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Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Imagination Box

During the holiday season I typically get caught up in gift-giving and end up spending as much on myself as for others.  I guess I don’t want to feel left out or maybe I just play loose with the golden rule.  This year my self-indulgence was a high tech internet radio with an old-fashioned look.  I find the look downright compelling as it reminds me of when I was a kid and of Saturday nights listening to radio broadcasts of boxing matches (“the fights”) and of the suspense thriller The Shadow.  We would sit in a darkened bedroom gathered closely round a portable Zenith vacuum tube radio installed in a wooden cabinet.  Because it was tube it developed heat that emanated a smell of beeswax used to treat the dialing mechanism.  It had a light on the front that illuminated a trademark jagged Z and glowed yellow in the darkness when the radio was on.  One night The Shadow included gangsters who intimidated a shopkeeper.  He swore that he did not know the combination to the safe.  The gangsters—and they sounded in every way fitting for the part—began cutting the man’s fingers off one knuckle at a time with a meat clever.  Each thud of the cleaver was accompanied by deathly screams from the victim. My imagination painted a picture of this scene that no TV set could ever approach and that has simmered in my mind unabated for 60 years.  In the end, justice was not denied for “the Shadow knows…..”   Happy holidays!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

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