My latest short story "The Night the Lights Came On"

Friday, February 10, 2012

TV Memories 02 | Jeff Hite

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“Good Afternoon Baltimore. It’s 5 o’clock.” I have no idea who he was, or what station he was on but this man was my very first TV Hero. It may sound silly that the anchor for the 5 o’clock news was my hero, but you have to remember I was three at the time, and when he said those words, it meant it was only minutes until my dad came home. And like most three year olds my dad was my real life hero.

Times moved on, so did TV and so did we. By the time I had reached the more informed age of seven we had moved to Ohio, and had gotten our first cable box. Scooby Doo was on this new cable box, and the first of the muscle bound super heroes started to appear. Thundarr the Barbarian and Blackstar. I often wonder how the writers of Thundarr felt when 1994 came and went with nary a comet in sight. But Blackstar would leave more of an imprint on me as his double sword would be the basis for my very first written story. And no, I will not share it with you.

All these fantasies formed who I was in ways that I can’t begin to describe, and probably don’t even want to think about. At the same time I was introduced to Star Trek and Star Wars, between these and the real life heroes of the NASA astronauts I am still inspired today. With all of these factors it is easy to see how I became the person I am today. But there was one more strange turn that would alter my life.

In 1984 my family moved to Germany and due to a space time continuum that was called AFN (Armed Forces Network) we were warped back to the 50’s. We watched Classic TV before it was cool. I was raised (for a number of years) on Mchale's Navy and Hogans Heroes, and for 45 minutes in the afternoon we got Touche Turtle, Atom Ant and Roger Ramjet. My TV life went from the amazing 25 channels of that first cable box down to one. I rather quickly learned to speak enough German to watch the more up to date channels but it had been an experience. I mean who knew that two dimensional planes could fly.

Some time in the late 80’ Sky Network came online and we got a satellite dish, I was introduced to cricket, which I still don’t understand, but at least we got more channels again. After that a lot of it is a blur until Star Trek The Next Generation.

This show cemented my already deep devotion to the Trek universe. I can honestly say that when nothing else in the past 20 years has grabbed my attention, I have been able to go back to Star Trek. When we didn’t have cable for a few years I would sit and watch the snowy images of Enterprise over the other clearer channels that were on. This universe more than any any other in the TV world has captured my attention, and given me countless hours of entertainment. I have all 4 series in my Netflix instant queue and watch them far too often after the kids have all gone to bed.

I honestly don’t know who influenced me more Mr. Rogers or Mr. Spock, but I think they both taught me a valuable lesson. Be nice to your neighbors, and live long and prosper, but I think they both speak volumes to the person I have tried to become.

Thank you both, and thank you for the TV memories.

Jeff Hite is primarily a husband and father, but when he is not at home playing with the ever growing number of kids he is an IT professional by day. In his "spare time" he is a writer, one of the co-founders of Flying Island Press, a co-editor of A Method to the Madness a Guide to the Super Evil and the managing editor of of Pirate's Cove. He lives by the motto : "I am a pirate your rules don't apply."


  1. Dan,
    Thank you very much for letting me guest post here. It was a lot of fun to take this trip down memory lane.

  2. Thanks for contributing. I loved your post Jeff!