Writers Workshop: The Good Old Days

Today’s prompt is "Write a blog post about something that makes you feel nostalgic."

There are a number of videos on YouTube that are recordings of nights of TV from the ’80’s and ’90’s, minus the actual shows. In other words, all the commercials (national and local), bumpers, news previews (and in some cases whole newscasts), and other TV ephemera (station ID’s, legal notices etc.) that you would have seen on that night if you were watching. This video is from KGO, channel 7, the ABC owned-and-operated station in San Francisco, on March 25, 1984 (which happened to be my 28th birthday). It’s over and hour and a half, so you might not want to watch all of it (or any of it, for that matter), but the person who produced this has a list of the specific commercials along with their times in the comment box.

Why do I watch things like this? To see the cars, the fashions, the products advertised, to hear the news reports talking about what was happening in the world then, and to see the graphics from the days before everything was generated by computers. Crazy, maybe, but it takes me back to that time, at least in my mind. A simpler time, before the Internet, when cable networks were still in their infancy, when TV networks still ran movies every night of the week, when entertaining an audience was still the primary purpose of their programming. It’s escapism in its truest form.

10 thoughts on “Writers Workshop: The Good Old Days

  1. Wow, that’s so cool to see them all curated in one spot. I get pretty obsessive over old school ephemera and the good old days too. There’s something so comforting about remembering our roots and it’s also fun to see how far we’ve come in some areas.

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    1. When I was traveling, I would sometimes end up in a small town with nothing to do on Sunday night, so I’d watch whatever I could find. Since a lot of the smaller hotels didn’t have cable yet, that was usually whatever the networks had on. I’d put the TV on more for background noise, since I usually didn’t care about the programming. For some reason, though, I’d pay attention to the commercials. They used to advertise food items a lot more in the evenings back then…

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  2. I only went into the first 10 min. And it brought back good memories. Love Dom Deluise and that old computer. Cliff Robertson looking good and I always wanted Stephanie Power’s hair. I don’t remember Automan at all. I miss the movies they played…Netflix etc…took that away

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    1. Cable was the original culprit, with HBO, Cinemax, AMC etc. buying up the movie libraries that used to be rented out to local TV stations and the networks. And the thing was, there were a lot of movies in those packages that were really entertaining that those channels never played, and they didn’t offer to rent them to local stations, who would have then played them on their late movies.

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