Come on Down!

The Price is Right Game Show Contestant Plays High/Low
credit: reminisce.com, circa 1978

Ever have one of those moments when a breeze, a song, or a smell reminds you of a time and place that’s faint in memory, but vivid in your heart?  Everything else around you falls away and in that moment, you’re transported back in time.

That happened to me this week. During an extraordinarily hectic day at work, I decided to step off campus and head around the corner to the little Chinese restaurant. A quiet lunch where no one knew my name was the respite I needed. While waiting for my food, decompressing, and fiddling with my phone (what did we do before mobile devices??), I realized I was hearing a familiar song…..

And just like that – I was taken back to Miami 40+ years ago. I remembered watching The Price is Right every day with my mom. Guests were welcomed to the front, “Sylvia, come on down! You’re the next contestant on The Price is Right!” boomed the voice from somewhere overhead. The crowd would clap excitedly for the guest as she ran toward the stage, arms usually flailing and a big grin announcing her excitement. Bob Barker would welcome the guest and start the next round….  Remember??

As I sat there, enchanted by this momentary mix of the cool breeze coming through the glass door propped open, the bright sunlight dancing on the tables, and the familiar music playing happily from the TV, the next guest ran toward the stage, and I wondered…. This show is still on?? How long has it been on the air? In an age where most things with lots of history are fading away, this show continues to air daily on a major network. “When did it begin?” I wondered. With a click on my phone, I learned the daytime version of The Price is Right began in 1972, hosted by Mr. Barker until 2007, when Drew Carey took the stage.

According to a quick Internet search, “The Price Is Right is the only game show franchise to be seen nationally in either first-run network or syndication airings in the U.S. in every decade from the 1950s onward. It first aired in 1956 in its original format.”

As I sat there thinking back to those days as a little girl watching The Price is Right with my mom, I couldn’t help but smile and of course, try to guess the closest dollar amount… like we did all those years ago in our Miami home, when life seemed so simple.

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