I have a few music videos recorded from Hit Video USA, which was channel 41 on Cable Alabama when we moved to the Huntsville area when I was 15 years old.
Hit Video USA has a place in my heart forever, because it’s emblematic of just how small-town my upbringing had been to date. I thought our cable lineup right after we moved was the greatest thing that had ever happened to me. You mean these channels go up to 70-something? In Anniston, our top channel number was 22. You got to channels 14 through 22 by putting the TV on channel 3, then pushing a mechanical button on a separate converter box. Remote control? Pish-tosh.
What else? I couldn’t believe we had such a great mall just down the road. I thought the Olive Garden was beyond amazing. Hey, look—an actual Porsche dealership. Remember Carriage Motors at Drake and the Parkway?
I remember stopping in there shortly after I got my driver’s license, hoping to score some sales literature with large, high-quality photos. Realizing that a kid in jeans in a ten-year-old Celica wouldn’t look like a serious prospect, my story was that a friend of mine had just come into some money, and I was out researching new cars for him. (Perfect! What could go wrong?) The salesman was polite, and actually did give me a little tri-fold brochure. I think I still have it somewhere.
I’ll probably never be particularly well-traveled, which means that through some lenses, I’ll never be well-rounded. That’s fine. Those who would make such judgments are often the same folks who would instantly write me off for my deep love of Alabama anyway.
I think I do all right most of the time. But in August 1986, there was a bit more “hayseed come to the big city” about me than I’d have cared to admit.