Mack Williams: TV flashbacks

Published 12:00 am Sunday, May 15, 2022

Recently, a friend of mine told me he only uses ME-TV for “low background noise,” that he really doesn’t watch or listen to it.

He’s a few years younger than I am, so I guess he’s not as “into the past”(figuratively and literally) as I am.

The actors are all the same ones I watched as I was growing up. In fact, they’re doing the same things, since most of ME-TV is made up of re-runs, so I’m watching the same stories, the same plot lines as I watched then.

But these are not just filmed episodes of a plot; they’re a bit of the actors’ lives preserved, as their jobs in that “workplace” were to bring the work of the script writer to life.

Their jobs are preserved forever, or at least until there’s another catastrophic film fire like the one at Universal in 2008.

I would give anything if a film of my father (Bernard Williams) at his workplace at the old Spencer Yard Office were to be uncovered, and likewise, a film of my mother (Lorraine Williams) in her workplace, being in charge of the drapery department at Salisbury’s old W.T. Grants!

Some years ago, I wrote a column here about the old TV westerns which I loved watching in my youth. I won’t explore that again, except to say that most of them are on ME-TV. Sometimes I “misspeak”(that’s what they call it now), and refer to ME-TV as M-TV, but the difference is great! It’s kind of like when I say “A few years ago, I got my legs replaced; uh oh, I meant to say ‘hips’.”

Sometime, if I have ME-TV turned down a bit because of being occupied (writing), the sound of an old familiar theme song causes me to stop in my tracks (or rather, my finger to halt on the keyboard)! That music is like a cue for me to remember what I was doing when that show premiered. Depending on the date of the show, I might have been a little kid consuming an entire box of malted milk balls with a glass of milk (Coble), while watching “The Rifleman,” or getting ready to go out on a high school date after watching “Batman” or “Star Trek” (both currently on Me-TV, “Batman” recently).

Strange, but just now as I write this, an episode of “The Rifleman” is playing on ME-TV, in which Lucas McCain’s son, Mark is burning up with fever, and ice is being placed on him to bring down his extremely high fever before brain damage occurs. I think back to my 105-degree fever at the old Rowan Memorial Hospital in 1960, and my being packed in ice and icy towels to bring it down. In the episode, Lucas McCain bows in prayer, as I remember waking up in the middle of the night and seeing my father with his head bowed.

However, there was one old show’s theme song which I hated: “The Real McCoys!” It wasn’t particularly awful, musically, it was just that I was always “summoned” from my yard play by family members shouting out of a window: “Mack, ‘The Real McCoys’ are coming on!”(and there was no cessation, until I went in). This happened one time when I was out in the yard playing with my BB-gun (Daisy). I remember shooting it after being “called” in, although I recall shooting it at the ground; but the BB evidently bounced and went through the glass. My father poked a toothpick through the hole and claimed to have found the spot from which the BB-gun was fired; but I don’t think he included the possibility of a ricochet in his determinations. This happened some years before Elvis Presley shot out his TV set in Las Vegas when Robert Goulet was singing(I like both of their voices!).

A friend of mine feels the same way whenever “Perry Mason” comes on the ME-TV channel; but to my knowledge that person doesn’t own a BB-gun.

Recently, ME-TV has been adding some other old shows, such as the old TV “Batman” (“Baff!” “Bonk!”) and “The Honeymooners”(Pow!” “Zoom” “To the Moon!”

But even now, I look upon any possibility of the return of “The Real McCoys” with some bit of concern!