In 1966, something new appeared on the television. It came on at 10:00PM on a school night, which made watching it a challenge.
Back then, I lived in an old two-story farmhouse full of antique furniture. Except for the telephone, the only modern items were in the kitchen; they were the refrigerator, the kitchen dinette set and the television, a 27 inch black and white set.
Every night at 9:00PM, my foster parents sent me to bed on the second floor. My bedroom was close to the top of the stairs, but so were the others; the stairs ended in a cluster of doors leading to the three bedroom and one bathroom. On the night’s that Star Trek aired, I would wait until they went to bed and then sneak down the stairs as quietly as possible.
No lights could be turned on as it would alert them to my clever plan to watch this late night show. I had become quite adept at navigating through a dark house anyway. Once downstairs I would lower the volume on the television before switching it on and raise it to barely audible.
I watched every episode of this wonderful show late at night in the dark after sneaking downstairs for the two years it ran without ever being caught. I was always careful to put away my chair and restore the volume know to it orignal setting before heading back to bed.
It wasn’t until the show resurfaced in reruns that I able to see the wonderful colors. Until then, the term “red shirt” was meaningless to me.