When I was in Eighth Grade I saved up enough lawn mowing money to buy my own TV for my own room and when we brought it home and set it up late on a school night the first thing it showed me was “The Tonight Show” – not Jimmy Fallon or Jay Leno but Johnny Carson.
It was a Zenith, American-made donchaknow, and I’m frugal so it served me for many years.
I watched the first Gulf War on that TV, Dan Rather and SCUD missiles and Stormin’ Norman Schwartzkopf, the green night vision Baghdad sky and all those images from the noses of the smart bombs, Colin Powell dignified, smart, trustworthy.
I followed Dale Earnhardt every Sunday on that TV, watched him clinch his seventh Winston Cup title with a dramatic win over Ted Musgrave at Rockingham – on my birthday – watched him finally win The 500, and watched on that TV the crash that killed him, then hung my head and prayed for his family.
That TV went with me to college, where it showed me the bombed-out Murrah Federal Building and where it also showed “A River Runs Through It” one night but I wasn’t watching because with me there was a pretty, ginger-haired girl I don’t know anymore who also wasn’t watching – a first for this late bloomer.
That TV brought me Monica Lewinski and Bill Clinton, who did not have sex with that woman, Ken Starr and articles of impeachment and that suspicious strike on Afghanistan that sure seemed like a diversion.
It was that TV my wife and I watched for wordless hours on 9/11.
I watched the second Gulf War on that TV, Wolf Blitzer and unmanned aerial vehicles, the rescue fairy tale of Jessica Lynch, WMD or maybe not, the sketchy buildup and testimony at the UN, Colin Powell betrayed, humiliated, wrong.
I fell asleep one evening in front of that TV and my wife woke me up in time to watch Barak Obama announce that Osama Bin Laden was dead.
I never missed “Lost” on that TV, and angrily shut it off after that sham final episode.
If that TV could talk.
I suppose it could, in a manner of speaking. But then one day last week while rearranging some furniture I cranked a little too hard on the cable input, and my trusty Zenith will say no more.
The new TV is beautiful. One of those big, flat-screen HD wall-mount jobs you can see from Venus and when it was delivered and set up on a Saturday afternoon the first thing it showed us was baseball, the home team down by ten runs.
I wonder what else we’ll see. Stay tuned.