee cookies because that is how my grandparents at them. A few wafers with a cup of coffee. Not a mug of coffee, but a cup and saucer. Coffee was served after dinner every night. After dinner coffee. Yum. Also the smells of orange juice and bacon too. Memories are so wonderful! oh and I watched Carol Burnett too when I was a girl, all the time. I loved lyle wagner!

LaraAnn said...

My brother and I would sometimes watch The Price is Right and Wheel of Fortune with our Grandma next door.

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