". . . But the past does not exist independently from the present. Indeed, the past is only past because there is a present, just as I can point to something over there only because I am here. But nothing is inherently over there or here. In that sense, the past has no content. The past -- or more accurately, pastness -- is a position. Thus, in no way can we identify the past as past." p. 15

". . . But we may want to keep in mind that deeds and words are not as distinguishable as often we presume. History does not belong only to its narrators, professional or amateur. While some of us debate what history is or was, others take it into their own hands." p. 153

Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History (1995) by Michel-Rolph Trouillot

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Memory: Cousins, Church and Television

     . . . . It's taken three days but now I definitively know why nobody I knew saw the televised White House Tour. It was sort of thing my darling beloved cousins, D and B would have watched and talked about -- a lot -- and their parents were indulgent in contrast with our strict and rigid ones. D wouldn't have missed it if it were at all possible to see it.

Older than me, she was as deeply engaged with the nascent celebrity culture as anyone out there could be, every month bringing home all the magazines focused on movies, pop music, fashion and anything directed to the teen girl market.

We didn't see the Tour because it was broadcast February 14th, which in 1962 was on a Wednesday, during Lent. So all of us were in church, as we were every Wednesday night until after Easter, including D and B. After getting home from church the little bit of time we’d have left before bedtime we’d wouldn’t be watching tv, but doing homework -- or -- in my case, reading a book.

Broadcast 10-11 PM on Eastern Standard Time, shows did come on an hour earlier out there than on the East Coast. Still, it would have been on too late in the evening to watch this. Except for special occasions like slumber parties and holidays, kids were generally kept on a strict 8 PM / 9 PM bedtime.

Most adults were in bed by then or 10 at the latest too, in this world where people got up at 5 or 6 AM to deal with livestock chores, and had to ensure the kids were up, breakfasted and ready to be picked up to be taken to the bus at 7 AM to get to school by 8 AM.

The White House Tour was re-broadcast 4 days later on ABC. But we didn’t get ABC until the fall. I know we had it then, because Dr. Kildare was on NBC (Channel 6) and Dr. Ben Casey was on ABC (Channel 10). All the girls were divided into Kildare – Casey preferences, that era’s team  Team Edward -- Team Jacob.

Ha. Three days to confirm that we in our rural community generally did not see the televised White House tour. Which proves how necessary it is to fact check one's memories.

Had no idea about any of this though, when I began wondering about it, due to watching Jackie. Serendipity.

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