Consider this: the value of life without television |

Consider this: the value of life without television

Have you ever considered life without TV?

My good friend Dave does not have a TV. I envy him for his self-control. When it comes to TV, I do not have a lot of self-control.

I remember when I did not have to have any self-control not to watch TV. There was a time when I simply did not have any reception.

In early 1976, my wife and I moved from the Lodge at Lake Dillon, where we had cable TV, to Wildernest, where there was no cable TV. The lack of TV was not the choice of the subdivision. A fellow who did not pay his bills built the duplex we were purchasing. As a result, both the cable company and the phone company refused to provide service until their construction costs had been paid.

I remember that I thought it was a great idea not to have TV. I probably had that thought for at least an hour or two. Good idea, until I started wondering what was happening in the rest of the world.

I knew there was a translator on Baldy Mountain near Breckenridge that rebroadcast Denver TV. What I did not know is that some unknown substance powered the translator, and it would run out of fuel every so often.

It had something to do with the Breckenridge Volunteer Fire Department and money raised at the No Man’s Land Celebration every summer. It also had something to do with a fellow in Frisco who would brave the elements to keep it running.

My purpose was to find the right place for an outdoor antenna and try to get reception.

A wife who could not live without seeing the 1976 Winter Olympics also motivated me. Actually, she could have seen them in Summit County if the voters had not voted down the funding earlier.

Instead, we sat in our new house in Wildernest without TV.

I finally went to Radio Shack in Frisco. It was located where the feed store is now, in the old parts store at Summit Boulevard and Main Street. Actually, at that time it was Main Street and North Main Street. Someone changed North Main Street to Summit Boulevard while I was not looking.

I brought the antenna home and assembled it in my kitchen. I hooked up the antenna wire and proceeded to wade through the snow in the back yard to a tall pine tree nearby. I climbed the tree with the antenna over my shoulder until I could not go any higher. I hooked the antenna to the tree and came back down to check the picture.

I had a picture on one channel, and it looked very bad. No color and lots of snow. (No pun intended.) Fortunately, it was the channel that had the Olympics, so not all was lost.

After my wife and I developed serious eye strain, we would drive our Volkswagen Bug down to P.J.’s Pizza in Dillon to have dinner and watch the Olympics on cable there for a couple of hours. It’s funny how I can still remember how the pizza smelled and tasted. I guess the TV and the atmosphere healed all the bad feelings from not having a TV at home.

People who know me also know I am not a big sports fan. I very seldom watch sports at all and have not watched a football game for 30 years. But there is something special about sitting in a pizza parlor in the winter, drinking beer, eating pizza and watching sports on TV.

That winter we began a temporary family tradition. We went from the Olympics to watching the NBA Finals at P.J.’s.

I still did not like basketball, but there was something special about that pizza and that TV.

Somehow, TV loses its importance and value when you do not have to climb a tree or drive somewhere to watch it.

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