Posted tagged ‘transistor radio’

“Often, a school is your best bet-perhaps not for education but certainly for protection from an undead attack.”

January 23, 2018

The weather today is much like yesterday’s except we have a wind strong enough to whip the top branches of the scrub pines, and it has started to rain. I have to go out later so I hope the rain is short-lived.

When I was a kid, I seldom stepped over the line, but I did walk it. In school, during part of the eighth grade, I sat by the windows. The bookcases were under the windows and beside my desk. They were my hiding spots. I kept my transistor radio there and a few pieces of candy. My favorite candies were Mint Julep and Banana Splits both of which were a bit chewy so they lasted longer. When I ate one, I’d hide behind a book so Sister Hildegarde couldn’t see me chewing. I wore one ear piece from my radio in the ear facing the window, away from view, but one day all that subterfuge didn’t matter. My worst fears were realized. I was chewing a spearmint candy and listening to the radio when Sister Hildegarde called on me. I managed to spit the candy into my hand but didn’t have time to pull the ear piece without getting caught. I stood up, as we always did, when called upon. Sister Hildegarde noticed the ear piece. I figured I was doomed, but I wasn’t. Sister Hildegarde thought it was a hearing aid and wanted to know if she was speaking loud enough for me to hear. With a giant sigh of relief, I said she was. If it had been any other nun, I would had to wear that ear piece all year, but, luckily, it was Sister Hildegarde. She forgot.

In my senior year of high school, my desk in English class was right next to the backdoor of the classroom. That proved to be far too much of a temptation. I sneaked out that door more than a few times. I even convinced my friend to join me. It wasn’t that I had anywhere else else go. I just couldn’t resist the challenge. I still don’t understand why Mrs. Baker didn’t notice the sudden appearance of an empty desk and sometimes two empty desks.

Ironically, for a long time, I was a high school assistant principal in charge of discipline. It was at the same high school I had attended. Every time I did some corridor walking I walked by that back door, I always chuckled a bit.

“To awaken quite alone in a strange town is one of the pleasantest sensations in the world.”

April 25, 2016

The day started grey but it is now sunny, not bright but sunny. It is also noisy with birds singing and calling. Monday always seems quiet to me. It’s the day to recuperate from the weekend and all the errands and chores and evenings with friends. I spent the morning with my neighbor. We chatted in English to improve her skills. The have/has problem is the one she can’t seem to shake. I explain it. She thinks about it, repeats it a few times, then a bit later says she have when telling me a story. I want to bang my head on the table. Maybe she’ll connect my head banging with has.

When I was a kid, it was easy to be happy. I had everything I wanted. I had a bike, ice skates, regular skates and a sled. The library was a good walk away but worth the walk. It was filled with books so I never wanted for something to read. I liked school so going every day was no big deal. I loved learning new things. My friends were neighborhood friends so we saw each other even day walking to and from school and on Saturdays for whatever we decided to do. I think it was when I was a teenager that I started to want more.

Clothes became important when I was older. We all wanted to look alike without looking alike. It was a strange conundrum. Transistor radios were a must, the smaller the better. Saddle shoes were in for a while, and I still have a pair of them. Maybe I ought to wear them. My Easter bonnet was a hit so maybe the shoes will be too. Back then only white sneakers would do. We wanted more. Discontentment replaced happiness. Envy was big.

I went through a few more transitions. One of my favorites was my overalls-flannel shirt phase. I wore them with high tops, pink high tops. Individuality had become more important.

I think the Peace Corps made me brave. I was living in a far different culture where I had to do most things on my own including traveling. I learned to be self-sufficient and a bit daring. When I told my family I was going to Morocco by myself, they chatted among themselves and were quite nervous. They even designated my brother-in-law Rod as the rescue person should I break a leg or need saving for some reason. They told me this when I got home. I thought it was pretty funny. I think, though, I should be thankful for a family with emergency back-ups plans for me when I travel. You never know!

“I love sports. Whenever I can, I always watch the Detroit Tigers on the radio.”

April 7, 2016

The day is gray and windy but is 55˚ so I’ll take the drab and the windy for the warmth. This has not been the best of days. Whatever I do to make the computer screen black I did again. I also fixed it, and I have no idea how I did it. I just know it took a couple of tries. Next came the blasted keychain requests for passwords, one request after the other. It didn’t like my first password though I knew it was the right one as I had broken a computer commandment and written it down. I kept forgetting the newest ones of the last two days so I needed a constantly updated list. I believe all is settled because no new boxes are asking for my attention or my password. I’m exhausted, and my two typing fingers no longer have fingerprints. I wore them off.

When I was about nine or ten, I got a typewriter. I think the body was red and I remember it was part plastic and part metal. I loved the sound of the keys clicking one at a time as I typed. It was slow going as I had to hunt for the letter I needed by going up and across the rows. After I’d found the letter, I’d hit the key then go hunting for the next letter. A mistake got X’ed out, and there were so many of them you’d think my message had been redacted. I think it was only a few months of hunting and pecking before the typewriter stopped being entertaining for me.

My favorite gift was my first transistor radio. It was a square leather box with holes across the front for decoration I suppose. It had two controls on the top: one for off and on and the other for choosing the channel, all AM channels. It wasn’t all that small but it didn’t need a cord and that was the best part. It could go anywhere. I even sneaked it into school and listened with the headphones. My next radio was so much smaller you could hold it in your hand. It was totally plastic. On the front was the tuning wheel with the channel numbers around it, still all AM. I don’t remember the color, but I do remember everybody had one.

I listen to the radio still but only in the car. None of my favorite channels are AM.

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