One of the great treasures I came across as I was doing one of the final sweeps of my parents’ condo after Mom passed was the discovery of a scrapbook.
Dad didn’t seem to be the scrapbooking type, but I can only assume he was the one who collected his letters to the editors of various newspapers across the country. Perhaps Mom collected them, but some of these letters go back to well before my parents met. At any rate, it’s a neat collection, albeit only half-full.
Most of my father’s letters were very serious in nature, mainly about the conflict in Ireland during the 1960s and 1970s, the Vietnam War and crime. But my dad did have a good sense of humor.
He wrote one letter titled, “TV Is for My Dog.” In it, he bemoans America’s obsession with television programming, an ailment he nicknames “TVitis.” Dad writes that he dreads going to work on Mondays because everyone will be talking about the weekend’s TV programming, like the Ed Sullivan Show or Candid Camera, and all of that bores him to tears.
Dad proudly declares that he doesn’t watch TV, and only listens to the radio and reads books. Dad says he only turns on the TV for his dog, who likes to watch Lassie.
Of course, my dad eventually did give in to the TV bug, and ended up enjoying quite a bit of television, from The Three Stooges to The Twilight Zone and The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.
But my favorite line is about the dog. Dad never had a dog, but it’s still a funny line.
If watching less television was one of your new year resolutions, my dad would approve.