Laurence Carr/ Dom’s Television and Appliances 1956

                                                                 

Dom put a Philco television in the storefront glass window and 

on Saturday mornings, he’d turn it to one of the two broadcast 

channels where “Howdy Doody” sang and danced with Buffalo Bob 

and foiled Mr. Bluster. Dom would set out chairs on his sidewalk in 

view of the television and let the neighborhood kids gather: boys in 

overalls and cowboy shirts; girls in plaid or printed dresses with turned 

down ankle socks. They formed their own Peanut Gallery, watching 

the antics in flickering kinescope and shouting out their comments 

and correct answers. Not so secretly, they hoped that one day, their faces 

and voices would be beamed across America or at least into Dom’s TV. 

And could any of them ever know that in a dozen short years, their glazed 

eyes, their chilling shouts, and bodies, whole and parts, would be sent 

into their friends’ and families’ living rooms via grainy films from Saigon, 

Ka San, Mei Lai, those unknown pinpricks on pastel maps even farther

away than “Doodyville.”

//////////////

Laurence Carr is a Hudson Valley NY writer and the publisher of Lightwood.

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