For nearly 28 years I think I saw every single episode of the Lawrence Welk Show– or — sometimes it felt like I did. Lawrence Welk was the musical voice of my wax coke bottle and candy cigarette generation before I discovered punk rock, and Madonna. His shows carried on for almost 30 years, and after I stopped watching them I knew that my Grandmother and others had not stopped the tradition. In all honesty Lawrence Welk never really went away.
Through the magic of syndication and of course the internet, the late Lawrence Welk still blows his signature bubbles to this day. I was born from a generation that has long forgotten Welk’s music, comparing it to music found in second hand shops or those occasional visits to your aged relative’s home. Then there were some of the odd things that I will never forget. Maybe they weren’t strange to some, but I could not figure out what kind of allure those English tenors had, or how about those god awful powder blue suits everyone seemed to wear.
But, really it was the innocence of it all, something the whole family could watch and enjoy– especially those Lennon Sisters. It was a very different era when they were known as America’s sweethearts with their sugary smiles and angelic voices.
Those were the days of no remote control and you had to get up to change the channel. My grandfather not only got up to change the channel but he also adjusted the “rabbit ear” antenna on the top of the television set. I can still remember the clicking as it turned to one of the 5 channels we had.
What was watched on television was determined by the elders in your family. Evening television wasn’t watched until dinner was done, dishes put away, and the only television was in the living room.
1985-Now The Goyer Complex with Varins still there.
F. J Knight Electrical Contractors and home
Every Saturday night my grandfather would cross South street to Varin’s Pharmacy and buy a large bar of chocolate. In the winter he would sit in his chair and carefully break apart the bar so we could all share while watching the Admiral television. In the summer the treat would be a bag of Laura Secord Fruit Flavoured Jelly Slices.
There are many cozy memories of huddling around the TV set with my grandparents. There was Lawrence Welk on Saturday, Ed Sullivan on Sunday, and Andy Griffith during the week. My grandfather would sit in his upholstered chair beside the old radio that he listened to the BBC news on. My grandmother was in her well worn arm chair on the left with a stack of Reader’s Digests on the small table along with whatever needed darning that week. I sat on the long blue couch that was covered in plastic that was never removed in my memory. It made a loud crunch each time you sat on it, and the plastic stuck to you in the summer heat. But everyone covered their couches in those days to preserve its beauty, and it was as normal as having a daily cup of tea.
I still occasionally watch Lawrence Welk on PBS and memories of my aging neighbour comes to mind who loved this show too. In the mid mark of dementia a few years ago she and I were watching a rerun of the famed bandleader and she turned to me and quietly said during a commercial,
“You know, I’ve always liked Lawrence Welk. But I think he was better before he died.”
Now that statement was worth any bar of accordion music any day of the year. Thanks for the memories Mr. Welk!
Where you can buy all Linda Seccaspina’s books-You can also read Linda in The Townships Sun and theSherbrooke Record and and Screamin’ Mamas (USACome and visit the Lanark County Genealogical Society Facebook page– what’s there? Cool old photos–and lots of things interesting to read. Also check out The Tales of Carleton Place. Tales of Almonte and Arnprior Then and Now.