Hello and welcome back.
I have been an electronics hobbyist since I was a kid. I would have to say that my earliest memory of fascination with the little colored pieces and shiny glass bulbs of our TV set was certainly before primary school. I can recall watching my dad remove the tubes for testing on one of those drug-store machines and wanting to know how a TV set worked. As I got a little older, I would often bring home discarded sets and try them out. They were almost always certainly dead and were harvested for components, but on a few occasions, I was able to identify loose wires or something simple that could be fixed and I would have a working TV set. After a while, as my knowledge grew, I was able to fix more complex problems. A friend's father was a repair technician and he gave me parts, extra tools, and lots of books, manuals, and magazines about electronics. Although my parents were probably not too crazy about having their 10 year old playing with such dangerous voltages, they likely did not want to discourage me either, so they crossed their fingers.
In the late sixties early seventies, TV and the consumer electronic world was making the transition from tube to solid state technology. It was a very interesting time to be a hobbyist. I still picked up gear from the curb-side, but I was getting more selective. Zenith TVs were the main focus of my picking activities; mainly because I had been given binders filled with service manual copies and I had accumulated lots of spare parts. The Zenith sets seemed to be built better and were easier to service. The solid state chassis consisted of modules that could be changed.
Fast-forward 35 years. Whenever I go to a flea market or yard sale and see a neglected old set, I have an almost uncontrollable urge to bring it home and try my hand at bringing it back to life. Perhaps... One thing that I didn't have back then was access to a near-limitless source of information, advice and parts. Here are some great sites for restorers:
Zenith as a company has a proud history of innovation in consumer electronics and other fields. Please have a look at this website which chronicles their history from humble beginnings building amateur radio gear in their homes to being at the forefront of the television and communications revolution.
Sometimes I wish I still had some of those beautiful old sets from the 70s. I did however, manage to accumulate a large collection of Zenith and RCA service parts which I am now selling on our eBay store.