The priceless value of an old TV

Tucked away in a basement room that used to be a wine cellar in our house’s headier days, stands a proud Zenith TV.

An ode to simpler times, when everyone gathered around the same screen and made their program choices from three standard channels, the wooden console acts as a warm memory conduit all on its own.

And then there’s the guy who won it some 70 years ago, my husband’s grandfather Vince “Vinko” Biskupic.

One of 11 children, Vinko grew up in Mala Mlaka, Croatia with a wanderlust developed, he said, when he was a toddler and vying for the attention of his two grandmothers who lived on opposite sides of town.

That desire to see the world and to avoid conscription in the Yugoslavian army took Vinko from his hometown (named in a rough translation, Little Puddle) through Paris, Canada and, eventually, Wisconsin, where he settled in Sheboygan, married a formidable Croatian beauty named Mary, and raised his son Vincent II and daughter Patricia.

Vinko bounced through life with an irrepressible joy and a multi-generational work ethic. At one point, he drove a milk delivery truck by day, sold life insurance policies at night and was secretary of the Croatian Fraternal Union, where he spearheaded the construction of Croatian Hall. As a testament to his charm and reputation, he obtained the delivery job without even knowing how to drive a car and he sold his first insurance policies on a handshake. (He had to talk his clients into taking receipts. They insisted they trusted him either way.)

He won the TV selling insurance policies and, years later, gifted it to his grandson and namesake, Vincent Biskupic III, who would like to keep it forever.

“It still works,” Vincent III said just yesterday when I mentioned, again, that it might be time to move that TV out of the basement. “I think we can find it a good home. I bet some theater department would love it.”

I’m not sure what actual value that old TV maintains, but I can confirm that the memories it inspires are priceless.

This is me, my daughter Katherine and Vincent Biskupic I on his 90th birthday. He loved life and was lucky enough to live a long one.
Vinko and Mary Biskupic right around the time he would have won that TV.
Ziveli! Vincent I, his wife Mary and their two kids Vincent II and Judge Patricia Campbell.
I think this TV has held up better than we have as it rests in apparent perpetuity down in our basement.

5 thoughts on “The priceless value of an old TV

  1. I love this. It looks exactly like the tv Bob and I had in the old farm house! Memories!!

  2. What I loved most about that old TV was having to get up and walk through shag carpet and turn the station. The good old days???

    1. Those were long walks to and from the that dial. Most of us just picked a channel and stuck with it 🤣🤣

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