I associate Sears/Roebuck candy counter with the smell of cashews. Chanel #5 is Sherry. A bakery smell is Valdese, NC. In 1950 I was eleven years old and had never seen anything except a test pattern on a television, as I mentioned on the last entry. When I see a fire station I think of the first TV program I ever did see.
Once in Albemarle, NC I walked a block to see my buddy Ray Sides. My dog Ace, was always with me. Ray’s mom said he was at the fire station. We walked on to the fire station, it was only a couple blocks.
I had never been inside a fire station. This one was new. Ace and I felt strange, we could see the big fire engine because the door was open. As I stood there looking at that big red fire engine wondering what to do, the smaller door opened it was Ray. “Hey Jack, come on in.”
“I have Ace.” Ray said wait, I will be right back.
“The chief says you can bring Ace in.” So in we went.
WE sat on the floor with three other boys. We all stared up at the television. There was a test pattern showing, but the difference I noticed was this was a big picture, it was a 19 inch television. I had only seen a test pattern on a six inch one.
“They are going to let us watch Howdy Doody,it comes on in a minute.” I had no idea what Howdy Doody was, and I didn’t care I wanted to see it. When it came on all the firemen gathered around also. I loved it. What a great thing, television, not just test patterns.
Those Firemen did not have to let us watch the TV. I often wonder, does this sort of thing happen for kids today?
They let us come back every day to watch something. The only rule was if there was a fire alarm we were to go outside and after the fire truck left, we were to go home.
Those firemen will always be remembered warmly for allowing boys whose families could not afford a TV, to watch Howdy Doody on a new Black & White TV!