Monday, August 9, 2010

The Radio by, Myself (1988)

I was searching through some old papers and found this one, written for Creative Writing 323 with Dr. Burell, 1988. I miss that professor, Dr. Burell, he was the real deal as far as English/Writing professors are concerned, sophisticated grey beard, neatly trimmed, moustache, bow tie and all, this is one of my favorite stories that I wrote for that class in the Fall of 1988:

I only vaguely remember the first time I saw the radio. It was secured with duct tape on the dashboard of my Grandpa's old red Chevy truck. It was the truck he used to take fishing. The front hood was rusting from the salt air. We were on our way back down to the beach house, my mom, brothers, and the dog were behind Grandpa and I in our old family station wagon.

At the beach house I remember the radio, perched on a low counter in the kitchen. Grandpa used to listen to local talk shows early in the morning. He would smoke his cigarettes and drink his coffee in the dusky peacefulness of the simple kitchen.

When he was manager of Sprouse Reitz, he would stay at our house off and on. He would bring the radio. I remember the times he would hide it from me. I would run all through the house, looking through cupboards and closets. When I had a friend over, the hunt was twice as fun. We would laugh, he would tickle me and I would scream. Mom or Dad always ended our fun.

Time came to pass and Grandpa and Grandma moved up close to us. Grandpa retired and I was fast growing up. The radio he brought with him. He would still listen in the mornings. Though he was officially retired, Grandpa still worked at Payless. He made deliveries and did janitorial work. The radio went with him in the delivery truck. The old red Chevy had been sold.

It was one Christmas a new radio came to replace the old. Someone, I do not remember who, gave him a big AM/FM with a clock too. He listened to that and the old Nobility was tucked away.

On Saturday his memorial service was held. On top of my parents' refrigerator, there it sat. My mother came up to me, "Your father thought that you might like it," she said. I tried to hold back the tears. He had been ready to go, he was tired of this world. The Nobility now sits in my home, a knob is missing, it is dirty, and does not match the decor. But with it comes those beautiful memories of how Grandpa was and those alone are mine to treasure.


Megs said...

sad story. lovely story. thanks for being excited to have Eowyn - she is soooooooooo excited to see you!!!!!!

Kristine said...

That's just beautiful! I love your writing voice!
And I love your new blog appearance.

Megs said...

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

- e.e.cummings.