Thursday, December 11, 2008

Old Technology

This is our vintage RCA Victor radio. Note its dark brown Bakelite case.

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Here are the radio's specs, its wonderful dial and its dust-catching tube technology. Some of that dust is older than you!

When one's grandchildren discover technology from an era they were never part of, it's a wonderful sort of time warp to behold. Alexander, along with his cousins Andrea and Sofia, discovered this old radio hidden away in a back room some years ago.

"Is this a radio?" Alexander wanted to know.

Andrea turned a knob and announced the radio "broken" (she and her cousins only knew of
instant-on technology.) Sofia suggested that it might need new batteries. Finally the tubes heated up, the lights came on behind the old radio's dial, and a wonderful old burbling song drifted from its speaker. Back then, there was an AM radio station in Houston that only played old tunes from my parent's heyday. The radio was always tuned to that station, as those old tunes seemed so appropriate for the old RCA Victor.

A slow dance tune began. Alexander asked, "May I have this dance?" and for a long while, Sofia and Andrea took turns dancing with their cousin, as I looked on, enchanted. They danced with serious grace, a skill not usually seen in children their ages. They spoke not a word as they glided around the room; they seemed transported back in time, to an era they had not known until they had found the old radio and its music.

As we lay in bed that night, I told Tall Husband about
the magic moment, saying that when I die, I want that perfect piece of time to be my last memory.