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Wednesday, 4 May 2016

The Soap

He worked hard his whole life on his farm in Maddox Cove and as a fisherman out of Petty Harbour, Newfoundland. My grandfather O'Brien worked long days, from 4 a.m. during the fishing season. When he retired from fishing, Granda continued his work around the farm, growing vegetables, tending chickens, horses and cows, plowing, mowing, He always had a nap in the afternoon but his main luxury was the soap opera Another World. In the late 1960s, Granda and Nan watched it every week day. They were fascinated with the daily life of Mac, Rachel and the clan in Bay City.

 

Granda watched with some skepticism as the cast of characters went about their daily lives but he was not really sure what to think about them. He always asked, "That's not real, is it?" Everyone reassured him that it was not, but Granda kept asking. If you entered the room while he was watching the program, during the commercial breaks, he gave you a synopsis of the latest happenings. Granda really went to another world.

Nan was different. She said with conviction, "That's not real," as if to remind herself not to believe what she saw.

My grandmother often commented, "That's shockin'," shaking her head at the events in Bay City. However, she continued to watch, as did Granda.

Today the fictional situations which fascinated Nan and Granda are played out on reality television and more recently, in the news, in more graphic detail and with coarser language. One can imagine the comments and questions from those two if they could watch television today. My grandparents would be shocked, but glued to the television.


16 comments:

  1. I am thankful my mother isn't here today. I think she would just have skipped the television, but real life would sadden her so. My grandmother had trouble distinguishing the reality on TV, so she stuck to baseball. Except, she watched on TV with no volume and listened to her radio commentator who she trusted with all her heart.

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    1. Your grandmother had the idea, though the images today are shocking even without the sound.

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  2. Hell, MY Grandma used to be shocked by the square dancers on Don Messer's Jubilee because you could see their panties under their crinolined skirts if they got twirled around fast enough. "Oh," she would tsk-tsk, "there's just NO need for that sort of thing at all."

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    1. Lol. Your grandmother was really old school.

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  3. I can't imagine any of my grandparents watching much TV. Yes, shaking my head.

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    1. Not watching tv is a great idea.

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  4. How cute. I watched wrestling with my Grandpa and Lawrence Welk with my grandma. Haha. Haven't thought about that in a long time.

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  5. I just love the picture you paint of this couple who watched their favorite soap for so many years, enjoying it whether it was real or not. :-)

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  6. You provoked a memory bubble for me. My grandpa (M) liked to listen to the radio soap 'My Friend Bill.' He listened to it until he died.

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    1. Great memory. I am unfamiliar with that program.

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  7. I often wonder what my own parents would think about the Internet, Marie, let alone what's on TV. OMG. The whole world has turned upside down and one wonders how it ever was the way it was "before." Mom and Dad never watched soaps but they sure enjoyed watching their Detroit Tigers play baseball! Dad would put a chair in the middle of the living room in front of the TV to watch.

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  8. My other grandfather did the same for every televised hockey game. He was not a soap watcher either.

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