Solander’s Radio Tomb

Feb 13 2010

I first met Mr. Remington Solander shortly after I installed my first radio set. I was going in to New York on the 8:15 A.M. train and was sitting with my friend Murchison and, as a matter of course, we were talking radio. I had just told Murchison that he was a lunkheaded noodle and that for two cents I would poke him in the jaw, and that even a pin-headed idiot ought to know that a tube set was better than a crystal set. To this Murchison had replied that that settled it. He said he had always known I was a moron, and now he was sure of it.

“If you had enough brains to fill a hazelnut shell,” he said, “you wouldn’t talk that way. Anybody but a half-baked lunatic would know that what a man wants in radio is clear, sharp reception and that’s what a crystal gives you. You’re one of these half-wits that think they’re classy if they can hear some two-cent station five hundred miles away utter a few faint squeaks. Shut up! I don’t want to talk to you. I don’t want to listen to you. Go and sit somewhere else.”

Of course, this was what was to be expected of Murchison. And if I did let out a few laps of anger, I feel I was entirely justified. Radio fans are always disputing over the relative merits of crystal and tube sets, but I knew I was right. I was just trying to decide whether to choke Murchison with my bare hand and throw his lifeless body out of the car window, or tell him a few things I had been wanting to say ever since he began knocking my tube set, when this Remington Solander, who was sitting behind us, leaned forward and tapped me on the shoulder. I turned quickly and saw his long sheeplike face close to mine. He was chewing cardamon seed and breathing the odor into my face.

“My friend,” he said, “come back and sit with me; I want to ask you a few questions about radio.”

Read more: http://www.classicreader.com/book/3753/1/

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Young Goodman Brown

Feb 16 2009

Young Goodman Brown came forth at sunset, into the street of Salem village, but put his head back, after crossing the threshold, to exchange a parting kiss with his young wife. And Faith, as the wife was aptly named, thrust her own pretty head into the street, letting the wind play with the pink ribbons of her cap, while she called to Goodman Brown.

“Dearest heart,” whispered she, softly and rather sadly, when her lips were close to his ear, “pr’ythee, put off your journey until sunrise, and sleep in your own bed tonight. A lone woman is troubled with such dreams and such thoughts, that she’s afeard of herself, sometimes. Pray, tarry with me this night, dear husband, of all nights in the year!”

“My love and my Faith,” replied young Goodman Brown, “of all nights in the year, this one night must I tarry away from thee. My journey, as thou callest it, forth and back again, must needs be done ‘twixt now and sunrise. What, my sweet, pretty wife, dost thou doubt me already, and we but three months married!”

“Then God bless you!” said Faith, with the pink ribbons, “and may you find all well, when you come back.”

“Amen!” cried Goodman Brown. “Say thy prayers, dear Faith, and go to bed at dusk, and no harm will come to thee.”

So they parted; and the young man pursued his way, until, being about to turn the corner by the meeting-house, he looked back and saw the head of Faith still peeping after him, with a melancholy air, in spite of her pink ribbons.

“Poor little Faith!” thought he, for his heart smote him. “What a wretch am I, to leave her on such an errand! She talks of dreams, too. Methought, as she spoke, there was trouble in her face, as if a dream had warned her what work is to be done tonight. But, no, no! ‘twould kill her to think it. Well; she’s a blessed angel on earth; and after this one night, I’ll cling to her skirts and follow her to Heaven.”

Read more: http://www.americanliterature.com/Hawthorne/SS/YoungGoodmanBrown.html

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Tennessee’s Partner

Apr 05 2008

I do not think that we ever knew his real name. Our ignorance of it certainly never gave us any social inconvenience, for at Sandy Bar in 1854 most men were christened anew. Sometimes these appellatives were derived from some distinctiveness of dress, as in the case of “Dungaree Jack”; or from some peculiarity of habit, as shown in “Saleratus Bill,” so called from an undue proportion of that chemical in his daily bread; or for some unlucky slip, as exhibited in “The Iron Pirate,” a mild, inoffensive man, who earned that baleful title by his unfortunate mispronunciation of the term “iron pyrites.” Perhaps this may have been the beginning of a rude heraldry; but I am constrained to think that it was because a man’s real name in that day rested solely upon his own unsupported statement. “Call yourself Clifford, do you?” said Boston, addressing a timid newcomer with infinite scorn; “hell is full of such Cliffords!” He then introduced the unfortunate man, whose name happened to be really Clifford, as “Jay-bird Charley”–an unhallowed inspiration of the moment that clung to him ever after.

But to return to Tennessee’s Partner, whom we never knew by any other than this relative title; that he had ever existed as a separate and distinct individuality we only learned later. It seems that in 1853 he left Poker Flat to go to San Francisco, ostensibly to procure a wife. He never got any farther than Stockton. At that place he was attracted by a young person who waited upon the table at the hotel where he took his meals. One morning he said something to her which caused her to smile not unkindly, to somewhat coquettishly break a plate of toast over his upturned, serious, simple face, and to retreat to the kitchen. He followed her, and emerged a few moments later, covered with more toast and victory. That day week they were married by a justice of the peace, and returned to Poker Flat. I am aware that something more might be made of this episode, but I prefer to tell it as it was current at Sandy Bar–in the gulches and barrooms–where all sentiment was modified by a strong sense of humor.

Read more: http://www.classicshorts.com/stories/TennesseesPartner.html

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