rejectomorph (flying_blind) wrote,
rejectomorph
flying_blind

Relic

My family's Pearl Harbor Day story isn't exciting. That afternoon, my mom's sister and her husband visited our house (I say "our" house, although I wasn't born yet, and I was never even in the house my parents lived in at that time), and my uncle advised my dad to go that very day to buy the radio and record player he'd been wanting to get, because the war would mean that such luxuries would soon vanish from the shops. So they drove to the immense Sears store which had opened a few years earlier on Olympic Boulevard east of downtown Los Angeles, and there bought the big Silvertone brand radio/record player combination that I remember as the dominant feature of our living room for the first several years of my childhood.

The war was over by then, but radio still flourished, and I recall sitting on the floor with the great mass of the wooden cabinet seeming to tower above me (it was in fact probably only about three and a half feet tall), listening to what I had no idea were soon to be the quaint aural artifacts of a medium utterly changed. In fact, the Silvertone, both radio and 78RPM record player, quit working not long after we moved to the house in the hills, but the cabinet survived as a piece of furniture just taking up space until we acquired our first television set, when I was about twelve years old.

Then they got rid of the old machine, though I don't remember how. Maybe it's in a landfill somewhere, or maybe it ended up eventually being restored, and is now an antique sitting in a trendy, retro room belonging to an interior decorator in West Los Angeles. One never knows. It's just that every once in a while I remember that radio and wish I could have another look at it. Silly, really. Seeing the artifacts of the past accomplishes nothing, as far as I can tell, and keeping them probably does nothing other than add to the world's clutter.

Despite knowing this, I still can't rid myself of nostalgia. I'm like one of those old guys they display on television every December who are still pissed at the Japanese after all this time. Some part of me is still a little kid listening to The Whistler or Lux Radio Theater. Individual memory is so much more more persistent than physical objects. I'll probably be listening to the nostalgia program (same time, same station) until the day I die.
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