About Michael’s TV Tray

group with tv trays

At Michael’s TV Tray, every day is an opportunity to celebrate a food holiday, a favorite classic TV show, or the intersection of the two. So pull up a tray and join me!

I started Michael’s TV Tray when I noticed I was always posting about food holidays on Facebook and then free-associating them with old television shows or vintage commercials. Like “It’s National Coconut Cream Pie Day. Remember how Mary Ann was always baking those on Gilligan’s Island?” But only my own friends could see those posts, and they don’t necessarily share my enthusiasm for classic TV. So I decided to blog in order to reach others who do.

Michael’s TV Tray is a member of the Classic TV Blog Association. You’ll also find the Tray on FacebookTwitter, Instagram, and Tumblr.

About me

Miichael with his cat LucyI live in the San Francisco Bay Area, where I work in a communications job at a university. I’m interested in old TV from the ’60s and ’70s, vintage commercials, food, cats, dogs, and politics. And ironically, I don’t own a TV tray—at least, not a literal one. Just the one that’s in my brain.

My interest in classic TV stems from a passion for pop culture history. I enjoy looking at a commercial or TV show and guessing its year based on the hairstyles, clothing, colors, and even the font styles used in the credits.

Since starting the blog, I’ve become aware that there are some who are drawn to classic TV by nostalgia for “wholesome” and “family-friendly” entertainment. Often people use those words to mean they’d like to turn back the clock. That is not where I am coming from. I applaud the fact that TV now reflects many different kinds of people and families, both traditional and non-traditional.

11 comments

  1. Very wonderful blog, Michael! I am in awe of how much work you have done on this — I started one with a similar theme a while back but inconsistently post — http://eatfoodwatchtv.wordpress.com/ I’m sure you’ve probably posted everything there but I’ll check and try not to duplicate may indeed want to link to some of your amazing content. Friends and I also have another TV blog without the food orientation here http://flamingnose.blogspot.com/

    Your work is just wonderful here! I will be a constant visitor! I come from a lifetime of loving TV and movies and a career working as a TV programming exec, always with an emphasis on classic and cult TV favorites! It’s wonderful having some great resources around now to share with folks!

    Again, super blog and congrats on doing such a terrific job!! So entertaining & informative!

    • Thank you so much for the compliments! It’s great to meet a kindred spirit, and it’s very nice to feel appreciated. I’ll be checking out your blogs and adding them to my blogroll. By the way, I’m rather envious of your TV career.

  2. I enjoy the storytelling and characterization of classic tv. I also believe that “wholesome”, “family friendly” and for that matter, “moderation”, are not dirty words. I don’t think they only apply to one type of person or one type of family. Sadly, too many people think it’s got to be either-or.

    • True, those terms don’t apply to only one type of family or person. Unfortunately, though, many people use “wholesome” and “family friendly” as code words (which is why I put them in quotes) to invoke the good old days when gay people stayed hidden and women had fewer choices.

  3. That tray! Fiberglass, right? I believe my family had the full set. At least there were a couple of nesting, rough-edged bowls too big for potato chips and too small to bathe in. They are associated in memory with one of those disastrous visiting-relatives tourist-trap-shopping occasions. My aunt, who hailed from far away in Canada (as did we, but we were shacking up in San Diego for the duration), swore to a skin condition recently and falsely claimed by England’s Andrew of multiple-felony no-prosecution fame. That is, she did not perspire and therefore would overheat pretty early in the day when subject to a full barrage of So Cal sun in the mobile greenhouse known as our un-air-conditioned station wagon. The brief vignette that stays with me was terrible to witness at my young age in approximately 1968 or ‘69.

    My aunt was my ideal: pretty, kind, cheerful, yet sometimes a little depth was revealed. Sort of a Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis crossed with Geena Davis with a bit of Lenny Bruce crispred in. The ladies had done their shopping and we had returned to the car. No one ran. We all knew it would be about 110 F after an hour on unshaded asphalt. For my aunt, getting into the front passenger seat meant trying to open and transit through a willful 300-pound car door that had never wanted anything more than to close itself on anyone who dared use it for its ostensible purpose. As I teenager, I experienced its perversity with just the end of my middle finger when it slammed itself shut without anyone’s bidding. I uttered the F-word in front of my father for the first time. My aunt was was taking it on as her personal cooling system was reaching a critically high temperature and while trying to hold onto two gigantic daisy-adorned scratchy-edged orange fruit bowls and at least one rectangular tray in bags that barely covered them. (She loved my mother’s set and because you couldn’t get things like that in Canada back then, she acquired one of her own, in the other color scheme.) She simultaneously scraped her leg, snagged her nylons, dropped the bowls, fell sideways into the smoking hot car, cried out “I’m so hot!” and them wept some unbidden, entirely decorous and ladylike tears. I was afraid she might die, but she didn’t.

    My mother doesn’t get rid of things, but she’s not a hoarder. The green daisy tray wasn’t “a” tray. It is, to this day, “the tray.” And there it is—in spirit—on the upper left corner of your wonderful blog!

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