Thursday, August 01, 2013

Heaven had 12 channels and no snow

When you're rummaging through your childhood home, and your family's life, you find things.

You have absolutely no idea why they were saved, but you're amazed and happy that they were.

Cable television came to Baton Rouge, but not all of Baton Rouge, in 1975. Aunt Sybil and Uncle Jimmy lived in north Baton Rouge -- this was '75, so that would have been pre-apocalyptic north Baton Rouge -- and working-class north Baton Rouge had Cablevision, while my working-class east-central Baton Rouge environs . . . didn't.

Obviously, north Baton Rouge was something just shy of the Beatific Vision some 38 years ago, because you could get 12 channels on your TV there with no static at all. Bless them . . . no static at all.

Cablevision was amazing. So amazing that I begged this Dec. 20-26, 1975, edition of Cablecast off my aunt and uncle. And I saved it. And almost four decades later, it turned up in a forgotten box on a dirty shelf in a blazing-hot utility building in the back yard.

NOW, almost four decades later, I'm sitting here thinking, "We were ape over 12 lousy channels, and none of them were Turner Classic Movies or ESPN?" Of course, in 1975, there wouldn't be an ESPN for another four years, but that's not important now.

Then again, if you lived in Baton Rouge in 1970, you had your Channel 2 and you had your Channel 9. One was NBC, the other CBS and they divided up what anybody wanted from ABC.

We got Channel 33 -- and ABC full time -- in October 1971.

And we finally got public television in 1975, about the time we got cable TV. Yeah, getting 12 channels was a big frickin' deal.

SUCH A big deal, I'm sure the very prospect made News Scene on Channel 9.

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