TELEVISION WAS NEVER IN THE FAMILY

CONFESSIONS OF AN AUTHOR WHO GREW UP WITHOUT WATCHING--OR MISSING--THE TUBE

I never saw Sesame Street. I never saw Walter Cronkite. I didn't Get Smart either. Not once did I come home from school and settle down on the couch for a little Gilligan's Island or Magilla Gorilla. There was no All in the Family in my family. M*A*S*H, Mannix, Merv, David Frost talking with Richard Nixon, Howard Cosell talking with Howard Cosell, Sunday-morning cartoons, late-night movies--we had none of it. Or, rather, my mother was having none of it. By her decree, ours was the only house in the neighborhood without a television set.

In most ways, I grew up like...