Frantically scratching around the channels to find something, anything, which would escape the current news programmes saw that yet again the films "Fort Apache" and "She Wore A Yellow Ribbon" were on end to end.
These two films were late 1940's offerings from Hollywood starring John Wayne with strong casts. They dealt with the US cavalry out in The West dealing with groups of First Nation peoples who disagreed with Washington DC's migration policies and plans for economic growth.
The period was the 1870's and the shadow of Custer's Last Stand of 1876 hung over the script and the content of the film. Between 1876 and now place's the 1940's and its events at around half way. Shortly after the films' releases the war in Korea broke out and the Wild East replaced the Wild West.
What is striking is that now with all the digital facilities, the massive archives of film and photographs, news sources and all the means of recording for the future we have a huge bank of information, written and visual to take us back to the 1940's.
But then they did not have this to look back to 1876. There was a good deal of information in print then and some pictures but on nothing like that scale. Go back 60 years to say, 1814, and there is even less.
The 1870's were a time when the modern media was in its infancy. By the 1940's it was into its teenage phase, with all the angst that entails. Even so, its ideas and assumptions seem a long way from hours and for the last two generations almost beyond comprehension.
One of our difficulties with the past is trying to get into the minds and feelings of those alive then and their beliefs and feelings. Sometimes it seems to have been almost another world and probably it was. The tune, for the record, is "The Garryowen".
In the early 50's I was marching to it.