Posted by: Arvid | May 6, 2016

S.H.I.T.S.

You might look at the title of this post and think it has something to do with fishing and it could, given the way fishing was this past Fall and winter, but it’s not. It covers another topic, television.

When we moved to Baudette in the late sixties, television reception was one Canadian station, CBC, off a tower across the river. Hockey Night in Canada was the thing to watch in those days. It was the local joke that the kids thought the National Anthem was “O Canada”. Some folks tried to get U.S. TV from stations in Fargo and Pembina with roof top antennas, but it was spotty and poor.

I don’t know just when, I give Stoddard and Lloyd credit for this. They came up with the idea to put a tower in the alley behind Stod’s house; hang some antenna’s and cable to a few houses in the neighborhood. It worked and they had vastly improved reception. I think they had 25-30 homes connected to their system. They were in west Baudette and there was a dozen or so of us here in east Baudette (formerly Spooner) that would like the same so we enlisted Lloyd’s help to engineer a system. We didn’t need a tower; we had one. It was the water tower and it was right in the middle of what Dr. Janecky’s wife affectionately referred to as “mortgage row”. It was 90 feet up to the railing and it was Bruce’s and my job to go up to the railing, fasten an arm with a pulley and raise antennas and fasten them to the railing. The little shed at the base of the tower housed the boosters and amplifies and we cabled to a few houses in each direction. It worked and we became the Spooner High Intensity Television Service (S.H.I.T.S.). We even had a bank account.

Those two systems lasted until Stod put a huge tower NW of Baudette in the Wabanica area and cabled the area. The local systems were dismantled and sold for scrap. The only thing that remained was the arm with the pulley that stayed attached to the railing for over 40 years. That was until yesterday, when the tower was taken down. I walked over and asked if I could have the arm which they were happy to give me. The torches started cutting at 6:00 a.m. and by 3:00 p.m it was all cleaned up; equipment gone; not a sign of a tower. Amazing.

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Ready to lift off the top 

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Coming apart – Arm still on right side

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Arm with the pulley

 

 

 

 

 

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