Truth or Consequences was one of my favorite radio programs, although I seldom heard more than snatches of the broadcast. We had no television in our home, so radio was our entertainment source after school and on Saturday mornings. Papa (my father) reluctantly gave permission for me to listen to Sky King, Lum and Abner, Fibber McGee and Molly, Let’s Pretend, and other gentle programs while he was at work or gardening outside. In evenings and on Sundays, Papa commandeered the tuning dial, moving the right-hand knob on our table radio like a train engineer headed to the end of the line. Papa gave an extra twist to silence the voice of Ralph Edwards. When I pleaded to listen to just one contestant’s question, Papa sometimes hesitated, hand on the knob, ready as if navigating a lifeboat in treacherous waters. He scoffed at the ridiculous questions, the quick buzzer, and the canned laughter as a waste of time and electricity.
Reminiscs sent me scurrying to my computer. An online search rewarded me with Truth or Consequences information. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Truth_or_Consequences, last accessed August 21, 2014)
“Truth or Consequences is an American television show originally hosted on NBC radio by Ralph Edwards (1940–1957) and later on television by Edwards (1950–1954), Jack Bailey (1954–1955), Bob Barker (1956–1975), Bob Hilton (1977–1978) and Larry Anderson (1987–1988).”
Ralph Edwards (1940-1957)
The cemetery-hopping, family gravesite researcher in me recoiled at the dates in parentheses. Ralph dwards died at age seventeen?
The dreaded Truth or Consequences buzzer sounded before I could comprehend that the writer (definitely not a genealogist) had a different purpose within those parentheses. With no radio dial to twist to silence the imaginary canned laughter, I had only one option.
Papa would have been proud of me.