This is my only photo featuring a TV set as part of a little tableau. My Aunt Addie is on the left, with a "proud aunt" hand on my cousin Brian's shoulder. The 24" TV set, encased in its shiny blond wood cabinet, is hogging most of the scene. Atop the TV are miscellaneous items typical of the period: the tiered lamp (orange was involved) is now back in vogue.
|Qind Comfort. Volta Tribal Print Shade £230|
No serious photographer would be caught without his or her package of Westinghouse flash cubes or magic cubes. House plants were fashionable. My Aunt's stem of ivy was struggling to escape from the planter box built into the wall on the right. The warmth of the TV set attracted the ivy which would regularly launch escapes from its roommate, the stern, sharp "mother's in-law's tongue" plant. For those who aren't familiar with it, it's those two leaves sticking straight up in the air. Addie's MIT was the Canadian indoor version of the plant seen below which is the California type with lush leaves jammed tightly together. When there's only one leaf, with sharp points and edges, you can see how the plant inspired the name. By the way, it's almost impossible to kill which also could have had something to do with the moniker.
|Addie and Mom tipsy in a water-hole on a hot,summer's day.|
They would giggle together, confide in each other, commiserate over my aging grandparents, complain about their husbands and for holiday dinners, they'd cook together in our tiny kitchen, which was like a boat galley, pumping out a turkey dinner for 12-15 people. As I recall everything was served on warmed plates and when we sat down to the table there was no jumping up for the forgotten this or that. They would have considered "Jack-in-the Boxing" during dinner very poor form. Organization for these events was key in the small houses and the meal was expected to be carried off without too much fuss. How the two of them managed to turn out the feasts they did is a wonder to me. I took their culinary accomplishments totally for granted. If I could spend just one more Thanksgiving with them in our kitchen on Dominion Street, I would present them with diamond tiaras befitting the experts they were.
The host near the end extols the virtues of Players and Matinee cigarettes.
Aunt Addie, my mother and grandmother enjoyed them thoroughly and would compare notes about the programs the day after they aired. The show was probably subsidized by the Canadian government which feared Canadian culture would be over-run entirely by U.S. entertainment with the advent of wide-spread broadcast TV.
Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau once said said he felt that: "Living next to you [The United States] is in some ways like sleeping with an elephant. No matter how friendly or temperate the beast, one is affected by every twitch and grunt."
The government set up strict laws regarding the amount of Canadian content TV stations were required to air. There were regulations governing daytime content and prime time content. As a consequence, our TV's in the 50's mostly broadcast this:
|"RCA Indian Head test pattern" by RCA - http://www.high-techproductions.com/testpatterns.htm. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons - caption|
|"Cree" photograph by George Foley, Maple Creek Saskatchewan|