“Going down the old mine with a transistor radio.” 

The morning is chilly. It is sunny but only 51°. The wind is strong and makes the morning feel even colder. The leaves on the trees in the backyard are whipping about as they fall to the ground. I had decided to use today to shut down the deck, at least most of the deck, but I’m not sure now with the wind and all, maybe by afternoon.

Wearing the splint last night on my finger was a good thing. The finger didn’t hurt this morning. I have exercises to do each day, a couple of them are new and meant to straighten out the top of the finger. It tilts, perennially pointing.

Where I was growing up, my neighborhood was filled with kids. A few were my age but most were younger. My friend from up the street and I walked to and from school together. She lived in a duplex at the top of the hill. It was the same one where we used to live. I remember it had a landing going upstairs. I used to sit there and read. We moved from there down the hill to a bigger place, one with a third bedroom, after my sister was born. That’s the place I remember the most.

When I think back, I realize how wonderful a childhood I had. My parents were generous. I had everything a kid considered essential. I had a bike, a one time Christmas present, a wooden sled, roller skates with a key and white ice skates, the sort we all had. My parents were never restrictive. I went all over town and into the next towns on my bike. My parents always trusted me to tell them where I was going, and I did if I knew.

One Christmas, when I was older, I got what we all, my friends and I, had wanted for Christmas, a transistor radio. Mine was square. It was brown leather, actually fake leather, with rows of decorative holes in the front. It opened in the back to put in the batteries. I listened to it in my room. It was a bit heavy to carry, but I loved it. As I got older, the radios got smaller, the sort you could carry or put into a pocket, but they are not the ones I remember. It was that first brown leather radio. It was a marvel.

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4 Comments on ““Going down the old mine with a transistor radio.” ”

  1. Beto Says:

    I built my first radio out of paper rolls, aluminum foil, and magnet wire that was in the trash at the the shop where the city repaired the police and fire radios. I got the speaker and diodes out of a dead television. The works were mounted to a cedar plank and you tuned it with a section of a Libby’s Peas tin can. It worked exceptionally well.

    • katry Says:

      That is amazing, ingenious and impressive! To think such common parts could make a radio, at least for you!

  2. Birgit Says:

    I’m a radio listener since childhood and I still prefer radio over TV, partly live radio partly online on demand. I started with my mother’s old car radio which I unsafely connected to a transformer I took from a toy because batteries were too expensive. Tonight however I switched to TV, first The Doctor as every Tuesday and it looks like your elections are better covered on TV here. Good luck, dear Americans! (…and good luck to all of us!) Your country’s turn towards fascism is frightening. Unfortunately our conservative party tries to copy your Republican’s destructive playbook with some success, they are currently not part of government but again high in the polls. I hope to stay awake long enough to get your first midterms results.

    • katry Says:

      I can’t watch the results. I am so fearful of the direction that Trump and his minions have taken us. At a rally yesterday, he said we need to emulate China and find drug dealers guilty then execute them and send the death bullets to the dealers’ families. The crowd cheered. That man is insane.

      I live in probably the bluest of all states where the republicans had the governorship and nothing else in state government. Trump called Charley Baker, the two term governor, a RINO, a republican in name only. Baker chose not to run because of the political climate. The democrat, Maura Healy, will be elected governor, the first woman, a lesbian to boot. The only problem is red is beginning to outnumber blue. I think we need to secede.

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