Thursday, July 16, 2009

The First Fifty Years

Today was Mike's 50th birthday. One might expect a grand and glorious celebration. Not so much around here today. Actually, he just got back from a vacation in South Africa and decided to wait for Erin to return home from her most recent summer adventure on Saturday before having a "real"birthday celebration. However, we did not want this momentous day to pass with no acknowledgement, so we decided to have a period of reminiscence while we shared a gourmet dinner - taco salad,

We could have talked about all of Mike's accomplishments during the half century that he has been alive, or memories of his siblings, past birthdays, favorite toys, how nerdy we all looked in the 70's, living through the technological advance from 8-track to cassette tapes, the invention of the blow dryer, or TV before there was MTV. The possible topics were endless, and some of them even interesting. However, we focused on TV game shows.

How many of these do you remember?
  • Match Game
  • What's My Line
  • The Newlywed Game
  • Concentration
  • Password
  • The Dating Game
  • High Rollers
  • Hollywood Squares
  • Treasure Hunt
  • Let's Make A Deal
  • I've Got A Secret
  • Truth Or Consequences
  • the 10,000 Pyramid
  • Family Feud
  • Joker's Wild
  • The Gong Show

And if you remember the shows, do you remember who hosted them? Gene Rayburn, Chuck Woolery, Bill Cullem, Monty Hall, Allen Luden, Art Fleming, Peter Marshall, Ray Coombs, Kevin Eubanks, Wink Martindale -

Or, how about

  • Who was the center square on Hollywood Squares?
  • When you had to "shop" on the set with your winnings from Wheel of Fortune
  • When people were ecstatic to win an avocado green refrigerator
  • Jeopardy before Alex Trebek
  • Wheel of Fortune before Pat Sajak
  • Allen Luden's wife

It was a fun trip down memory lane. I'm not sure that current TV will spark such a conversation thirty or forty years from now. Most of what is on television now is not worth remembering tomorrow, forget nearly a half century from now. I may be wrong. Perhaps on Mike's hundredth birthday we will all be sitting around reminiscing about the 2009 American Idol upset and still wondering if Adam Lambert finished in second place because he was gay.