The first time I realized that reading was useful was when I figured out that I could read the television book (as opposed to the TV Guide which you had to subscribe to, the television book came free with the Sunday newspaper). I no longer had to rely on a parent to tell me when my favorite children’s show was playing.
After I realized that I could figure out what time my favorite shows were on television I searched for new children’s television programs. One particular show intrigued me was called *Denotes Children’s Program. It was listed at the very top of the left-hand column of the TV schedule on Sunday. I was confused because all the other television shows told what time and channel they were on but not *Denotes Children’s Program. I imagined that Denote was a lovely, soft-spoken woman who knew just how to entertain young children. I assumed that it must be on television very early, before the 5:30 am religious programming and I was frustrated because I didn’t know how long before 5:30 it was on.
I decided to try to watch it so I set my alarm for 5:00 am the following Sunday. I got up and turned on the television. Luckily there were only a handful of channels in the early 1960s, so I quickly went through them all with no luck: Only the Off the Air signal showed on all the channels.
I tried again the following Sunday, but this time set my alarm to 4:30 am only to have the same result.
The next Sunday I tried at 4:00 am and again, no luck.
I stopped trying at that point, possibly because my parents finally heard me getting up before dawn on Sunday mornings and explained what an asterisk meant.
(oops — I am way over the 200 word limit on this one)