Copyright © 2007 Henrietta W. Hay
Television: A Window on the World
July 13, 2007
Age-relatedmacular degeneration (AMD) sort of sneaks up on you.
But when I finally admitted I couldn't see to read the newspapers or my favorite mysteries any more, I knew I faced a some pretty serious decisions.
Books on tape are wonderful and I use them a lot, but they do not full the void. I could get friends to read to me items of special interest, but you can't impose on others indefinitely. Being a political junkie I really do need to know what is going on in the world.
One good answer is radio, and I have for a long time been devoted fan of news coverage on National Public Radio.
Another is-sob-television. But that presented another problem. I can't hear very well either, so I have been using closed caption TV. And now I can't read that. That problem was solved by a pair of wireless earphones. They are great. I can hear and understand clearly almost all the audio on TV.
I am not suggesting that it is a piece of cake not being able to see clearly, but as the old, trite saying goes, "If you're stuck with a lemon, you might as well learn how to make lemon pie."
The search for aids has been interesting, with help from my friends and the many professional services available.
Television and radio have become my major source of information.
Back in 1931 Rex Howell and his father came over here from Denver and started Grand Junction's first radio station, KFXJ, later KREX.
I had my first real job with that station. I had a two hour program each morning, reading teletype material, chatting with the announcer, and commenting on just about anything--including household hints and recipes. The best part was interviewing people. Oh yes, much to the amusement of my friends today, the program was called "Domestic Diary".
Some years later, in 1956, Rex brought television to our city with KREX-TV Channel 5.
I saw the first TV broadcast in Grand Junction. Rex was giving his introductory speech on this new means of communication and entertainment.
A little later on son John was sick and bored wanted to watch the World Series. We rented a TV set for him. Naturally, when he recovered and the Series was over, we bought our first set.
And look where television is today, with hundreds of stations, wires across the ocean, and satellites in the sky.
So for all its flaws, TV has become my source of information.
Of course it gives us some entertainment too, but most of the drama shows that I liked are gone - "Commander in Chef," "West Wing". We still have "Boston Legal" but it seems to be gone for the summer.
So that leaves the news. CNN and MSNBC quickly became my favorites.
TV is a visual media, and the commentators sitting behind a desk are a relief over people running around. Also, they speak much more clearly.
They won't run out of subject matter for a year and four months. With twenty or so candidates already running for the Presidency, they will never run out of news - or at least opinions and interviews.
I followed both debates, although they weren't really debates, but rather a series of speeches.
When things slowed a little bit we had Paris Hilton for several days. I even watched Larry King's interview with her, much to the horror of one of my friends.
AMD is not fun, but it is not fatal. Actually, it does have some remarkably funny effects. So let's see what the talking heads are talking about today.