The television set had big, round clunky nobs. The only channels they could pick up were three networks, PBS and two other oddballs. This was the norm in the late 60’s, early 70’s. I suppose that we could have easily afforded another TV but it didn’t really enter our minds as an option. The house of one of my friends had sets in multiple rooms with each person watching what they wanted, by themselves. This house did not feel as lively as ours.

There was definitely a hierarchy of who got to choose the channel, which I was on the bottom of, but that usually didn’t bother anyone too much… HOWEVER…There was a great rip in the fabric of the universe caused by the five-o-clock news being on at the same time as Gilligan’s Island. Dad HAD to watch the five-o-clock news. It was written in stone. He was especially interested in the weather report, near the end. Now, on the surface, one wouldn’t think that this would be the cause of any tug-of-war: top of the food chain verses the bottom, no debate, get over it. The problem was: dad would always fall asleep the moment after the news started. The legal intricacies of this case were numerous. If dad was asleep, which was a certainty, shouldn’t the hierarchy roll down to me? I thought ‘yes’, but as soon as I would change the channel, dad would immediately wake up, say “turn it back”, then would quickly nod right back to sleep again.

I even tried things like slowly turning the volume all the way down, ever so gently turning the big channel knob, and then easing the volume back up. It never worked! Something about Gilligan’s Island would wake him up. That and the weather report.

I watched Gilligan’s Island later as an adult, one time, and I do have to admit, how did we watch such crap?