My father is quoted in his high school yearbook, the Chrysalis, during his senior class trip to New York City.
It was 1961. I would not be born for another ten years. The Eisenhower era was coming to an end. Charles Mingus was recording "Take the A Train." The Pittsburgh Pirates beat the Yankees in the World Series. New York was an exciting place to be, especially for a bunch of kids from the woods, loggers' kids and children from the small frontier town of Greenville, Maine.
I don't know what the class went to see, probably a show at Radio City Music Hall, but I'll never forget what my father saw. Or what he is reported to have said.
"Oh, look at the radios!"
My father built kit radios, played around with Citizens' Band before it was a big fad, borrowed a shortwave from a friend and spoke to Brazil. He built his own television from tubes, made his own speakers out of plywood and Radio Shack parts, and was always bringing gadgets home. I remember a desktop calculator that must have weighed fifteen pounds, whose display featured thin red numbers; another gizmo that played chess. We had pong and a TRS-80 far before anyone else that I knew. My father liked all kinds of electronics.
But mostly he just liked radios.
My father and I don't talk much. When we do there is always a tension, as we try to connect, to make the pieces fit and work together without sparks, or static. It's not that we fight, or piss each other off.