Wednesday, August 17, 2016

The *real* reason RadioShack closed...

Before I begin, there were quirks about my mom that, while they drove me to distraction while she was alive, now make me smile and shake my head.  They are pure Mom.  We've tried for decades to figure out why, to no avail.  During all those episodes of "Get Smart" where we gathered around and laughed at the goofy gadgets, there was no way of knowing how enamored she was.
When Mom died, RadioShack wasn't far behind her.

Mom LOVED gadgets.  When Ma Bell no longer held the monopoly of telephones, and suddenly the market was flooded with all sorts of phones for the first time ever, Mom wanted them.  All of them.  For a while there, we were a little worried about her.  We were just about grown at that point, and after decades of poverty, she was seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.  Apparently, a variety of telephones were a requirement for getting to that light.
Next on her quest were tiny televisions.  I kind of forget what the new technology was that introduced this aberration, but she adored them, and probably purchased 6 or 7 of them.  Each one a tiny bit closer to her dream.
 I'm the opposite.  The fewer gadgets, the better.  I see them as just another thing that can break or go wrong.  But let me share some of the gifts that Mom gave me over the years.  I was cleaning out a set of drawers last weekend.  None of these are less than 15 years old.

 This one is actually in use and not from the drawer.  This phone with the giant numbers (not to mention the emergency buttons!) hangs in the kitchen.  That way, anyone who visits and enters through that door knows right away that I am clearly older than I look!  It allows me to maintain my skill at untangling the curly cord.  Most of the people listed on the headset are dead, and if they are alive they have long ago gone with cell phones.  We don't mess with relics around here.  On the other hand, when the power goes out, this phone always works.  It is not dependent on electricity in any way.  Made by RadioShack.

 When Molly was little, Mom worried all the time about her being scooped up and stolen.  She found the perfect solution with these personal radios!  As you can see, they were never removed from the packaging.  I wasn't sure that a 4 year old would be responsible with such a tool, and gave serious consideration to my own panic should she leave it under the trees beside the creek and go visit her friend Jill next door - with me screaming like a mad woman, "Molly!  Where are you?  Over!!!"  We decided instead to go with the family yell that had and has worked for over 50 years.  WOOoooOOOOooooOOOOoooo!  Works every time.

 When we had our shop(s) I was going in a lot of different directions.  Mother to a pre-schooler, co-owning shops, TONS of public speaking, weekly classes, and a part-time job made it hard for me to keep things straight and sometimes I'd have great ideas that I couldn't remember longer than 15 minutes.  Mom got me this microcassette recorder so that it would be easier to stay on track.  Problem is, you have to remember to have it with you and USE it.  However, I do have a recording of a 3 year old Molly laughing her head off.  That's all, but it's worth a fortune.

This last one is the most amazing of all.  It's a vacuum cleaner!  I put the pen in the picture for scale.  I was shocked to find that it still runs.  Heaven only knows how old that battery is, and it started right up.  Unfortunately, although you can kind of feel air movement that might technically be referred to as suction, there is nothing that is lightweight enough for this thing to actually pick up.  Still, it's an amazing (if useless) object.

Now upstairs, there is a walk in closet that needs my attention.  Molly and I jokingly call this house the "Repository of Dead Relatives."  When Mom originally moved here, she brought along some of her own mother's belongings, since she had recently died. Then Mom's things were here.  Later, my brother lived here with me while terminally ill, so his belongings were here too.  Molly and I have chewed through many, many of the things that were everywhere, but there is still more to do.  Who knows?  Maybe I'll share the "best of" from the walk in closet.

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