From his TV shop on Gaffey Street, Tony Pirozzi has witnessed firsthand the advances of technology over the past four decades.He’s watched as televisions evolved from using tubes to transistors to integrated circuits and before that, he dealt in radios when they were popular. In the 1980s he began selling only televisions at Tony’s TV, then went into repairs. “I saw every change that was possible,” Pirozzi said.Now, 42 years after he started, Tony’s TV is dark. Pirozzi has decided to close his electronics store and retire, hoping to get back to two of his other passions, traveling and soccer. “When you came into my store it was not just a TV shop,” he said.Customers, who were mostly residents from San Pedro or around the South Bay, were sad to see the shop close, but Pirozzi knew it was time to retire. “It’s a little bit hard for me not to go down to my place of business anymore,” he said. “I have a lot of free time now.” Pirozzi is looking forward to using that free time to travel and get involved with soccer.“Soccer is my passion,” Pirozzi said. “I used to play as a kid in Italy. When I came here, I missed it so much.”He came to the United States in 1956 from the Italian island of Ischia, the home of many other San Pedro immigrants.He’s hoping to travel to Italy with his wife of 46 years, Filomena, and the rest of their family.Much of his involvement in the community has revolved around soccer. Starting in 1958 and lasting 47 years, Pirozzi had a weekly radio program on which he discussed Italian soccer. He ended the show when the Internet made sports news more readily available.He also had a local television show and wrote soccer articles for an Italian newspaper in Los Angeles. In the 1960s and ’70s he managed soccer teams in the area and became a member of the Greater Los Angeles Soccer League in the 1980s. Pirozzi also played a large role in organizing local concerts featuring well-known Italian singers.“I’m going to get back to that,” he said. [email protected] local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWhicker: Clemson demonstrates that it’s tough to knock out the champPirozzi, who turns 70 this month, opened the store in 1965.“I was doing radio and TV in the beginning,” he said, “then radio disappeared.” Part of the reason Pirozzi said he decided to get out of the TV repair business is that the merchandise is not what it used to be. “It got so hard for me to do a good job with customers,” he said, noting that parts were not available for many repairs. “Today everything that they make is all throwaway merchandise.”The store, at 12th and Gaffey, had a unique flair, thanks to the postcards and flags that covered the walls.
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