Whatever happened to imagination? I remember talking about it in my elementary school back in the 1950’s. It seems like it started to disappear shortly after the invention of the black and white television. Now that we have six grandchildren under the age of 12, I don’t believe they have to imagine anything. Why should they use unnecessary brainpower if it’s…unnecessary? Come to think of it, we had no choice to use our imagination because our teachers made us in the Dark Ages a.k.a. B.C. (Before Computers).
Imagine, sorry…let me create a mental Wikipedia of the Dark Ages. My family didn’t have a television set until I was in first grade. For months prior to our family’s great black and white adoption, all the neighborhood kids would cram into this large bus/trailer contraption (I only remember it was BIG and I was little), and watch black and white cartoons. A marketing ploy, it hooked my brother and me. We were the first family on our street to own a television set. Almost overnight, our home became the best place to visit. Although the screen was only about 12 inches in circumference, we crowded a dozen or more people, some we didn’t even know, around that tiny phenomenon in our small living room almost daily. Even the test pattern mesmerized people.
Imagination was fighting to co-exist with television in the beginning. Every Saturday morning during the 1950’s there was an interactive TV show called Winky Dink and You.
What did I do with all my free time? I looked at picture books and played with my baby dolls. Those dolls did nothing: they didn’t cry, wet, talk, walk, or have their own skateboard.