The Story of My Life so Far - Part 19 - TV and RadiosteemCreated with Sketch.

in story •  2 years ago  (edited)

This is the story of my life so far: 67 years and counting.
Prequel: A Brief History of my Family in France

The story starts here
Previous episode: Part 18

No TV at Home tv_170.jpg

Our father, Paul, thought that watching television was a bad way to waste your time, even though in the fifties there were no commercials on television. So, we never had a TV set in Rambouillet or Saint-Ouen.

In France, after World War II, TV and radio were government monopolies. There was only one TV channel, without any commercials for brand names until 1968. The second channel, "la deuxième chaîne", started only in 1964. And the original channel was of course named "la première chaîne".

I discovered TV when I was 6 years old in Rambouillet. A neighboring family had a TV set and we were going to watch the children programs on Sunday afternoon.
Then, I believed that TV was something continuous: when you switched of the TV set and you switched it on again later, the program would continue as if you there had been no interruption.

In Saint-Ouen, we had to go to our friends' house to watch TV. I remember that at some point we were watching every week an episode of the 1957 series Zorro.

There was no TV at the abbey either.

After my parents left Saint-Ouen in 1984 and moved to an apartment in Boissy-Saint-Léger, they decided to buy a TV. The reason was that my father wanted to be able to watch operas on LaserDiscs.
In France, there is a tax, paid annually, by any household that owned a TV and was able to receive broadcast channels. In order to not pay this tax ("la redevance audiovisuelle"), the tuner was removed from the TV they bought.

No Radio Either radio_355.jpg

We had no radio either in Rambouillet, in Saint-Ouen or at the Abbey.
My father thought that there was too much useless talk on the radio. He would have been interested in a radio if he would be able to find a program that would play only classical music.
When my parents moved to Boissy-Saint-Léger, there was such a radio called Radio Classique. You could subscribe to their schedule and know two weeks in advance what would be broadcast.
So, Paul bought a portable radio, and listened to Radio Classique.

When I was 15 years old, one of the sister of my father was staying with us part time in Saint-Ouen. She was sleeping in the bedroom next door to my own. She had a radio, that I could hear in the evening when she was there.
On the nights when I knew she would not be there, I secretly borrowed her radio and listened to it at very low volume in my bed under the sheets. It was thrilling to listen to this radio, specially because I was doing it secretly!

Continue to Part 20

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Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3 - Part 4
Part 5 - Part 6 - Part 7 - Part 8
Part 9 - Part 10 - Part 11 - Part 12
Part 13 - Part 14 - Part 15 - Part 16
Part 17 - Part 18

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I grew up with television, and like in France there was only the one state-owned channel. After I left home I have never had a television though.

From the late nineties early two-thousands my wife and I began watching DVD movies on my computer and today we can watch the Danish state-channel on the computer too. If it is about wasting time I believe that the computer can do an equal or even better job.

Indeed, many people waste time watching TV, while I waste time on the computer.

am too late for this am sorry
but I read anyway.. it's not a huge loss growing up without tv - you get to see the world and enjoy nature more - imho and just my experience
btw how do you secretly borrow your sis' radio? just kidding hihi

Haha, same here.

You've experienced many things!

When you will be my age, you will also have experienced many things. And probably much different from me.

Yes it will take me 10 years to catch up to the age that you have achieved.

The one thing that all humans share despite vast differences in culture, upbringing and social status are the human emotions. Great way to chronicle your life @vcelier

Oh woah! I'm going to have to catch up on all of this!

Growing up without a tv or radio would really give you a specific view on life as a child.


Well, before WW2, there was no TV. Did our parents or grandparents have a "specific view on life"?
Different, for sure.

Having no TV to watch and no radio to listen to, we played outside and read books. That was also one of the goals of my parents to make sure we read a lot.

To this day, I am still reading many books every year, both fiction and non fiction.