Here’s a classic piece of Christmas nostalgia. A Charlie Brown Christmas debuted in 1965 and was apparently unappreciated by network executives, who despaired of the child actors’ unprofessional sounding voices, the jazz soundtrack by Vince Guaraldi, and the reading of a Bible passage by Linus. The Christmas special was expected to be a ratings disaster and there were no plans to repeat it.
Half of all the TV households in America were tuned in to watch this show. Getting the attention of such a large portion of the country all at one time was possible in 1965. Although we are even more wired together today, it would be difficult to persuade half of America to look at the same thing simultaneously unless it was a live historic event, a terrible tragedy or the Super Bowl.
“A Charlie Brown Christmas” may have single-handedly killed the aluminum Christmas tree, which was an innovation that I, as a 10 year old, admired. Especially when it came with a revolving color wheel!
The opening scene of children skating on a frozen pond brings back winter memories for me. I did the very same thing with a group of friends on a little pond in the woods near our house in Montrose, New York. This was not a community pond in a public park with a warming house, lights and piped in music. It was really off in the woods, away from any roads and not visited by anyone except us. The forest came right down to the edge of the water. We’d sit on fallen trees to lace up our skates. The frozen surface was rough – occasionally interrupted by a stump or a stick, which added an element of unpredictable excitement to our skating parties. I’m guessing there are no figure skaters who got a start there, but it was a great location for unsupervised, frictionless roughhousing.
Where do you (or did you) go to skate?