My Excellent Website Adventure
By Gary David Goldberg
Computers are great for some people, but I've been a bit of a slow adapter to change all my life. For example, I still don't fully accept the fact that the Dodgers have left Brooklyn. And, so I was dragged kicking and screaming into the computer world by a publisher, some publicity people, my children, other relatives, and friends...all of whom might have reconsidered if they knew how much the whole idea of creating a website to promote my new book would unnerve me.
And yet sometimes, you just have to listen to people who are urging you for your own good, and that's what I finally did. But once my website was constructed, an unpleasant surprise was in store for me: the same people who were urging me to build the site were now urging me to actually go somewhere to see it.
Since I don't have a computer of my own I had to go over to my friends, Jimmy and Cathy's, and view my website there, on their computer. As we walked into the den, and I saw the sleek shiny machine, I felt like I was in an episode of Star Trek. Or, back visiting Tomorrowland at The World’s Fair in Queens, in 1964. It was the new Apple I Mac with a 24” screen and it looked like it could very easily go to Jupiter and beyond. Cathy could sense I was a little nervous.
“You want me to turn it on?”
“Take your time.”
They had prepared some soothing green tea for me and I sipped slowly staring at the monster.
“It’s on there, huh?”
“Wow, that sounds pretentious.”
Jimmy assured me this was common. And, there was nothing vain about using your own name on your own website.
“That’s more or less the point,” he assured me.
There was brief silence then Cathy put her hand gently on my knee.
“You want me to turn it on, now?”
I sipped some more green tea and stared some more at the I Mac 24 and I was instantly transported to my grandma’s living room back in Brooklyn. It was 1948 and she had the first TV in the neighborhood. I was only 4 and my brother Stan was 9 and all the kids on the block had come over to watch “The Howdy Doody Show” with us on our 10” black and white Crosley.
We sat silently, almost afraid to move, and stared at this incredible machine. Harvey Jacobowitz, who was fragile in the best of times, actually gasped when Buffalo Bob looked directly into the camera and asked us if we knew what time it was.
“It’s Howdy Doody time,” Jacobowitz screamed and then started to spontaneously cry, either from excitement or fear or just too much emotion. Or, maybe all three. I was hoping that wouldn’t happen to me when we finally turned on this computer.
I stared at the screen for another minute. Cathy’s screensaver a soothing sunset scene. Nice step up from the test patterns that were the 1948 equivalent. I took a deep breath.
“OK, let ‘er rip,” I told Cathy, and she clicked, and there it was. My picture. A lot of stuff about my life, about my family, about my book. One small step for mankind. One giant step for me. I gasped.
Jacobowitz, I know how you felt.
(Gary David Goldberg is the founder of UBU Productions which produced nine television series including “Family Ties” and “Brooklyn Bridge.” He is the author of the upcoming book, Sit, Ubu, Sit: How I went from Brooklyn to Hollywood with the same woman, the same dog, and a lot less hair (Harmony 2008). Visit him online at