A Cowboy’s Faith: Entertainment for all ages – Osage County Online | Osage County News

A Cowboy’s Faith: Entertainment for all ages

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“They just don’t make television shows like they used to.”

Actually, with modern technical devices, not that that many hours are spent watching television as a half century ago. Plus, there are so many other activities families are involved in they don’t relax together during the evening.

Yet, nearly every home has a TV nowadays. Some a handful or more, one in every room, maybe even two, little, big and giant screens.

It is difficult if not impossible for today’s children even young adults to realize what it’d be like without television. To have a television was almost an oddity back in the 1950s.

Common opinion was that only those who were well off owned a television. Uncle Don was a railroad engineer and had one of the first televisions in the community.

Of course, those who had television were required to have a tall antenna outside in order to get reception. Locally there was just one station with only black and white shows. Still, the TV would often blink off or have so much static that viewing was impossible.

Regardless, television always had programs on to watch that everybody in the family could understand and enjoy. Today, some homes can get dozens of stations on their television, and still claim there’s nothing to watch. That’s inaccurate because there are plenty of programs, just not the ones people care anything about or comprehend.

One television show lasted longer than any other and continues to be viewed regularly in reruns by multiple generations. Gunsmoke, not a dictionary word, but one made up by its producers, remains the most popular television show of all time.

Grocery stores stayed open for farm trade on Saturday night in those days. The little wannabe cowboy wasn’t expected to work that late, so he went to Uncle Don’s and watched Gunsmoke.

Originally a 30-minute show starting at 9 o’clock, Gunsmoke was over when parents came to pick up their sleepy son. Different than other Westerns of that era, the cowboys were more realistic, becoming lifetime heroes.

Doctors, lawyers, all walks of life, young, old, rich, poor still enjoy that show with a moral to every episode. “They just don’t make television shows like they used to.”

Reminded of Isaiah 33:16: “Live right, raise the standard of entertainment for a safe stable life.” 

030615-franksmug2Frank J. Buchman is a lifelong rancher from Alta Vista, a lifetime newspaper writer, syndicated national ag writer and a radio marketing consultant. He writes a weekly column to share A Cowboy’s Faith.

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