In my distant memory I can remember my pepaw telling one of my uncles to “go run the TV line.” My mom told me that her brother, Bud, used to have to “run the line” as well. Here is what that means.
Back in the 50’s and 60’s and even the early 70’s the only way to get television in the mountains of rural West Virginia was to run your own TV line from the TV to the top of the mountain behind your house. At the top of the mountain each family would have their own antenna. This responsibility usually fell to the oldest boy in the house.
These mountains are well known for being very steep and rugged and climbing to the top is never an easy task. It didn’t take much for the wind to knock a branch into TV line or a small animal to wreak havoc on it. No matter what the weather when the tv went out the boy would have to go out and run the line and fix the problem at whatever point on the mountain it had to be, otherwise the family would be without TV.
Sometimes on a windy day the boys would spend the day running the hills and fixing the line. What a way to build up stamina. No wonder kids weren’t fat back then!