I must admit, that in our wee luggage shop flat, in a back corner kept a dusty T.V. I would watch news shows, when business was slow. Television never really meant much to Godfrey.
He said, “Growing up in Wales only Tenbrooks Smythe The Third had a telly in a room of his own”. “I would pause and watch the flitting figures of the box in the windows of the posh shops, Uncle Hamish had one far away in Glasgow”.. Alice saved her pocket money. (She was deft at the scrounge). She dragged a used telly home, for her and Ma to enjoy in our cluttered little lounge.
There were two grey channels, frequently off the air, with Alice occupied she slowed her torment of me, with dog food for tea and the dreaded beet. I think of Alice still when I hear the music or the bickering on “Coronation Street”. Then avoiding Uncle Lou at a post funeral tea, with an open tin of Beets In Orange Sauce he pursued me. Behind the sete’ I hid in a cupboard, clod Uncle Lou tripped on the telly cord. That was the end of Alice’s precious set, she rubbed my face in a pet stain on the carpet.
In glorious youth spent out on the road, sleeping rough and living places where the news of the world, of those troubled years came by faded headline in the paper, or the letters Beatrice wrote to me. We rarely watched T.V., we had the sky and the sea. There was always someone sang and played guitar, in the songs and stories were the visions I carried with me.
Apparently, said Godfrey, “I was on the news T.V,when arrested for Creating a Nuisance With Poetry, in a park”. Before the camera I stood blinking in the bright lights, after rudely being locked overnight in a cell, rank and dark. Supporters bearing beets had lined the narrow aisle, I needed the loo but recall I tried to smile, told the crowd I disliked beets, thanked the cops for the warm place to sleep and gave them apples…I told the newsman the officers were “Very large and clean” Ginger and Lonewolf said it was the oddest interview they had ever seen.
Growing older vagabonding I’d oft stay a day or two, in a manky motel room in winter with a view of railroad tracks or someone else’s wall. It did not bother me if a T.V. in there worked at all.
In our flat above the Luggage Shop we always welcomed Godfrey, one afternoon I caught the sound of laughter from the stair. Expecting him to be sat writing, I planned to tip him from my turquoise chair. Godfrey had a nasty cold, he called it “the Quenders” or “The Grue”. I expected that I would get the Quenders to.
Instead of my chair he was curled on the sete’e, sneezing and laughing at “Lucy” on the T.V. Godfrey said, “This nice lady acts sillier than, come Worzel and see”.
Lucy was tossing pizza dough in the air, I chuckled at Vivian Vance’s Mamie Eisenhower hair. I left he and Garnet to their viewing and sat a long time thinking, in my turquoise chair. Thought how often through my life, rising to greet dawn, nights alone for company the T.V. on.. for background noise as I worked on chores, penned a letter or story off to family, I always stopped to watch, let time wait for me, I oft took time out to watch “Lucy”.