Holy Distraction, Batman

One fine summer afternoon in rural Connecticut, when I was maybe ten or eleven, my father asked me if I wanted to go to the Baseball Hall of Fame the following day. This sounded very exciting but I was keenly aware that 1. the Baseball Hall of Fame was several hours away from our home and 2. on the very same day WPIX was going to begin showing “Batman ’66” reruns from season three—the first episodes with Batgirl. So my response was along the lines of, “Yeah, that would be great, but we can’t do it if we won’t be home by five o’clock, because I’ve never seen Batgirl and I want to see Batgirl.”

My dad thought this was an insane reservation to have and told me in no uncertain terms. He must have already purchased the Hall of Fame tickets. How, I don’t know. Not the Internet—you couldn’t use it for that kind of stuff yet—so maybe magic? At any rate, we went, and you know what? I had an awesome time. I saw a lot of cool stuff at that dang ol’ Baseball Hall of Fame. I can’t think of any way the visit could have been better (well, maybe if Darryl Strawberry had been our personal guide).

Still, I remember looking at my watch as it hit five o’clock (we were turning onto the highway to get home; I had an Oakland Athletics pennant in my grubby little hands) and letting out a little sigh. For whatever reason I hadn’t thought to use the VCR to record this inaugural Batgirl episode, so it was just sailing into my living room unwatched. It felt like I was missing some major television event. The re-airing in 1989 of a 1968 “Batman” episode that millions of people had already seen.

Oh, the problems of eleven year olds. We should be so lucky.

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