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PROBE: March 4, 2002

March 04, 2002

BUY A DISH — Tell the man in the motel who got disconnected from cable to buy his own satellite dish. He can get one for $199 at Costco. Once he's got his own dish he can buy a program package for less than $39 a month. — TV Fan, El Centro

Thanks for the tip. Here's another idea.

A CHEAP ANTENNA — He can get an antenna at Radio Shack or Imperial Stores for less than $40. That's what I did when I got tired of forking over $40 a month for cable.

The seven local channels, three in English, come in fine with a small roof antenna. With the three local channels you get three of the four networks. The good thing is you don't have a monthly bill. — Handy, Holtville

Thank you. When we mentioned an antenna to the gentleman, he said putting up an antenna was beyond his abilities.


AT THE DRIVE-IN — There is an empty dirt lot at the corner of Legion Road and Highway 86 where the Brawley drive-in movie used to be. The screen faced west. There was a mural on the back of the screen, visible from the highway, showing a girl jumping off a diving board into a pool of water.

My grandfather Jeff Alexander did the maintenance there. When I was a small child he would take me with him. I would yell at the top of my lungs and listen for my voice to echo off the screen. — Fond Memories, Brawley

We're sorry we put the Brawley drive-in movie in the wrong place. Between phone calls and e-mails, at least a dozen people took the time to set us straight.

We were just a little wrong. The old drive-in was just down the road from where we said it was.

Even though we were wrong, the response tells us the subject took a lot of people down memory lane — and we're going to guess it was a pleasant stroll.

A SILENT MOVIE — The Brawley drive-in was just north of Pioneers Memorial Hospital. If you were lucky enough to be put in the right room, you could watch a silent movie.

Having lived in Brawley since 1951, I am very familiar with the place. I spent many hours there in my youth and when my children were growing up. I loved the tacos. They were the best. — Yummy, Brawley

Ah, tacos. They don't make tacos like they used to make tacos. They can't because they don't make tortillas like they used to.

But apparently, getting a free peek at the movies was a big deal before we were satiated with the flood of images available to us today. Another reader mentions seeing the drive-in screen from the hospital. …

The screen was 75 feet from Highway 86. You could see the screen from the hospital. If you drive by where the drive-in used to be, you can still see where the parking area used to be. — Old Movie Fan, Westmorland

Or look for treasure …

LOOKING FOR COINS — The palm trees were a backdrop at the drive-in. I have found thousands of bottle caps, lots of wheat pennies and some silver dimes where the playground used to be. … — Treasure Hunter, Imperial

Do people collect old pop bottle caps? Every dime is a symbol for all the lost coins of childhood. Some little kid lost his dime on the way to the snack bar for a bag of popcorn. Rub the dime, conjure up the kid's pain, hear his wail but don't fret or feel guilty. You can't get a bag of popcorn for a dime (or a dollar) anymore.

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