Tuesday, August 24, 2010

BORN: May 1st, 1968

A few years ago I got into the habit of buying back issues of pretty much every type of magazine (and yes comic books) that were published the month and year I was born: May 1st, 1968. It was just a fun little thing to do to give me a bit more understanding and insight about the groovy time era I was born into. And being the TV / pop culture fanatic that I still am today, one of the most revealing printed treasure troves of my first day outside of my mother came from the April 28th - May 4th issue of STL Post-Dispatch TV Magazine (our local version of TV Guide.)

Aside from learning that STL phone numbers still contained letters in '68, that the STL Cardinals played the Houston Astros (Cards won 3 - 1, I looked it up), and that at the time a brand spankin' new Dodge Charger only cost $2,661.00 (!!!), I learned my date of birth was also Linda Thorson's TV series debut in STL on The Avengers! Like I said, IMPORTANT STUFF! Click to enlarge the listings below from May 1st, 1968 for other cool, important stuff:

It's also interesting to see that back then (and with only 5 channels to choose from) there was still alot of greatness on TV to watch: Captain Kangeroo, Superman, Bewitched, Dark Shadows, Three Stooges, Leave it to Beaver, Lost in Space, Alfred Hitchcock, and some neat movies too! The ads sprinkled throughout as page fillers are also very defining of the time era-- look at those boat and beef prices! Below are a few more STL advertisments that I found interesting:

Do these car prices blow your mind?!! And I love the first letter above from the whiney old guy in the "Television Letter Box" section about how much better TV was back in his day. Good lord, nothing ever changes. Ever. Except that these days we have hundreds of channels to choose from and to complain about.


Prof. Grewbeard said...

The Astros lost?!? go figure! the Astrodome was an interesting place to visit, though. i had a rat crawl up my leg once. i think it was during the Destruction Derby...

anyway, neat post.

re: the Television Letter Box- the theme music for Dark Shadows scared me so much i rarely watched the show!

Mr. Karswell said...

>the theme music for Dark Shadows scared me so much i rarely watched the show!

My mom watched General Hospital which aired right before Dark Shadows on the same channel... I have very very vague memories of it coming on and hearing the music.

What I totally forgot to scan in (and you'll love this Prof) was the midnight to 1:45 airings which for some reason this guide lists under Tues April 30th even though it's of course May 1st--- the late show at midnight on channel 2 was Assignment Outer Space!

Cindy M said...

I'm glad America FINALLY got over its seeming never-ending ('50s/'60s) obsession with the Old West. *Puke.* I still remember Gunsmoke when it aired until 1974? My parents never missed an episode.

I have 2 or 3 extremely vague "memories" of Dark Shadows (the crashing waves, eerie opening music, grandfather clock). My mother found out we (a neighbor boy named Danny and I) were watching it at his house when I suddenly began waking up night after night crying from nightmares. :-p Mom called Marie to get to the bottom of it; no more Dark Shadows after that!

And now I have 23 DS DVDs, each with 4 discs and 40 episodes. :-p

Mr. Karswell said...

Which Dark Shadow DVDs do you have Cindy? I know that 40 episodes could sometimes barely scratch the surface in some of the lengthier story arcs.

Mr. Cavin said...

One: I'd buy the sixty-eight Cutlass if I had the time machine. Those were badass (I used to own a seventy-one Skylark, and it had the same body, basically). Sadly, it's that Beetle that would still be working today.

Two: the after-midnight programing was ascribed to the day before because--and this seems too freaking weird to type today--television used to stop at three or four am, the end of the "broadcast day," and resume again around five or six for the farm reports the next morning (I like the listing for "devotional farm reports" here. How big-top evangelical!). This was, among other things, so disparate stations could align programming across four time zones. So it was technically, by coast-to-coast network standards, day thirty-one right up till the flag, the anthem, and the color bars indicated that the station was shutting down to reset.

Three: Wow, they were still denoting color programming in sixty-eight. That's awesome.

Four: I was born in October, nineteen seventy, so you and I are pretty contemporary. You can imagine how I might never, ever have said that TV was better in my day. I'd have said TV reached its nadir in about seventy-five, stayed there through the eighties, and started picking back up in the mid nineties. But while I was typing that, I thought of Carol Burnett, Archie Bunker, the Night Stalker, the Electric Company, and Columbo (and Hill Street Blues and Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman and Moonlighting and the Muppet Show), and it made me realize that there were just too many exceptions to my sentence for me to say it after all.

Beth said...

Now...printing....coupon...for Electronic Activator and sending to X-ER-Tron Studios. Why isn't THAT still around?

Mr. Karswell said...

Thanks for the farm report Mr C... I totally remember when stations would go off the air and hit static right after The Late Late Show.

>X-ER-Tron Studios. Why isn't THAT still around?

Vic Tanny ran 'em outta town Beth! ha

Cindy M said...

"Which Dark Shadow DVDs do you have Cindy?"

Up to #23. I think the last dated episode is mid-1970 (show was canceled in Spring '71). It's at the point where Barnabas and Roxanne Drew have struck up a relationship. So basically I'm only "a year short" of having the entire collection.

Tim Tipton said...

TV guide is no fun anymore to read.

Anonymous said...

What touching words :)
Merry Christmas! :)

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