Trina Machacek: Today and yesterday meet
Way back in the nineteen-o-terrick period, also known as the mid-1980s, a new phenomenon was emerging. Satellite television. Oh the times were a changing for sure. There was actually a time when only three, OK four if you count PBS, stations were being received into homes across the country.
Then amazing stuff started to happen. Satellites were thrown into space and beeping and squeaks were zipped to and fro in the air to create wonderful television. Programs were being created in wonderful places like people’s garages and basements and this was known as satellite television. How in the world could we, mere mortals in rural settings get this new stuff piped into our homes?
Well with giant, now I mean giant like 20 feet across, aluminum satellite “dishes” that came in huge boxes and the new, excited owners would put these monsters together section by section. With visions of seeing new wonderful shows like two good ole boys broadcasting from a makeshift studio in a garage and they would sit at a wooden table and sell gold pocket watches and knives that you could kill a wild boar with. If you got up at 3:47 a.m. you might tap in to get a sneak peak of tomorrow’s episode of your soap if you knew where to point the dish. Oh dreams were coming true, a new heart stopping era.
Yes we ended up with such a dish mounted on a big ole metal post cemented into the ground on the lawn for stability. It was truly as amazing as laying on the grass on a summer night seeing a shooting star. Oh the things we watched.
Of course it was not all peaches and cream. Because with satellite TV the positioning of the dish was hit and miss. It was easily moved, but one person had to be outside moving it as another person was inside hollering to move it a little bit to the north, no south, no back a little, not so far! Looking back now, it was quite a circus. But! Yes a twenty foot wide “but!” WOW. Before the good ole boys could be picked up from outer space selling you stuff from a garage somewhere in Louisiana the dish had to be erected. That was a topic of discussion this past week when – after some 34 years that same satellite dish was taken down and removed from my yard because I was tired of mowing around the monstrosity.
The old gal was unbolted, carried off the yard swinging from a chain hooked to a front end loader. I suspected it would end up down in the “treasure trove” island of what some people would call the junk pile. Happily and sadly I watched as the tractor drove away. I went back inside my home. Then something that I had not anticipated happened.
In the house I got emotions together, gathered up my girly self and decided to go see just where that piece of Machacek history would be placed for the next umpteen years. To my surprise the tractor was sticking out of the shop with the bucket inside and that dang dish was setting on the floor of the shop.
To see what was happening I grabbed some bottles of water and went out to make peace with the working crew who were kind enough to take on this task. To my surprise they were disassembling the dish, bolt by wire by weld. It was such a funny thing to see and here’s why. As the work moved along and I watched the wire mesh cut and hammered off of the trusses of aluminum, from my view point things were being easily unbolted and falling to the floor. I was asked how the thing came to us so many years ago. In a box of course.
As the work continued and the pile of pieces and parts and the number of bolts being unbolted grew the next question was, just how big was that box? Big I said, very big. The work continued and toward the end I was asked who put this monster together. Well of course it was my other half and I. Trying to make light of this hard to watch process I added this little tidbit of information bringing yesterday and today together…
I distinctly remember the assembly, the dish grew in size and the work became a bit harder. Bolts needed to be coerced into fitting and colorful words were flying indiscriminately. Then my other half said something like, “I pity the poor sap that one day will have to take this sucker down!” HAHA and there I was watching the men who were so colorfully discussed that day sooooo long ago.
Trina lives in Eureka, Nevada. Find her on Facebook, Instagram or at firstname.lastname@example.org.