I’ve been busy lately and have had a lot of things related to my obsession with the 1940s and World War II come up, so this is going to be a hodgepodge of an update. Continue reading “A Sentimental Journey of sorts”
Dear eBay, f*** you. You’re going to kill me with all your thousands of RCA Victors, Philcos, Wards Airlines, etc. I should have never gone to that damn site and entered “antique radio” into the search bar. Since then, I can often be found gazing at my iPhone screen, cursing at my eBay app because some total creep used eSnipe and outbid me at the last second.
Anyway, I managed to win an auction finally (because I play fairly and don’t cheat like a big butthead) and scored myself a 1942 Firestone Air Chief Intercepter. The seller didn’t know the year, but since he was kind enough to list the model number, I was able to locate it. It was only $53 with shipping! When it came, it was in a huge box! Imagine my surprise to find out that this baby is 19″ long and 12″ tall!!! It’s a monster!
Here it is:
As my readers are aware, I collect vintage radios. Roughly two years ago, my mom called to tell me that she and my dad had been digging around his grandmother’s old homestead, which was getting ready to be demolished, and they had snagged an old bakeware-style radio from the late 30s/early 40s. It wasn’t in good shape, she said, and it had a crack running up the middle of it, but since it belonged to our family, she grabbed it for me anyway. I was excited and thanked her for it.
A few days later, my parents delivered the radio to me. When they got to my house and handed me the radio, I was excited because it was a pretty cool radio, despite the damage. About the size of a loaf of bread, it was tan in color and was quite heavy. I happily added it to my collection. As she handed it off to me, though, she warned me that weird things had been happening the few days it was in their house. She said that on the first day they brought it home, they sat it on top of their fridge. Minutes later, they were on the other side of the kitchen when they heard this huge crashing sound that came from the area of the fridge. It was very loud and shook the floor. When they turned to investigate, nothing was there.
When the visit was over, my parents left. I spent a few minutes admiring my new radio. I had placed it in the living room next to my RCA Victor, which sat on top of my highboy Philco. These three radios were placed directly under the light that turned on the porch lights. After that, Tim went into the kitchen and I went into my office. Minutes later, we both heard a huge crashing sound right in the living room, directly in the area where the radios were. It was so powerful that the floors even shook. Tim and I both went running into the room but there was nothing there; everything was in its place.
Two days later, I was getting ready for work. It wasn’t quite 6am, Tim was still in bed, and the pink light of morning was just beginning to peek through the windows. My house was totally quiet with no TV or radio on. All of the sudden, I heard the clear sound of a little girl’s voice say “hello?” The sound came from the living room. Even though I knew there was no one in my home that shouldn’t be there, I went dashing into the room. Staring at the radios in that empty room, the sound of that little girl’s voice playing inside my head, I knew that this radio had “something” attached to it.
After that, we started to notice more things. Every time I let the dogs out at night, I would turn the porch lights on. When I would go back to let them back in a few minutes later, the lights would always be off. Tim and I were both annoyed and accused each other of turning the lights off until we realized that neither one had turned them off. At that point, I decided to reason with the ghost I knew was now residing with us. One night I said, “Okay, look, I know you’re here. And now you know that I know you’re here. So please stop turning off the lights, okay?” After that, the lights stayed on when we turned them on.
Kyle, my dog who passed away last April (and who I still mourn each and every day), would lie on our couch, his eyes intently watching something right in the area in front of the radio. His eyes would track whatever he was watching as it moved across the room, back and forth, up to the ceiling and back down again. I would watch him watch whatever he saw in rapt fascination. I saw nothing when I looked.
The last straw (for Tim) happened about a month after we got the radio. I got a call when I was at work and Tim was breathless when he said, “We’ve got to do something about this radio!” I asked him why and he explained that he had been doing laundry when he decided to go run some errands. He said he went into our utility room and turned off the drier. “And Rachel,” he added with emphasis, “I know I turned the dryer off because it buzzed!” Well, he left and ran his errands and when he got back home, the dryer was back on and running.
At that point, I told him to remove the radio from our house. Having grown up in a house that I know was haunted, I knew the radio was to blame. It was the first time I had experienced an item that had a spirit attached to it, but I knew, without a doubt, that it was because of the radio. That day, Tim took the radio, went outside, walked across our backyard and into our detached garage, where he placed the radio in the very back corner of the building that. After that, all “unexplained” events in the house stopped. But when he was working in the garage a few months later, though, the lights kept going off and on the entire time he was out there.
In November, we decided to move. And even though that radio had familial history attached to it, we made the decision not to take it with us. As far as we know, it’s still sitting on a dusty corner shelf in that garage. I often wonder who that little girl was and why her spirit was attached to that radio. Part of me regrets that I’ll never know. And with each new radio that I bring into my home, I have to wonder – who did it belong to? Where did it come from? What is its history? And did it happen to come with any extra “baggage”?
Well, I went into Southport Antique Mall not expecting to find much and left two hours later with two new (but old) radios, a piece of Depression glass, and a vintage doily!
First, here’s my pink Depression glass ice bucket (sitting on the vintage doily). I’ve seen a lot of Depression glass, but this is the first time I’ve ever seen an ice bucket. It’s surprisingly heavy!
And finally, this is a Wards Airline radio. This one is my new favorite radio. It’s gorgeous. The problem is that I can’t identify what year it’s from. These radios, sold by Montgomery Ward, were made by a company called Wells-Gardner. This one is model number WG-193, and I can’t locate any information on it. The closest I can find is model number WG-197, which came out in 1936. So I’m guessing it’s from the 30s.
Also, due to starting my new website (details on that coming soon), I bought the cookbook below on eBay and it arrived today. It’s a Mary Lee Taylor cookbook from 1941. (And if you’ve never heard her, you need to look her up. She read recipes over the air and repeated everything so the listener had time to write it all down!) She had a radio show for over 20 years and was sponsored by Pet Milk.
Anyway, that was my loot from the antique mall. (I also bought a cute little Prada bag that I’m 99.5% sure is a knock-off, but I don’t care because it’s perfectly-sized!)