Wednesday, August 26, 2009

new dog in town

Back at the dawn of TV, on Sunday afternoons there was an NBC show called Wide Wide World.

Dave Garroway hosted this hour experiment, as they attempted to put up a live picture of Niagara Falls, a live street fair in Chicago, traffic moving across the Golden Gate Bridge.

Since this was all done with patchplugs, coaxial cables and transcontinental switches, it was about 20% static and 80% miracle. When things went wrong, Garroway turned to his closeup camera--while technicians scrambled--to explain how impossible it was to do such a show in the 1950s.

Like much in life, the long-ago show lives in memory as a childhood miracle, flickering images that beget videotape, satellites, high def.

At the end of each Wide Wide World, Garroway would recite the following benediction:

"The world stands out on either side
No wider than the heart is wide...
Above the earth is stretched the sky,
No higher than the heart is high."

He'd hold up two fingers and add: "Peace."

I think of the verse ever time I go kayaking....