All together watching Man from UNCLE and ringing your aunts

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

It was the recent death of the Man from UNCLE that prompted the conversation, of halcyon days when there might only be one or two televisions in the locality and, while the adults gathered to see the All-Ireland Final, the younger crowd tuned in to see what gizmos David McCallum came up with as Secret Agent Illya Kuryakin.

If we weren’t fascinated by Kuryakin and Solo fighting on behalf of the United Network Command for Law and Enforcement, we were in thrall to the very busy crime-fighters on the island of Hawaii, where Steve McGarrett always got his man and gave the honours to Danno to book them.

It wasn’t the programmes themselves that provided the topic of conversation; it was the notion of going to someone else’s house to watch the TV.

A generation earlier, there might be one radio in the village and the visitors to the house strained their ears to hear Micheal O’Hehir bring to life the action from Croke Park as though he was reporting back to earth from the dark side of the moon.

I remember the first time I ever saw colour television; it was in the home of a pal from school and in actual fact it wasn’t colour television at all – it was a sort of visor that you hung over the front of the telly and it gave off a sort of green hue.

That didn’t add anything to movie night, but it made football matches – and horse racing in particular – look like it was coming to life straight off the small screen.

Fast forward a generation and when we were renovating, and rewiring, our family home, we opted to put in enough sockets and television points to do justice to a decent-sized hotel.

It was more that we fell into the trap of thinking this was the best time to over-compensate because when the walls were back to brick you could chase the cables and hide them forever from public view.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune:

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