ON HAND: Deaf Mosaic

This originally appeared in The Tactile Mind Weekly in Trudy’s ON HAND column.

I know it’s only August, but I already know what I want for Christmas.

A DVD boxed set of every DEAF MOSAIC show ever made.

I used to get up every Sunday morning to watch DEAF MOSAIC. It was such an inspiring source of identity, history and news. I still remember the opening credits of one season, where there was an American running in the Deaflympics. It was only when I was at Gallaudet that I discovered the American was one of my friends, Eric Roberts. I still remember the awe I felt when I realized I actually knew people from the show.

I also remember when one of the episodes featured my classmate. One of the shots showed him in a class, with me sitting next to him. “You’re on television!” my family excitedly signed.

And who could forget the opening of each show? Mary Lou Novitsky (M-L) and Gil Eastman (G-on-chin) were the unapologetically cheerful hosts that I felt as if I knew personally. (Note: I did meet them in person when I was 14. I got their autographs then scurried away, starry-eyed.)
Even today, my peers and I mimic the way Gil signed “WORLD” because it was, and is, such a classic introduction. As trivial as these incidents may have been, they show just how much of an impact DEAF MOSAIC had upon my peers and me.

Whenever I had free time as a Gallaudet student, I often went to the lower level of the library to check out tapes of DEAF MOSAIC. I’ve probably seen every episode by now. The years that the show was on television were, to me, years of unparalleled awakening within the Deaf community.

I think that if the shows were put on DVD and sold as boxed sets, they’d sell like crazy. Some of them are actually available for purchase as videotapes today, but I want the entire collection.

By the way, if Christmas is too long from now, my birthday’s in late November.

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