In the display window was a television set facing out onto the street. Several wooden benches had been set up on the sidewalk and there were a half dozen people already there patiently waiting.
A few minutes later, the store owner appeared on the other side of the plate glass window. He smiled and waved at us, then turned the TV set on. The screen wasn’t much more than a foot or so wide, and the picture was in fuzzy black and white, but he had rigged it so the sound was piped out onto the street.
We sat there mesmerized for the next two-plus hours watching the St. Louis Browns playing the visiting Boston Red Sox. The signal was coming all the way from Sportsman’s Park in downtown St. Louis, at least a dozen miles away. It was altogether a technological miracle.
Sometime in the next few weeks, I’ll once again sign up for the Major League baseball package from DirecTV so I can watch every game played by the Boston Red Sox during the 162-game season.
Half of those games will come from Fenway Park in Boston, 5500 miles from here; the rest will originate in a dozen or so other ballparks around the country. The TV signal will be the wide screen format and in high definition, beamed from a satellite positioned somewhere in space to a three-foot dish on my roof.
But – doggone it – when we have heavy rainstorms here on Maui, the picture can get all weird and distorted, sometimes for several minutes. What’s wrong with those idiots at DirecTV anyway! I mean, how hard can it be?