Two ChannelsThat's the way it was growing up. Only two channels on TV, not to mention that it was in living black and white. Also you had to turn it on with no remote, go find something else to do until the tubes warmed up producing an image, and then adjust it with rabbit ears to bring it in clearer. If I did all my chores I was allowed to watch a program on television and if I did them all week I could watch Saturday morning cartoons. It didn't take me long to figure out that television was less entertaining than the great outdoors.
There were always toads in the window wells to borrow for the days ride in my new convertible toy cadillacs I got as birthday gifts. If we lived near a woods or pond I was gone all day playing with the neighbor boys and girls grabbing sticks or skipping stones. We ignored mosquito bites, poison ivy, and sunburn because their was another snake or turtle that definately needed to be played with. We made our own fun back then. We built stick and leaf forts, played in the mud, and dug for buried treasure. We handed down tales of "Old Man Miller" who lived in the back part of the woods, to the younger kids. If you got too close to his shack or even saw his shack you were already a gonner, so stay this side of the creek and you will surely make it home.
There were days spent shooting hoops at the park, back then you didn't need to worry about getting nabbed by a child molester. There was always a quick game of 500 you could play on any open field. Frisbees and superballs, and in the winter, saucers, sleds, and skates and snow forts were all a kid needed. Girls were just as boys back then. We all played together. My mother would stand on the porch and blow a referee whistle. If I wasn't home in five minutes I couldn't go out tomorrow and no TV or Saturday morning cartoons. I always had to do chores before I was ever allowed to go out on any given day but to do the chores and miss curfew and lose my outdoor and TV time just wasn't worth it. It only happened once that I recall and it really sucked.
Now we have over 100 channels, remote controls, wireless signals from satellites, TVs that are flat and hung on a wall or ceiling if you prefer. They only take a few seconds to produce a High Definition picture. But yet, there still is nothing on. Even Saturday morning cartoons aren't as good as they once were. Aww shucks. I still have to do my chores before I can go outside to do more chores. But I still look for the toads and turtles and listen to the birds and watch children playing an organized game of soccer with parents close by. I never see children playing alone and free as we use to. I love the outdoors still. I love being home as well. I don't need a whistle anymore to avoid penalties. It wouldn't be a motivator, as there isn't anything on TV that can stimulate me as much as the great outdoors.