Imagine if what you saw on television today became a reality tomorrow! For my Grandmother, that was exactly what happened. The big box that brought stories to life in Australian living rooms in the 50’s was a huge step for technology and for the imagination.

My Grandmother grew up in Maroubra, Sydney and after the war, left on an adventure to work in London. This is where she first had an experience with television. After having an incredible adventure in Europe, working and travelling, drinking “apple juice” (cider) and meeting a man, Val travelled back to AUS.

My beautiful Grandmother is very much an outdoors person. Val has told me many times of her fond moments at the beach, with the sunsets, the trees and the ocean breeze. When Val had children, television had become much more accessible for the everyday person. Val herself does not have many experiences growing up with the TV thanks to her love of nature and Australia’s lack of connection. However she remembers my Uncle’s and Dad growing up with TV. “We had it later in the home in Australia when the two boys were growing up”, says Val. The most memorable being “the two American Astronauts who landed on the Moon for the first time. It was very exciting”. Imagine seeing the possibility of space exploration come to life in your living room. It inspired children, spun-out parents and played mind games with the elderly!

Val tried to instil the same values for the outdoors in her boys, remembering that their first television was “in the large living room with the TV’S back facing large glass bay windows, overlooking a pretty garden”. Once again speaking higher for nature than of TV itself. Talking to my Dad he also had fond memories of “riding skateboards, swimming in the ocean pools and climbing trees”, rather than the TV. Hearing this perspective from both my Grandmother and Dad, it is clear that television was a “sometimes” activity.

Likewise, my Grandfather, John, also had a lack of interest in television, probably because of his “Father’s lack of interest in TV”. Furthermore, his time was spent more importantly “dancing and dating”, when he had time off from the British Army.

Val and John, despite their own experiences and opinions of Television, brought a TV for the boys. Val recalls her vivid memory of the futuristic television children shows.

“I used to watch it with the boys and loved the kids shows – Like ‘Flinstones’ and ‘The Jetsons’. I just remember thinking all that stuff was one day going to come true and it has!  Like looking at your watch and speaking with people on it – like a telephone with images.  Or when you answered a phone in the house you used to have and tidy your hair and make-up before you answered – the same as Skype.  And cars either flew or were placed on a magnetic line that mapped out your journey and you didn’t have to drive it; it drove itself.”

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I can only imagine what my Grandma was thinking when she saw these “fictional” ideas come to life over the years. My ‘Nano-Nan’ is so on top of the current technology having a website, creating a Facebook account before me, and recording her speeches. I can only hope that when I am 80, I am utilising media and laughing at the incredible ideas from television that will have come true.

Thanks for reading.

– Abbey

Source: Jetson Picture:


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