Music affected me more powerfully as a child. The theme to M*A*S*H, for example, depressed me; I was not surprised years later to learn the piece is called Suicide is Painless. The intro music to Perry Mason also had a powerful effect – it filled me with dread. But still, I have pleasant memories of watching Perry Mason while sipping 7 Up and nibbling saltines (my mom’s remedy for tummy aches) on childhood sick days. Mom usually folded clothes beside me, in my vague memories at least. The intro music to Perry Mason, as well as 7 Up and saltines, function upon me like Proust’s petite madeleines dipped in tea.*
Until I read this article, however, I had no idea this may be a particularly Portland memory. Except for 10 months in 1974-75 when it started a half hour later, Perry Mason has been shown on channel 12 at noon every weekday since 1970 – the year before I was born.
Most Portlanders knew exactly what this blog post was about when they read the headline.
*This blogger’s first pretentious Proust reference!
I know exactly what you’re talking about.
I watched Perry Mason everyday with my grandma while we ate lunch after Kindergarten. That was over 20 years ago. I LOVE that if I am home on a weekday now, I know it will always be on.
I have no idea why, but there are a few guys in the office who gather around the breakroom TV at lunch to watch PM. Isn’t there only like 24 episodes…. Maybe that is the Honeymooners.
Actually, there are more than 200 episodes of Perry Mason (nine seasons)! I watched Perry Mason on KPTV nearly every weekday that I was home at noon from the mid-70’s until I moved away last year. The reliability of it being on channel 12 at noon is a great security to us fans and… It is about the greatest show ever broadcast.
If you are so inclined, I would strongly suggest buying the DVD sets. The episodes are about 10 minutes longer than on TV and seem much better to me; Perry seems more of a scoundrel and Paul is much more fleshed out.
I lived in the Portland area from 1971 – 2001 and was talking with someone about Perry Mason on every day at noon. I had to see if somewhere I could find out if it was still on on channel 12 and viola! I found your blog post! I kinda miss PM and wish we had it on tv here in Nashville.