Each summer growing up we would visit my grandparents at their cottage on Grand Lake. My cousins would come out too when we came up, and we had some amazing times there. Because of all the visitors my grandparents converted their garage into an apartment of sorts, a couple of beds, a half bath, tables, plenty of places to sit, and a TV. We spent a lot of time in that garage.
One summer while sleeping in the garage we encountered the Possessed TV. This TV would randomly turn on by itself, yes by itself, and at an extremely high volume. That memorable night, it woke us up and scared us out of our minds. Twice. The memory is very vivid. Most, if not all, of my aunts, uncles, and cousins have had their own experience with this TV as well.
I have used this story as an example for personal narratives in my classroom for as long as I can remember. If it doesn’t inspire my students to write, it at least gets conversations going. Just a few months ago after sharing this story with one of my 8th grade classes, we ended up sharing stories the entire hour. Seriously the entire hour. We got nothing else done; we just shared stories. That class is one of my more challenging classes, but that day, we had fun and enjoyed one another’s company. But that is not where I was going with this post. Let me get back on track.
This past summer at a family gathering we all started reminiscing about the Possessed TV. My cousin, who had been with me that night, told the experience from what she remembered, and I was surprised to hear how much it differed from my own. Okay, well it wasn’t a huge difference but enough of one. I remember being startled awake by the loud white staticky noise and snow on this Possessed TV, looking for the remote and turning it off. She, however, remembers it turning on to one of those televangelist programs and right when the preacher clapped his hands the television turned itself off. The only show I recall from that night was the one we watched before we fell asleep, Circus of the Stars. Her memory of that night is different than mine.
I can’t remember after she told her version of the memory whether or not I also explained my version. It didn’t matter. Her memory is hers and mine is mine. No one has to be right in this scenario. But it did make me think of all of the times myself or others have gotten into arguments so certain what they saw, or said, or did was the absolute truth. I am completely positive I remember what I remember. And I am completely positive my cousin remembers what she remembers. We all have a different perspective about everything in life, and one is not more right than the other. It’s just different. It can be difficult to step back and remember this.
I wonder whatever happened to that TV. It’s probably scaring more kids in other parts of the world after someone found it washed up on a beach.