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Hawke’s Plaza TV Repairman Lights Up Again [VIDEO]

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On my drive into work this morning I was surprised to see the iconic Hawke’s TV repairman sign on Route 302 in Westbrook, lit up and going through its animated lighting sequence. I hadn’t see it do this in years! 

According to the blog Strange Maine, the sign was built in 1962 for Al Hawke’s TV repair business. If you’re of a certain age, you’ll remember when instead of throwing your TV out when it broke, you’d call the TV repairman. He’s show up with a big tool box full of vacuum tubes and would open up the back of your TV, fiddle around with it for a while and when he was done you were watching Bugs Bunny again.

The sign was built by Hawke himself who apparently was handier with more than just TV’s. I remember driving by it as a kid and watching with fascination as the arms would swing back and forth making it look like he was walking. Very cool technology for the day.

When I drove by this morning, the repairman wasn’t swinging his arms, but the lights were cycling through an animation that was very cool. It made me feel like a kid again. The video here shows the side you see when heading east into Portland. It has some grids of lights out, but the other side completely lights.

The question is, will the sign be restored to it’s full animated glory? The sign stopped moving in 1989 when the Maine Department of Transportation said that moving signs were illegal in Maine. The reasoning being that the movement could distract drivers. Well it’s 25 years later and we have a lot worse things to distract us from driving. (Texting anyone?) Let’s get that dude swinging again!

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