Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Eddie Deknegt, May 1972

I'd already known Eddie for a few years when I took this shot of him in his TV repair shop, Delta TV, on West Dixie Highway. I met him at a Greynolds Park Love-In when some major group or another was giving a free Sunday afternoon concert. Eddie was close to forty at the time, liked to get high, loved his rock and roll music, and had a thing for black chicks. He also had a thick Dutch accent. He'd come from a place where it seemed that liking black chicks was common and smoking pot was legal.

Back then televisions were something you got repaired rather than just replace the whole dang thing! They were expensive and came in big wood consoles, often with a radio and record player combined. They were furniture for your living room. They were too big to just toss in your car and take to the shop so the TV repairman would come to your house. In the days before transistorized TV's it probably just needed a tube replaced but there was money to be made in taking it back to the shop and "checking it out".

Our daughter Elena had fallen in love with a young black woman, Eva Bridges, who was her teacher at day care, and Eva thought the world of Elena. One day my wife Stephanie went to pick up Elena and Eva was in tears. Her boy friend didn't want her anymore. She had no place to go. Stephanie stuck her, her belongings, and Elena in the VW Bug and brought them home with her. The first black living in my neighborhood was Eva. Elena was thrilled! I guess Eva lived with us for close to a year, but once she and Eddie met they fell in love. Soon Eva was pregnant with Shanequa and a few years later Eddie closed Delta TV and the three of them moved to Holland.

By then every 7-11 sold tubes and had a tube tester. Do it yourself had arrived.

Delta TV, May 1972

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