I grew up in the forties, and early fifties so I remember listening to a lot of programming on a big Philco radio. After school serials were favorites. The following little story was a little fantasy trip back to those days.
PETE AND THE BIG PHILCO
“Boy oh boy, what a really rotten day”, Pete was thinking, as he opened the side door, really glad to be home. After days like this I can’t get home soon enough, he thought. The day started out bad when my mom, who was heading off to work in the defense plant, called me to get up as usually does.
“Yeah mom, I’m awake”, I said. Not true.
A half hour later the eyes pop open and I know something is not right. It’s too quiet. Mom has gone to work, I know it, and I’m going to be late.
I leapt out of bed and sure enough she’s gone. It’s going to be a bad day.
There were no surprises. I had to go to the principal’s office and explain why I was late. In my rush I forgot my homework and my teachers were not pleased with me. At lunch the cafeteria served Spanish rice, not my favorite. And if the day wasn’t going badly enough, at recess it was decided by Clench, the school bully, that I would be his target for the day. But one good thing happened, evidently Clench was off his game today and only pushed me down on the ground three or four times. That seemed to satisfy him and my life was saved.
And then finally, at three thirty, the dismissal bell rang and my terrible day was over. When I arrived home to a little peace and quiet, I threw my books down, poured a glass of cold milk and globbed some peanut butter on a couple of fold-overs. I sat myself down in front of our big Philco floor model radio and turned the on switch, and finally I was able to take a long breath, and get ready to enter the world of Jack Savage.
The big radios dial lit up, and I started twirling the dial. The radio was supposed to be a transatlantic model, able to pull in far away stations. But I wasn’t really interested in what was going on in Borneo, so I spun the smoothly spinning gold dial to Jack Savage’s station.
What the heck is wrong now, I thought, as the dial seemed to hit an obstruction and stopped well before Jacks station. I thought, well the dial spins both ways so I spun it in the opposite direction. Whatever it takes, I thought. Clunk. It stopped again at the same place as before.
As I sat there pondering my dilemma, something strange started happening. I seemed to have fallen into a daze. What the heck is happening to me I wondered, as the room seemed to be spinning and I seemed to be spinning too. Am I getting the flu? Holy Mackerel, I yelled, I was spinning faster and faster until all of the sudden the spinning stopped and I found myself deposited in a land of people wearing colorful sheets. Holy cow I thought as I finally recognized them as kimonos. I was standing near an empty aircraft hangar, when all of a sudden I heard a voice call to me as quietly as he could. “Pete, over here. Come quick”.
It was Jack Savage and he was beckoning me to hurry.
“I’m glad to see ya pal”, he said.
I looked at him questioningly. “Jerry, my sidekick, got sick halfway through the show and I need someone to help me complete the mission”.
I don’t have a clue what he’s talking about, but he’s not smiling and seems quite serious, so I’d better get serious too.
“Now here’s the deal, in the next couple hangars there are about twenty Jap zero’s and they’re scheduled to sortie over Midway tomorrow morning. Our fighters will be there also and could probably handle these devils, but it’s our mission to make sure we ground some of these airplanes to make it a little easier for our pilots. We’ll have to hide out here until tonight, then we’ll remove and destroy as many of these little pieces from their engines,” he said showing me what I think was a condenser. “They’ll have replacements for most of them, but maybe not all of them, and hopefully we can keep a few at least out of the sky.”
Night fell and we were busy completing our mission when we were sighted by the notorious super villain Dr. Ito just as we were finishing sabotaging the last airplane. Jack yelled for me to run for my life, and the two of us dashed for the exit. The hangar was huge and we were running as fast as we could, but Dr. Ito’s band of bad boys were hot on our heels. I was running out of breath and was afraid it was lights out for me and Jack, when my vision started to blur as before and I seemed to fall and started to spin round and round before I blacked out.
I awoke at home in front of the Philco just as Jack Savage was giving his normal signoff; he was thanking all for listening and was giving a special thank you to Pete Johnson for filling in and doing a great job. I shook my head and smiled as I thought, what a dream that was. I was still smiling when I looked down and saw my oily hands and soiled clothes. Holy cow I thought.
2006 jim kittelberger