On my way to meet with my brother and sister to help prepare our childhood home for sale as our Mom was now of the age that none of us lived close enough to be there when she might need us most. I began to reminisce of our childhood in the 60s, fondly recalling our seasonal family pilgrimage from the sprawling suburban neighborhoods to Downtown Akron to shop at O’Neils and Polsky’s and marvel at those Main street store window displays that were not unlike those of Cleveland’s Halle’s Department store. The very one forever ingrained in everyone’s memory in the movie called ‘A Christmas Story’. The opening scenes were much like my experience of the hunt for a freshly cut Christmas tree, which, no matter how fresh, would lose needles too soon and eventually be pricking the soles of your feet through the knitted house slippers we called ‘Footies’. The mornings leading to Christmas were special not just for the days off from school; as every morning before leaving for work Dad would bring in a days supply of firewood covered in snow that sizzled and crackled when placed on the previous nights still glowing coals. The cozy warmth that only such a sight, smell, and feeling would bring was tantamount to a mothers embrace. This brought my mind full circle as I pull in the driveway to see both my siblings bringing out boxes of Mom’s possessions to load in their cars. We were all surprised and delighted to see so much of our youth she had boxed and stored, stacked floor to ceiling in a corner of the attic. While sister was going through her doll collection, and brother and I through our comics and baseball card collections, to my elation at the bottom of one of the boxes was my beloved Radio Shack 200 and 1 Electronic Projects kit. The toy that brought my imagination to life and sparked confidence in myself to create all kinds of instruments that would help me understand electronics, that later became the basis for my career direction. Seeing that box of fun instantly brought back memories of the hours I would lose myself in building and configuring gadgets all necessary to assemble a Crystal Radio, an AM Radio Broadcasting board or Telegraph, not to mention my greatest incarnation, a working Shortwave Radio. I would stare endlessly out the basement window and wonder if I could talk to aliens or just our own astronauts.
After divvying up our personal pieces of our younger lives and returning to our homes, it stuck in my mind that I wasn’t done playing with this toy. In a similar setting I found myself back in the basement looking through this box of juvenile wonders. On this one particular evening I was putting together the shortwave version of projects. All was pieced together according to specs and the power source intact when out of the background of static and white noise came a undetectable, at first, then quite clearly a pair of childrens’ voices in mid conversation; “It was great, he was up in the top of the tree just jumping up an down on a branch like a monkey.” “ Really, did he fall ?” “ No, .. he was knocking apples down on our heads..” “ What, did any hit you guys?” “ Naw, we just started pickin’ ’em up an tossin ’em at him… all rotten and slimy with worms in ’em” “ That’s great .. he gets what he deserves..” The story they were depicting sounded strangely familiar, like I was there. I was compelled to join in. “ ..then you went home and got in trouble, ’cause his mom called your moms and told her, Right?” I said. “ Hey who’s that ?” “What are you doin on our station kid?” Feeling immediately like I was an intruder, I replied. “ Was that kids name David ?” Silence broke the air-wave. “ How did you know, is this you Davy ?” Now I fell silent. “When did you get-ta shortwave .. you been eavesdropping on us .. for how long ?” Shocked, I didn’t reply and turned the radio off. The magnitude of what I considered sent a chill up my spine. How on earth did this seem so, was I imagining what I heard ? That night I fell asleep with questions flooding my mind. The next day at work I still pondered the ramifications this posed. “Not Real..” I said aloud. Though no one in the immediate area gave notice. I was again lost in anticipation to get home to turn the Shortwave on again.
At times these voices would initially come on sounding like insects or tape recordings with fast forward engaged. Then with no particular reason set themselves right and slow to a recognizable cadence. Ponderously giving theory of encountering some other dimension or netherworld I may be tapping into. Brushing this thought aside, I reasoned it as some anomaly for which no explanation could be found. Trepidation guided my hand to power the contraption back on. As with the previous day, I found seemingly the same voices in conversation. One of them was relating a tale of seeing a homeless woman pushing a shopping cart down a street. She stopped, reached into the cart and pulled out what appeared to be a prosthetic arm. Unfolding it like a Transformer toy, when in it’s final inception, appeared to be that of a camera. She takes a picture, then proceeds once again to fold it back into its’ original state and returning it carefully to the cart. The other boy says. “Musta been the homeless paparazzi!” Laughing, another voice chimes in. “Hey .. Knock Knock!” “Who’s There?” “C’mon.” “C’mon,who?” “C’mon an open the damn door You know who the hell this is!” Ha ha ha … they laughed.
Increasingly it was deduced that there is an overview that had not been considered before. Could there be an aspect to this shortwave radios functionality that allows it to transcend other types of attenuation and configuration? Perhaps a utilized frequency band not before discovered or created? Of dreams, wishes or desires that manifest to reality ..? The simplicity and skeptical nature of reason logically forbids this, though my own imagination compels me to hypothetically allow it to be an intrinsic possibility. One theory leads to another; this thread of what-ifs has me following a path that could stand science fiction on it’s proverbial ear. Thinking such a communication device might well end Wars, impede the division of religious indoctrinations and could even be a source of a global consciousness for a new reality. My mind awash in the endless applications this had afforded my fertile imagination, these wondrous thoughts were put to a litmus test that I alone seemed privy to.
What to try first .. continue my attempt at communicating with the seemingly young operators previously encountered? “Hello, anyone there?” Nothing. The broadcast frequency was changed to an open air spot on the dial that had the least amount of static and noise. My pulse and duration jacked to maximum output .. I again asked.. “Hello, anyone there?” Silence answered my query .. and then .. “I am receiving.” said a youthful voice. “May I ask where you’re broadcasting from?” I said . “ My origin or location?” “Are you in the United States?” “ What is that?” the voice replies. Confounded on how to explain such a loaded question, I followed with .. “ On Earth in the northern hemisphere .. third planet from Sol on the side that is currently facing our Sun, in the outer arms of the spiral galaxy known as the Milky Way” was my reply. The voice resoundingly responds, “This is an announcement from your Galactic community, we have a message of the utmost importance. A significant occurrence is about to take place in your Star sector that will have a grave impact, but is of a natural occurrence that we have witnessed many times before. Though it will herald in a new beginning to the inhabitants of your world, you are urged to give homage to the Inter-Dimensional symbol that has Unified but not divided. Its manifestation has through-out all the Cosmos been to incarnate itself in many ways, but now in this era of time is what you refer to as the Guitar.” “What in the Freakin universe are you talkin ’bout, Willis?” “This will be the way for you to be connected forever with the Guardians of the Sky.” I was stupefied and speechless, and could only muster a left-field response. “You actually expect me to believe this?” “You believe in less tangible. Take for instance your choice for a change of luck in a Tiger Woods look-a-like as your Commander-and-Chief to lead you into battle against the oil-soaked combatants hell-bent on wanting you all dead. Not because he was so much better, but that the others were worse, like another dumb old white guy and his idiotic woman from Alaska running mate. Take your naïve perceptions of envisioning a religious icons’ image in a pancake, peanut, piece of plywood or potato-chip.” “ Wait a Minute, WAM .. , are you some Trekkie espousing their moronic anti-religious and or political views, masking it as some notion of saving the world ?” “You tell me! You’re the one playing with a Toy !!!”