By RONALD WAGNER JR.
Crossroads College Preparatory School
Harold’s TV, one of the longest surviving businesses in Bowling Green, is much more than just a place to bring an old television.
Established in 1954, Harold’s TV has repaired television sets in Bowling Green and the surrounding areas for 65 years, said Gary Jones, the current owner and operator — and son to original owner, Harold Jones.
“Back in 1952, television was just really becoming more popular,” Jones said. Just two years later, after leaving the U.S. Air Force, his father opened for business. It was the same year “The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin” debuted on America’s TV screens.
The shop, located at 729 College St., has been in business ever since, though the shop has moved to different downtown spots over the decades.
Jones says he doesn’t fix many TVs these days. New ones are so cheap that folks typically opt to buy new when a television breaks.
From 1954 to 2017, the price per square inch on a television decreased by 98.9 percent, and will continue to decrease yearly, according to CNET.com.
Jones doesn’t sell new TVs either.
“We haven’t sold a new television set here since 1974,” Jones said. “The big box stores can sell them cheaper than we can buy them.”
Instead of selling and repairing, the Harold’s TV of 2019 is offering a number of new services.
Under Gary Jones, Harold’s TV repair has grown to include antenna installation, satellite installation, DVD transfer, and warranty satellite maintenance for DirecTV.
Satellite installation has generated the most business for Jones in the past two years.
With television repair work almost extinct, it’s hard to believe the city of Bowling Green is home to similar shops. But Jones said he does not consider those establishments his competition.
“There’s three shops, but growing up here, there were seven,” Jones said. “We kind of help each other out,” he said, sending each other customers that they can’t help.
Confidently, Jones confirmed his position in the Bowling Green community.
“Oh yeah, we’re a staple,” he said. “After 65 years, we still service people, the great-grandchildren of people that my dad knew in my community here when he first came back from the Air Force and set up this business.”