December 18, 2014

From Radios To Plasma TV’s

In my recent family generations we’ve certainly come a long way from only having access to radios to current generations who have  plasma tv.  It’s quite a leap in technology in just the last 100 years, isn’t it?

Grandpa grew up with just the family radio for news and entertainment.  As I write this, his great great grandchildren are sitting here in their living room watching any show on the TV they choose to see.  Even at our house we have all sorts of gizmos to entertain us.  A few years ago when our old TV died we did a lot of research on brands, including Samsung televisions, and ended up buying one of that brand that suited our needs.

By the time my grandpa Will Yates passed away he had his own house with his own TV in his own room.  He could watch baseball games on his little TV by moving really close to it so he could see the action.  My dad, Gale Yates lived to age seventy-six and by that time he’d moved into the remote control and VCR age.  He started out with a “remote” that connected to the TV with a wire, and then eventually to a cordless. Still, the TV’s were big, bulky and took up a lot of room.

Our Samsung TV is only 42 inches wide, but just a few inches thick too. It’s lightweight to handle and has a great picture.  While ours isn’t plasma, I am impressed by the picture quality and ease of use for our model.  I can guarantee that my grandpa and my dad would have loved our TV.  Are your family members quick to accept new technology too?

 

 

Compensated post

 

Faces Of America – Telling AMERICAN Stories

Genealogy Catches On

How many years have we waited to finally get some genealogy related programming on TV?  The “hobby” has come a long way from public libraries and genealogical societies to prime time television, hasn’t it?

The Debate

It’s inevitable that there will be debate over the format and content of programs like Faces of America and Who Do You Think You Are?.  Tonight’s second installment of Faces had people in the Facebook genealogy community discussing whether having celebrity’s families as the focus of the program was worthwhile.  It depends on if you’re a genea-phile or just a regular “Joe” watching.  Like it or not, someone is paying for that programming even if it is PBS (aka, you and me).  As such, they have to make sure there’s a good variety of people with interesting history, but they also have to begin the series with notable people to “sell” it to the non-genealogists.

The Result

I’m OK with that, and I’ve even gotten past the ‘jumping around’ of the stories as Faces of America progressed tonight.  Do I wish they would stick to one story and tell it clear through? Of course.  But I also understand that if they did that it wouldn’t satisfy the people who came to see their favorite celeb’s family history, so like a good recipe you get a little smidge here, and a dab of something else there.  “Keep them wanting more“, right?

Hope For Future Shows

No doubt, the current producers of the show are taking note of what is being said, pro and con, and if there is another (second) series they may change things or stay with the same formula. Do we really care that much?

No, I don’t.  I think it’s much more important to capture the interest of the viewing public any way it can be done.  Our society is in serious moral decay, with family unity and honor a casualty of great proportions.

If there is something to snag the interest of people it’s going to be that we show them that all people have a story, not just Meryl Streep or Mario Batali.  We have to take baby steps to get the ball rolling.  We need to start with the Yamaguchi’s and hope that the next series will progress to American’s in yet other walks of life.  We all have a story, and I, for one, think all of them are interesting.

Global Cousins, American Citizens

Let’s open our minds and embrace the gift of history and genealogical knowledge that Faces of America’s content is presenting to us.

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