It was a couple of years ago when we were all tossed into the digital tv age. For those of you with cable or some satellite provider all you had to do was nothing. The boys in the back room handled all the messy details and your transition to digital was seamless.
For me, the proud owner of an antenna strapped to a chimney, things were not so easy. First off, I had to buy a digital signal converter and I bought two since I had two working tv’s at the time and the government happily subsidized each converter to the tune of $40. I forget the actual purchase price. So far, so good.
Everything was working fine and I was actually getting more stations since the signals being digital had more bandwidth or something. But, as they say, if t’s too good to be true, it was. Over the air digital signals have a tendency to deteriorate or completely go away if it’s cloudy or the wind blows or someone looks at you cross eyed. So much for the free tv lunch.
But a funny thing happened on the way to the digital tv future. Instead of futuristic new offerings the airwaves were suddenly swamped with shows I used to watch when I was a kid. Dick Van Dyke, Leave it to Beaver, Hazel, Bewitched and on and on.
There is a slew of McHale’s Navy episodes running where the entire crew of the entire crew of the PT 73 gets transferred from the South Pacific to Italy. I missed that the first time around. They brought along their Japanese pow friend.
One night I’m watching ” Taxi” which in retrospect was just brilliantly written and Louie says to Latka, ” If I paid you by the mistake, you’d own this place.”
I remember riding in a Checker cab when I was a kid. They were so big that I remember being able to stand up in the back, way before seat belts. I had a friend, a NY stagehand who told me that he once moved from one side of town to the other in Checker cab. All his belongings, clothes, furniture, pots and pans in one trip. I seem to recall when I could fit everything , I mean everything, I owned into my Beetle.