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I am probably the only person who would write a story about advertisements. So, you remember how excited we were when the first television sets came out? I remember the first one I saw it was an Emerson with the round picture tube. If you had one today, hard to tell what it would be worth. Well, it was not long before RCA, Sylvania, Philco, Admiral, and several more became popular. Each had to have its own antenna. The rooftops looked like Star Wars. How many chimneys were torn off by antennas?
So, do you remember the great shows we had? How about You Are There, narrated by Walter Cronkite? The Bob Cummings Show, Mr. Ed, Fibber McGee and Molly, Dennis the Menace, The Thin Man, Dragnet, Badge 214. Yes, early television was great and exciting. Television invented TV dinners and destroyed the small movie houses. Then, there seemed to be a lull in the glamour of television programming. People were going back to the movie houses and playing more outdoor games. A few of them I remember quite well.
It was a time when McDonalds still had the golden arches extending from front to rear of the building. So here comes this All-American family of mom, dad, and two kids. A boy and a girl 9 and 11-year-olds. Mom and Dad dressed in knee shorts with colorful shirts, the kids dressed likewise. They order and now comes the young waiter with a tray full of food. Dad hands the boy a bill and is picking up the tray to leave when the cashier says, “your change sir.” Now here stands the father with the food tray in his hand with this quizzical look on his face which seems to be saying, “What all this and change too?” The advertisement is saying one, a neat wholesome family, the ultimate in economy, a pleasant surprise, America at it’s best. To my mind the best advertisement ever.
Then, how about the Teaberry gum advertisement. You have this stiff and proper Buckingham Palace Guard who will not be extracted for any reason on earth. But somebody give him a stick of teaberry gum and he goes into the teaberry shuffle. Ok, How about Alka Seltzer ad? You have this over stuffed party goer sitting, holding his stomach and saying, “I can’t believe I ate the whole thing. “Then, on the Lawrence Welk Show and the 19–20-year-old girl in shirt and slacks advertising Dodge cars. She is the epitome of grace and vibrance. How about see the USA in your Chevrolet – sort of All-American. Huh.
Yup, there was a time when the advertisements were as enjoyable as the show. So, what do I watch most of the time? The History Channel and Willie’s Road House Music.
-Contributed by Bill Lewis