I was born in the early 1960’s, and I am from a small, close-knit family. I have one older brother and I am the youngest of six cousins so my brother and cousins never wanted me hanging around with them unless we were on a family outing; only then it was because they didn’t have a choice. Therefore, at an early age I would read books, look at magazines or watch television with the adult males, which was usually some type of sports program. To this day I still enjoy watching pro football, college football and college basketball on television.
The only television show I remember wanting to watch when I was young was I Love Lucy, and every week the entire family would watch it together. I can also remember that is was my father who decided which shows we would watch since we only had one television in the house. I know there were other shows we watched on a regular basis, but the only thing I can remember is they were some type of police or investigator show. Television was not a main aspect in house; if we did not have homework or chores to do, we were usually outside playing with the other neighborhood kids. It was unheard of to sit inside and watch television when we could be outside playing; of course, this was before cable television, video games and the internet.
As I reflect back on my life I realize that it was not until high school that television and films started to influence my life and my decisions, before that is was just entertainment or something to do. I wanted to be part of the “in” crowd and be popular so I needed to be part of the latest trends as far as hairstyle and clothes go, especially since I just made the cheerleading squad. Charlie’s Angels (Farrah Fawcett) and Saturday Night Fever (the disco look) were very popular and you weren’t considered cool in my school unless you looked and dressed like these latest trends.
In the mid-80s I got married and we bought a house that needed renovation so most of our time and money was spent on repairs and household expenses. So due to the lack of extra money, we would spend some of our down time in the evenings watching network television. I can remember watching Dallas, Dynasty, The Cosby Show and Cheers on a regular basis. Dallas was such a big hit with us and our friends that we would take turns hosting “Dallas” parties so we could all watch the show together. At the time Dallas almost seemed to have had a cult following.
During my late teens and twenties, television, movies and radio had the biggest influence on me, especially movies. We had a movie theater within walking distance of our house and my friend and I would buy a book of tickets and each ticket was good for a weekly summer matinee. I would occasionally look at a magazine, but it was usually a fashion magazine so I normally just looked at the pictures to see the latest style.
I never did enjoy reading because I associated reading with school work and school work was not something I enjoyed. But in my thirties someone gave me The Pelican Brief by John Grisham and I was hooked. For the first time in my life I was reading, and enjoying it. I would buy his books as soon as they went on sale and would stay up to 2:00 and 3:00 in the morning plowing through so I could hurry and find out how it ends. But after reading several of his books I got bored because they seemed to follow a pattern and I would figure out how it was going to end. Then I was introduced to Nicholas Sparks and have read several of his books as well. Today I enjoy reading all types of books and will read either paper or electronic version, depending on where I am and what I am doing. I also have the Sunday edition of the News and Observer delivered to the house. I like the newspaper because it has news and stories that the local and national news channels do not show, and there is more detailed information and facts without so much of the propaganda and “hype” that is on television.