Maybe itís the security of knowing that when I watch classic television I will see all of the dayís troubles wrapped up and solved in less than thirty minutes. Or, perhaps itís the safety in knowing that any problem I see wonít be so horrible that I stay up all night worrying about it. Whatever it is, the old time-tested favorites keep me coming back for more.

Iím like a child with a favorite bedtime story. I know every line and I can even imitate the actors, on cue. I feel secure because I know that my black and white stories will end happily ever after. Surely, Iím not alone in my love of nostalgia. Pick up a television schedule for anywhere in the world and you will find hundreds of old situation comedies, variety shows, and dramas in the daily line up. It boggles my mind to try to guesstimate at any given time how many people in the world are enjoying antique entertainment with me.

I do have my favorites. Some of these shows I even own in boxed sets; but owning a set and watching it whenever I want isnít the same thing as picking up a remote and scrolling to find an old show that I love still on the air. Itís kind of like finding a quarter on the ground, even though my pocket has a few of them already.

I could stay up all night watching an ďI Love LucyĒ marathon.

The hilarious slapstick situations are pure genius and the relationship problems are timeless. Iím always rooting for Lucy to get a part in Rickyís show, just so I can laugh at all the trouble she causes. Other times I root for Lucy in a battle of the sexes or in a landlord-tenant dispute. I absorb in detail how Lucy gets herself in to situations that are over her head; and then back out again into the arms of her loving family and friends. Again, I know how the story ends, but I am comforted in knowing that no matter what disastrous mistakes that Lucy makes, she is still loved and valued.

I could also watch ďDick Van DykeĒ in a loop, one knee-slapping show after another. \ Dick, who plays Rob Petrie, loves his job, his friends, and his family, but always struggles to find that balance keeping everyone happy.

I also find the slapstick physical comedy of this show to be brilliant. Dick Van Dyke is one of the true clowns of the television universe. He doesnít even need makeup to contort his face into comically expressive emotions. There is also no one who can trip over an ottoman the way that Dick can.

The Camelot existence portrayed on this show, with Mary Tyler-Moore playing Robís wife Laura in a Jackie Kennedy wardrobe, hearkens to days gone by or perhaps to days that we all hope and dream would go by. For me, itís a little of both. Watching Rob and Laura solve their day to day problems in their neatly defined roles gives me a sense of peace that somewhere in the world, if only in fiction, all problems can be solved and that life, ever blissful, will go on. I catch glimpses of my own life amidst the comic chaos and I see insights into situations that Iíve experienced that give me new perspectives. Thus, something old is truly new again.

Iíve been told that I wear my heart on my sleeve. Perhaps this is truest when it comes to my television viewing preferences. My heart belongs to classic, old, television not because it is better or because it is funnier than new television; but because itís reliable. In our fast-paced world with ever changing technology and new shows and ideas that are there one day and gone the next; I feel anchored by solid, old, reliable television, kind of the same way I feel at home in my old slippers no matter where I go. Classic TV gives me a break from the fickle world of modern television. It makes me feel comfortable, peaceful, and happy. From those of us who continue to watch our old favorites to those who have yet to discover these television gems, I hope you will watch, laugh, learn, and carry the Classic TV torch in to the next generation.