Black & White

By W. Jack Savage

PROMPT—Who am I today?

It's funny how you remember the exact locations of where you were when you saw something or heard something for the first time. When I was a kid growing up in St. Paul, TV was all black and white. But I do remember the first time I saw color TV. The actor was Sal Mineo and it was in the mid-fifties and it was at Watson's TV and Appliance on Snelling near Randolph. Mineo was playing Aladdin and the color wasn't very good, but it was like having a glimpse at the future. I remember the heavy appliances were upstairs or street level with Snelling and downstairs they had the TVs. Sometimes, when you were a kid, you could sort of wander in places where you didn't belong. A salesman or two might see you but think that maybe you were the child of some grownup shopping there. Anyway, my friend Dave and I didn't get all the way downstairs before being asked to leave, but we got far enough to see just a bit of that Dupont Show of the Month. Why would an appliance store be in that location? Because there were no shopping centers yet and the oddest businesses were still starting up all over the place. Actually, there was another appliance store on Niles and Snelling a block away. But I would grow up and still bought black and white TVs in my twenties (that would be in the 70s.) I've often wondered if my affection for black and white movies and old TV shows weren't some holdovers from growing up in that period. I do find it strange because I was always in a hurry to grow up, and yet feel so nostalgic about those times now as an old man.

W. Jack Savage is a retired broadcaster and educator. He is the author of seven books including Imagination: The Art of W. Jack Savage (wjacksavage.com). To date, more than a hundred short stories and over a thousand of his paintings and drawings have been published worldwide. Jack and his wife Kathy live in Monrovia, California.

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