The more time I spend in Dubois, the less remote it feels.
The other day I asked my friend Chris how his son Caleb is doing. Caleb is in Spain for a semester abroad.
Chris told me he heard from Caleb last Friday while he was at the high school watching the Lady Rams, the girls’ volleyball team.
“I’m looking at Mom,” Caleb texted.
“How are you looking at your mother?” Chris asked.
“I’m watching the game on the Internet,” Caleb replied. His mother, who was there as a line judge, was distantly visible on the screen.
Chris passed a message to the announcer, Bill Guthrie of DTE, who was live-streaming the game up in the projection booth. Bill gave a shout-out to Caleb, and later took a closeup of Caleb’s Mom, who smiled and waved. The news about Caleb spread back through the stands.
“Right away I texted my brother in Australia about it,” Chris told me. “Just think about it. Spain, Australia and Wyoming. It’s amazing how the world has changed.”
I watched the footage for a long time, but I didn’t hear the shout-out or see Paula wave. However I did catch the screaming and foot-stamping, the leaps and the dives, and all the raw excitement of high school varsity sports.
DTE (Dubois Telephone) has been live-streaming high school games for several years, not just volleyball but also basketball and football. Caleb is hardly the first long-distance viewer, Bill told me.
Jeff was watching football games while he was serving in Iraq, he said. Someone else’s Dad has been watching from an oil rig in the Bering Sea.
The service is also handy for parents supporting a visiting team if they can’t get to Dubois to catch the game, Bill said.
The games are archived and can be watched on a YouStream subchannel on Roku.
© Lois Wingerson, 2016
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