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My mom watched from the beginning. She had to leave for her Senior Citizen meeting before it was over so asked me to watch and tell her what happened. But I wasn’t hooked until 1969 when I was in the hospital with back surgery. I liked watching the game shows and Days came on right after them, so, rather than get up and change the channel (no remotes in those days), I kept watching the soaps. First Days and then The Doctors, and, the rest they say is history. The addiction was permanently set.
I missed a few years before the dawn of VCRs but not very many.
I’m like you, Shadow, retired but I still record it and watch it later to skip the commercials. And I’m probably older than you too. Just endured my 70th birthday.