Anyone who watched any TV on a Saturday afternoon in the 60s, 70s, or 80s remembers the “The Thrill of Victory – and the Agony of Defeat” of Jim McKay’s ABC Wide (Wild?) World of Sports. Nothing was too small or esoteric, or large and dramatic to fit the 12 inch color TV in my parents’ bedroom, converted into an inside stadium for viewing the world. As it was the only room with the air conditioner, we would all pile in on the bed with “picnic” dinner – takeout from Chinatown, or maybe oven roasted chicken and baked mac and cheese, or even the breaded zucchini topped with cheddar cheese (don’t ask me where my dad picked that one up). The sun would be shining in through the western windows, shaded by the lush catalpa tree outside. That was our shared experience, out of keeping cool, fed, and in tune with that bowling championship, curling competition, go cart race, or triple crown trial.
Jim McKay was able to see the world, do what he loved, and combine professionalism and humanity. What a wonderful life! If we could be brave enough to do that….