In A New Light 10-1-15
Tucked away in a drawer for an unknown amount of time, rested a piece of paper that represented memories belonging to a woman who bested this world for 100 years. It’s a small, faded slip of paper with a few typed words that meant something timeless to this woman who put it in a safe place instead of tossing it into a trash can so many years ago.
I own a classic television set circa 1950. It doesn’t work, but its complete and I enjoy looking at it. But more than that, I like to imagine what was on that screen all those years ago. The black & white programs of an innocent and entertaining nature with its local celebrities and personalities and commercials of local sales and services combined with the stations’ emphasis on local people and events.
We live in a global world today where we are connected to each other in ways that were thought impossible in 1950. Though the technology may change and allow us to reach others easier through modern advances, people have always been the true connection that makes television work. Without them, there is no interest, no entertainment and no true spirit in its purpose.
In the corner of that little slip of paper that has recently come to light from its dark resting place, is a logo with the number 6 and the words “Spirit of Oklahoma” along with the letters KOTV below them. The letter is typed from a typewriter and not the now common text that is easily created from a computer.
My mother discovered the letter containing the lyrics for “Spirit of Oklahoma” while cleaning out a dresser that belonged to my grandmother Marguerite Dennison. She recently passed on at the ripe old age of 100 and never showed the slip of paper to her children or grandchildren. What makes this so interesting to our family is why my grandmother would hold onto to something that seems so insignificant. It is not about her family, friends or even a historical event that one might keep for posterity. But we knew the answer and thought it was worth sharing.
At the time of her passing, I wrote a piece about her life and the amazing events and innovations she had witnessed through her 100 years of life as well as events in her personal life. One of those occasions was her being recognized for hard work and dedication to her family in 1950 as KOTV’s Mother of the Year. Her daughters Charlene and Mary recognized how special their mother was and wrote a letter describing her commitment to her entire family and sent it to the station for a contest. The station too recognized her efforts and she was awarded prizes and honors on the Bill & Dottie Show.
From a woman who watched KOTV for at least 50 years, she must have realized as the years slipped by, how fortunate she was to have been a part of a concept that celebrated the importance of average everyday people. It was a concept that would fade out as new technology moved in bringing outside events to our screens thus replacing local stories of innocence and entertainment to short spots on local news stations.
The keeping of that small piece of personal memorabilia was really a thank you to KOTV by my grandmother I believe. A way of privately expressing that even though the world has grown so large technologically we can’t even fit everything on our screens these days, there is still a little spirit left in her from the days when that little slip of paper was typed.
I wonder if my grandmother thought about her typed personal treasure just before she passed. I am also curious if the memories of being on that stage in 1950 rushed back to her when Tess Maune of Channel 6 interviewed her shortly before her passing.
I do not, however, have to wonder if my grandmother felt that spirit renewed just before her passing. I was there this time and I could see it in her smile.My grandmother was being honored by the Osage Tribe in celebration of 100 years of life and KOTV once again raised the spirits of a local average everyday person and reminded all of its viewers that local people are all extraordinary and still the main connection that keep us tuning in to the spirit of television.