Wednesday, August 26, 2009

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....


Carolann E. Candy said...

Gary, Gary, Gary, my beloved Page I miss your columns, how I miss my hometown of Toronto. I often think about your musing, your wonderful wit with words. I am stuck here in Alberta (don't ask) and was at a dinner party the other night telling people about what an awesome column you wrote. After a couple of glasses of wine tonight and my first day off in many..was thinking about you and wondering where you are, what your are doing...I'm not a nut or anyone that will stock you or anything crazy like that...relax...please know this...when I saw the picture at entry to this site...I just knew.. you are out there somewhere in the peace and quiet that is still my home (the Muskokas I'm sure) still contemplating life. How wonderful for you...I do so hope you are still writing, still musing although I wish I could find you to enjoy just that. God Bless page 6 and I hope you are still with snookums, still have that rapier wit where cats are concerned and that all is well and good in your life. For so, so long you were such an inspiration, you were such fun to read and you gave me many, many years of pure pleasure. Thought you'd like to know;) With Fond wishes and many very, very good memories, one of your old readers for TO. Carolann E. Candy

Jeff said...

Hi Gary,
I go back further than Carolann, and, being a British Columbian, I never read your columns in the Toronto Sun. I also won't stalk you but I wish I could stock my listening larder with every episode of the Parka Patrol. God, we loved that show. Saturday nights were far more than alright, as Mr. Finkleman might have said.
While we listened religiously to every episode, when we were at home on a Saturday night, my favourite was New Year's Eve, 1987. We lived in Nelson, BC and December 31 was unseasonable warm that year so our small group of friends (and our then 3 month old son)sat on the sandy beach at 51/2 Mile on Kootenay Lake, around a campfire and listened to CBC Radio and to you. It was wonderful, unabashedly quirky, unashamedly Canadian and your dry understated humour held it all together. After you left the air we made do with Mr. Finkleman but we've missed you these past 23 years. Really.
Is the Parka Patrol available anywhere on this world wide web - or somewhere on earth? Tonight, on another New Year's Eve, after our 23 year old son has returned to his home, I would love to crack open a bottle of wine and spin a CD of Parka Patrol episodes. Maybe next year....? Let me know if there is a way. And thanks for the pleasure you gave us every Saturday night when we were young(er).