Saturday Morning

Saturday Morning (Audio)

I’m not sure what most folks typically do on a Saturday morning. Some sleep late, kids get up to watch cartoons, some go to work, some are at work, some have no clue what a typical Saturday morning must be like. Just like me. I guess.

As kids I remember two things. First, we were allowed to watch cartoons until no later than 9 am. And by cartoons I mean everything Saturday morning was broadcasted for kids and included some “Jungle Theater” type shows with Bomba, and other characters that were favorites of mine. You waited for the Test Pattern to disappear, and the morning Hog Futures and Farm report to end, and Dewey Compton to quit talking… Then… Kids heavenly mornings began!

Here’s a side note about Saturday morning advertising.

I remember Dewey Compton advertising prime land for sale across Texas. Van Horn, if my memory serves me correctly. They would pan the wide open spaces next to a pond while Dewey tried to sell homesites. That leafy branch that was always in the camera shots? Well, it must have been taped to the camera because it moved into every shot in exactly the same location!

Or, how about Art Grindle selling cars to the early morning cartoon crowd. The cars were lined up and driven to him in the commercial. He would jump all over them driving down the prices, and if he put a dent in one, then the price went even lower!

It’s funny what you remember!

Mostly I remember that I enjoyed programming geared around real-to-life looking drama and less the celluloid film that I assumed must have included color but we never owned a color TV. Maybe this is why I enjoyed reading more than watching!

Then, we spent 3 hours doing chores! And this seemed to be something done regularly, every Saturday morning! From cleaning the house, sprucing the yard, or dust patrol. When we lived off a gravel drive dust seemed to simply love rugs, windows, screens, and baseboards. And I remember all of these being the special focus, hosing off the screens and pounding dust from the woven rugs that covered the hardwood floors.

When it came to sprucing the yard I honestly remember moving rows of bushes from one side of the yard this week…wait, no, let’s move them back next week! But this was also the time that I learned to enjoy mowing the yard. I found it was good mindless work and to this day I enjoy mowing and thinking deep thoughts about nothing! At about 7, I mowed the grass around the swimming pool and the lifeguard gave me a dollar per week! 7 years old pushing a huge high-wheeled Yazoo mower that could have cut off my legs with a slip on the wet grassy knoll behind the diving board!

The Second thing about Saturday? For about 6 years we lived at Champion Paper Company Employee Park. 140 acres on Clear Lake just a few miles from NASA (Johnson Space Center) in Seabrook, Texas. We had the full use of the land, from the pasture where cows lived and hay was mown, to the back 12 acres of woods that separated us from Timber Cover where many of the astronauts and NASA engineer families lived, to the lakefront boat launch and fishing piers, to the front acreage where the Girl Scouts camped every summer! (They left so many goodies behind! Even found a Girl Scout pocket knife!) Dad cared for the park during the busy summer season and then worked at the paper mill in the offseason. Saturday was his day to make sure the park was ready for use and that included the swimming pool. We would sometimes join dad on his 6 am jaunt through the park and enjoy swimming while he checked the pH levels, administered chemical controls, and vacuumed fallen leaves.

The trip through the park often meant we got to sit in his lap as he drove the truck, learning to shift the gears or ride the stepsides or sit on the tailgate of the 1960’s era green Chevrolet 1/2 ton pickup! That truck was a workhorse!

Then that part of life was ended, and I became an adult…

When I entered the workforce I was working a night job balancing banks in downtown Houston and going to college in the morning. Saturday was a catchup day of sleep since I slept maybe 4-5 hours per night during the week. And this was just after turning 18! Married at 19, and working oddball hours often meant Saturday was still busy.

Through the years of IT jobs, Saturday was a normal workday when working shift work, and a project day when converting software or hardware. Later in life, Saturday was reclaimed as my day to be off and do whatever I wanted to do. I understand how Saturday’s get claimed by so many responsibilities, but every so often you need the one day of the week with no claims!

Now I guard my Saturday’s. Sunday is not an off day and has never been. It’s church day. As a pastor for 25 years, a minister for nearly 40 years, and someone focused on Godly things, Sunday has often been a work day with a different personality. Hence. My Saturday is a guarded day! I do not give it up except with regret. My bride works her hard job all week and maybe when we retire Saturday will be looked at differently, but for now, it takes a lot for me to give this time over to anything else that is not focused on some downtime.

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