Saturday, August 19, 2006

(3) October 5, 1958 Fear? What's that?

1957: First Class Postage $0.04
Rice-O-Roni Introduced
Saint Clare of Assissi declared Patron Saint of Television
"The Jolly Green Giant" first appears in advertising
Hula Hoops Hit Store Shelves
My grandfather, as some of you know, was the director of sound engineering at WFAA television station in Dallas for many years. He loved to take me to the office to show me off to his buddies there, and once when I was about 22 months old he took me in and sat me on the floor of the news studio while he fitzed with some microphone problem. He lost track of me, and finally realized I was gone about ten minutes after he sat me down. They searched the newsroom high and low looking for me, panic stricken that I had crawled through the electrical wiring and had gotten hurt. In actuality, I had followed someone through the side stage door and was on the side roof, climbing up the WFAA transmitter tower. I had seen my grandfather do this many times, and thought it looked pretty cool to me. My grandmother said he was never so close to a major coronary as he was when he saw me dangling near the middle of the tower, about 12 feet up.
Of course I was just fine until I looked down, then I got scared and hung on like a monkey. I'll never forget how calm and strong he was that day, coaxing me down to a place he could reach me. He must have been terrified but he never let me know it. He was so relieved when he reached me finally that I got off with a very stern warning and no spanking. But I never did that again, and marvel at my fearlessness to this day.

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