My Media Life so far #4

215px-On_the_Town_poster (2)But this was the era of movies and radio. Parents cheerfully sent their kids on their own to double bills at the Lyric, the Capitol or the Fox every Saturday afternoon. Only the newsreels in advance of the shows gave us any indication that there was a war on. We did buy war saving stamps at school, but ration books concerned only our mothers, and there was never any sense of being deprived.  The featured films at first were frequently westerns for those afternoon matinees, but later they became musicals and my greatest fantasy was to dance with Fred Astaire or Gene Kelly.

Nancy Drew

We liked receiving mail at the door. Jack and Jill arrived monthly; and hard copy series like, The Bobbsey TwinsNancy Drew and The Hardy Boys and the novels of L. M. Montgomery were later eclipsed by movie magazines featuring the latest clothes and romances of those unattainable beauties who always ended up with Fred Astaire or Gene Kelly.

Radio croppedOn weekend evenings we dutifully sat by the radio to listen to Jack Benny, Fred Allen, Fibber McGee and Molly – all whom our parents thought were hilarious – though our sensibilities, refined by the movies, were already rejecting these buffoons as lame.  Personal technologies started with gifts of brownie cameras and we shot photos of parents, siblings and pets with much delight.

Television brought a new world of black and white talking heads into our homes.  Mothers watched soaps and eventually we joined our parents for Jack Benny, who had moved to television or Perry Como or the Arthur Godfrey Talent Scouts.   Our awakening interest in the opposite sex (and perhaps the same sex, though at that time no one would have dared to reveal it) competed.