The Mountain Laurel
The Journal of Mountain Life

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from the
Heart of the Blue Ridge

TV Repair, Once Upon a Time

By Wayne Easter © 2015

Online: February, 2015

Wayne Easter, author and artist.Wayne Easter, author and artist.(Editor's Note: Wayne Easter lives in Mt Airy, North Carolina with his wife of 57 years, Helen. He has written three books about his early years growing up, "way out in the weeds at the foot of the Blue Ridge." His talent for taking one along on memory trips to his early days on Stewart Creek's, makes reading his stories a genuine pleasure. He has written three books, "Stewart's Creek: (The End of an Era) ," "In the Foothills of Home: Memories of growing up in the shadow of the Blue Ridge Mountains," and, "Roads Once Traveled: In the Foothills of the Blue Ridge." All are available on

As a TV service technician, I met people from all walks of life, most had a story to tell and come H... or high water, they told it, bless their souls. The following is one such story.

An older gentleman came into my shop carrying his TV, which was almost more than he could handle, and asked me, "You all still fix TV sets in here?"

I said, "Yes Sir, you got a problem?"

He said, "Well, I'd plowed all day the other day, and it was the hottest time I ever seen. I drunk three gallons of water, and sweated so much, I was wadin' mud up to my knees. I didn't think I was gonna' make it, but I finally got it done and went home. I put up the horse and plow, got in some stove wood, patched the roof, dusted the bean patch, and run the chickens out of the garden, milked the cow and fed Old Blue. Now let me tell you about Old Blue. He's the best durn' coonhound you ever seen, and he had two coons up the same tree at the same time one time, but nobody believed it. I got a bargain in him from a feller across the mountain, and I wouldn't take nothin' for him."

"We was havin' mustard salet, black eye-peas, fried fatback, and corn pone for supper, and Mama didn't quite have it ready, so I thought I'd catch up on the news. I turned this cussed thing on and guess what it done? It didn't come on. I turned all the knobs, and give it a good lick on the side with the flat of my hand, and it still didn't come on. I asked Mama what she'd done to it, and she said she hadn't done nothin' to it. I thought about givin' her a lick or two, 'cause I wouldn't put nothin' past her."

"I figured it might be that new-fangled cable company, but when I called 'em up, they said it weren't no cable problem, because my TV oughta' light up, cable or no cable, and they was a little smart about it. I ain't even got no cable, and after that little round, I won't never have no cable. Just like that satellite thing my neighbor put up; my TV ain't been no 'count since, and I keep havin' them crazy dreams, so that thing's gotta' be radiatoring me."

"About my TV: it's bound to be the same part you put in last time, 'cause it's doin' the same thing agin; you musta' put in used parts. They can't be much wrong, because I don't never watch it, but the old lady, she watches it all the time. Me? I'd throw the cussed thing out the winder'. I had the first TV in these here parts, and people come from miles around to watch it, and one family stayed for three days. It's still got the best pitcher you ever seen, and I ain't got no antenner. All I got's a bicycle wheel, and it beats heck out of any antenner you got for sale in here. They tell me them colored TVs, hurt your eyes, and when you git too close, they radiator you, and they can burn your house down in the middle of the night when they ain't nobody lookin'."

"I'm headed up to the hardware store for a new dog chain and some flea powder, and I need this thing fixed when I git back. Me and Mama don't want to miss that show that's comin' on tonight, where that Barker feller hollers, "Come on Down." Now I don't wanta' spend too much on it, 'cause I'm on a fixed income, know what I mean? Oh yeah! I seen where people don't talk much no more after they git a TV. That's a cryin' shame, ain't it?"