So…there I sat on the edge of my bed…pathetically holding my little pink radio…trying to think of how I could make it sound better…
I looked up at the wall across the room from me. There was a blown-up photo of my mom and dad sitting in a couple of deck chairs on the back porch of this house. Lake Superior was in the background.
It was my favorite picture of them. They looked so relaxed and happy.
The sun was just starting to set behind them. Between them on a little table was a couple of martinis, a large ash try, a pack of Marlboro cigarettes, my dad’s Zippo lighter and a little black box.
Okay. It wasn’t “just a little black box”.
It was a transistor radio.
In fact…it was my dad’s “famous” transistor radio…the one that he swore could get clear reception from anywhere for miles around…and he had been so right.
And in this particular photo…I knew that radio was picking up the Minnesota Twins baseball game from the WCCO radio station in Minneapolis, Minnesota…which was located about 180 miles away.
The two of them would often sit on that porch during the summer…cocktails at the ready…listening to the Twins…and get perfectly clear reception.
Eureka! My problem was solved…right? Yeah…but only if I could find that radio…
I got up and put my little Sony back on the freshly dusted shelf and walked out to the kitchen. Where the hell was that radio?
I remembered that it was always by his bedside…because after mom had died, he would listen to the Twins when he went to sleep.
I also remember him being a little paranoid about it when he had entered the Shady Oak Care Center.
He was pretty sure someone would steal it because it was such a great radio. Hey, what did I know…maybe he was right.
I certainly didn’t remember seeing it when I went to gather his belongings from Shady Oak after his death a couple of years ago. Of course, I didn’t paw through all his stuff either.
I headed down to the basement to search through the many boxes of stuff I had “inherited” from my folks and their years of living.
They had blessedly tossed a lot of their accumulated junk/stuff about ten years ago…”just planning for the future” my mom had gruesomely told me when she asked for my help. “You’ll thank me someday for doing this.”
But she had kept a few boxes that contained old dishes, some old magazines, my school stuff, her mother’s fox stole and a couple of boxes of old greeting cards.
When she had died three years ago…my dad couldn’t bear to toss anything. I hadn’t been ready to toss anything either. Plus…I loved reading her little notes to me on the back of my old birthday cards. She wrote on each and every one…
I knew my dad’s stuff had been packed up by the staff at the care center, so that made the searching a little easier. They had put everything into two plastic bags labeled “Shady Oak Care Center”.
I quickly went through the stuff in the first bag…his clothes had been cleaned and nicely folded. No radio.
But then…at the bottom of the second bag there was a plastic container with “Good Stuff” written on the lid.
This was very odd since the words “Good Stuff” wasn’t in my handwriting nor my dad’s…and there was no Shady Oak label on it. It was just a plain white, plastic box.
I realized I was holding my breath as I lifted the lid.
There was a small, blue hand towel covering the contents.
And then I heard a ticking sound…what the hell?