We had one television when I was little. The dial broke off and we had to use a wrench to turn the channel. Forget about remote control. When this set was struck by lightning, we went without a television for what seemed like years. Other children would talk about all the great things they'd seen on tv the night before and I'd just have to listen without contributing anything.
One summer though everything changed. Somehow I got my hands on a small black and white television. I cleaned out my closet...even took out the clothes. On one side of the closet, I put a beanbag chair. On the other side, the television on a little table. I found a fan that had belonged to my grandfather--the sort of fan with wide gaps in the cover inviting little fingers to be cut off. The fan went under the television table.
This was way before everyone had cable. I knew the exact configuration of the two antennae to get the best reception for all 8 channels. I knew when I need foil balls on the ends and when I didn't. I had to turn off the fan for some channels since it interfered with the reception.
There was a part of the newspaper called the "Green Section" which had a grid for all of the week's television schedules. Every week as soon as this section came, I studied it. I mapped out my entire days according to the schedule. My favorite things to watch were reruns of Gidget and Laverne and Shirley. I filled my days with all sorts of reruns, one after another.
There was a downtime when nothing was on but the evening news. This was usually dinnertime so I'd have to come down to eat anyway. If I happened to have 69 cents in my pocket, I would ask if I could walk to the grocery store (just a block away) and buy a box of Crunch N Munch or Fiddlefaddle (whichever was on sale for 69 cents that week). After dinner, I would return to my tv closet and eat my caramel coated popcorn and watch the primtime selections until bedtime.
I recall that my parents did not approve of the way I chose to spend this entire summer. But it lasted exactly one summer. And when I think back on it, I think of it as one of my best summers...spent drinking pepsi and milk with Laverne and Shirley and plotting crazy schemes with LaRue and Gidget.