1st Color TVs Tuned To ‘Bonanza’

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 1, 2012

Last week’s column about early televisions prompted a call from subscriber Barney Hill, 61, of Fair Grove. He remembers when the 15-cent TV Guide used to distinguish whether a show was black and white or color. And one of the premier early TV shows in color was “Bonanza.”
His preacher, one of the first in nearby Thomasville to own a color TV, regularly invited friends to watch “Bonanza” at the parsonage.
I remember my own minister railing against people for staying home from Sunday night services so they could watch Ben, Hoss, Adam and Little Joe Cartwright as they worked on the Ponderosa. What a show that was.
Hill’s pastor had a creative idea: Use “Bonanza” as a ministry tool. Hill said his family regularly went over to watch the color TV.
Hill had his own color set not so many years later as a patient at Walter Reed Army Medical Center after stepping on a booby trap in Vietnam in 1971. One of his legs had to be amputated at the knee. His father fixed him up with a color TV in his hospital room, the only color set on the ward.
Late in the Vietnam War, low powered bombs — precursors of today’s IEDs that have wounded and killed so many American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan — became a problem, especially in the area where he was assigned.
“They had a Ph.D in bobby traps,” Hill recalled.
Hill became close to Davie County when he found his pleasant little community in the crosshairs of Thomasville’s annexation plans years ago. He sought help from N.C. Sen. Betsy Cochrane of Bermuda Run. He subscribed to the Enterprise Record during his anti-annexation battles and has remained a faithful reader.

Winter Still Packs
A Chilly Punch

Just when it looked like we would skip winter this year, the weekend arrived with a fury. I spent Saturday morning trimming last year’s monkey grass, but I couldn’t take the cold any more by lunch.
The winds grew stronger and stronger and the wind chill …