Rabbit ears

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Here;’s a bit of nostalgia for you. Remember rabbit ear antennas?

When television was king, there were only two ways of getting TV signals into the home. A rooftop antenna or a pair of these gems. Back in the day, when these antennae were popular, there were only a few stations to tune in. Depending on where you lived in relationship to the television transmitter tower you would have to turn them to get a clear picture.

My father, Don, had a fancy set of rabbit ear antennae for our new RCA color television—the second color television on our block—but it didn’t take long before he was climbing the roof to install a tall silver antenna. Turns out our neighbors, the Bradenbecks, who also had a color TV, had a clearer signal than we and the race was on.

I think my father’s proudest moment must have been when Bill Bradenbeck came over to the house one Sunday to watch a color broadcast on NBC of a golf game. Our picture was better than his own and he questioned my father, whose eyes lit up explaining how his antenna was motorized. With the turn of a dial, the rooftop antenna would change its position to best receive the signals off Mount Wilson. Bill Bradenbeck’s next stop was the television shop to buy his own.

Today, most of us just connect a cable or stream our television signals.

The once multiplying rabbits have gone by the wayside, but their memory lives on.