Saturday, February 6, 2016

Roy TV

And now for something completely different…

Back in December of 1996 I was visiting West Virginia, one of the last times I was there, and I had on a local TV station, broadcasting out of Cumberland, Maryland. There was this crazy old guy on there talking about random nonsense and I couldn’t get a tape in the VCR fast enough. Unfortunately I missed the first few minutes, but those eight minutes I did capture for posterity were priceless.

The other month I got a gizmo which magically transforms VHS into MP4. One of the first things I transferred was the tape with that crazy old guy. His name was Roy White and he was apparently a little infamous in the Cumberland area. He put his photo in the paper every day, along with some random nugget of “wisdom.” I used to have an envelope stuffed with these clippings but lost it years and years ago, sadly.

Anyway, please enjoy Roy TV, which according to the label on my tape was broadcast on December 29th, 1996. All these years later these eight minutes still make me laugh…so many things to notice, like how his name is written on the door of his car, or how he constantly derails his own story, or how the camera eventually pans out and you see he’s holding a plastic shopping bag, like the cameraman caught him on the go. And, of course, “holdin’ hands.”

Seriously, it’s like this guy just walked out of a Stephen King novel. Unfortunately his fate was pretty grim: Roy died sometime in 1999, run over by a train. Word had it that it was suicide.

But forget about that and enjoy the homespun insanity!

“Folks, I just went blank.”

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