That's the Night
When the Lights Went Out....
I almost did not get this issue ready as soon as I wanted to. About 2 pm the power to my house went out and it was not scheduled to come back on until 11 pm according to the Memphis Light, Gas, and Water information line. We were lucky it did not take so long and it was back on by 6 pm in time for us to watch the basketball game on TV we had planned to watch.
As darkness approached we began to get out our emergency lighting we keep around the house. Besides the normal emergency candles, we had some flashlights and some magnetic LED lights with magnets on the back. We also had two LED lanterns which sat on our mantel. I remember a trick I saw on the internet about some additional lighting for times like this, so I went out into the backyard and brought in the four solar powered yard lights which really lit up the kitchen. I don't remember who it was that posted that tip, but it sure worked. We ended up heating up soup in our gas powered fireplace since we didn't want to go back out in the rain.
I also got to thinking about "the old days" when we lost power and the first things which came to my mind were the kerosene hurricane lanterns we had strategically positioned on almost every mantel in every room of our house when we lived on East Clinton Street. My grandmother always called them coal oil lamps and I suppose coal oil was the fuel she used most of her life. By the time I was old enough to notice them we used kerosene. I remember how smokey they were when you first lit them and then as you adjusted the flame the light would get brighter and the smoke would lessen.
Later in my childhood, after I became a Boy Scout, I always had a Coleman lantern handy and it became the primary emergency lighting source for the house. It used white gas which we bought at the local Amoco gas station, since they were the only cheap source for unleaded gas at the time. I also had my trusty Boy Scout angle-head flashlight available, if I remembered to keep fresh batteries in it for such times. All you old Scouts out there remember those, and the red filter which was stored in the handle.
The other things I remember the most about our electrical power problems back then were the fuses we had to replace when something caused one to blow. Those times were normally not storm related, but were caused by plugging too many things into one socket. (i.e. think of A Christmas Story.) At such times we headed to the fuse box and hoped we had the correct amperage fuse to replace the blown one. Back then all the fuses were brass and glass on the outside, but under the glass was a color coded label printed with the amperage power of the fuse. Normally it took a flashlight, lit match, or candle to be able to see which fuse was blown, then it was a simple process of unscrewing the blown one and screwing in the new one. I don't think any of us thought about what would happen should we accidentally stick our finger into the open bare fuse socket while we were doing so.
Of course, circuit breakers eventually replaced the fuses in most houses and became the norm. Which brings me to a funny memory. My step-father was a master electrician and all the new houses in the neighborhood where he and my mother bought their new house in 1963 had fuse boxes and not circuit breaker boxes. Over the years he swapped out almost every fuse box in every house up and down the street with new circuit breaker boxes. I said almost, because there was one I know he did not update - to my mother's constant complaints. Their house! After he died and mother went to an assisted living home in 2001, I sold their house which still had the original fuse box in the laundry room.
Memphis, TN - Our plans were to go to Hawaii this January but thanks to doctor appointments and tests we are not going to make it. It really upsets me, because over the weekend the Tennessee Air Guard in Memphis had a flight to Oahu which we could have hoped on for free, and on Monday, Jackson, Mississippi's Guard unit has over 50 seats available on a flight to Maui which we will have to miss. Oh, well, maybe next month.
This Week's Selections by
Barb Biggs Knott
It was difficult to think of 3 favorites but I’ve come up with ‘Tossin’ and Turnin’ by Bobby Lewis, ‘Moon River’ by Andy Williams and ‘Runaway’ by Del Shannon. The slow one I remember I wanted played for my 16th birthday party so I could slow dance with my boyfriend at the time and ‘Runaway’ was just one of so many that I loved to dance to back in the day.
#1 - Tossin' and Turnin' by Bobby Lewis
#2 Moon River by Andy Williams. Andy Williams' version of Moon River was never released as a 45 rpm single, but it charted as an LP track that he recorded for Columbia. Moon River was composed by Henry Mancini with lyrics by Johnny Mercer. It received an Academy Award for Best Original Song and also won Mancini a Grammy Award for Record of the Year and won Mancini and Mercer a Grammy Award for Song of the Year.
#3 - Runaway by Del Shannon
TODAY'S TRIVIA - Which movie featured Moon River? What year was the movie released? Who was the leading lady in the movie? Answers are below the mailbox section.
Radar Men From the Moon - Episode 10
From Our Mailbox
Subject: Carol Jean
Pamela Parsley Holt
I thought of Carol Jean and Dub and all those who loved her and wished I could have been with you in the celebration of a sweet lady, who fought hard and believed as strong in our Heavenly Father to see her through the past years.
We take a New Years trip and had reservations leaving Tuesday morning so I could not be there. I heard the Lee classes were a large support and saw you went in together to send flowers. I will keep Dub, the boys and those with a void in their heart in my prayers over the days ahead.
Subject: Belinda Christian
I'm sorry I must have missed the notice about Belinda earlier in the year. We were in several classes together and for someone as lovely as she was, she was so kind and fun loving and sweet to an old hairy-legged hillbilly like me who thought she was very special.
Subject: Carol Jean's Service
Thank You so much for including the remembrance from Escoe at Carol Jean's Celebration of Life. I was very touched by Escoe's words but also could identify in my own memories of Carol Jean,although certainly they were different and in different circumstances. I agree whole heartedly with your statement about desiring to be remembered as one who left a positive influence on others as most assuredly Carol Jean did. Just wanted you to know how I appreciate your inclusion of these feelings in the latest issue. As usual you have spoken well for all of us "LEE GENERALS".
TRIVIA ANSWERS - Moon River was featured in Breakfast at Tiffany's, released in 1961, and staring Audrey Hepburn.