Monday, October 25, 2010

Enjoying Inventions

Not long after John had made a record player he succeeded in making a radio. It was an ugly contraption and we could only get one channel. But we didn't mind since it was the local Country station.

Evenings after supper we would hurry upstairs right after devotions and sit on John's bed where we listened to Lia as she talked to people and played all the latest hits. We were always carefully alert to any sounds from downstairs and once we heard Daddy turn out the gas lamps we knew it was time to shut it off and go to bed. John always removed the one wire so it couldn't be turned on accidentally.

I felt slightly guilty about listening to it since I was already a member of the church and would have to make a confession if anyone ever found out about it, but being able to enter the world of music for a few hours every day made the risk worth while.

Spring came, and since John had, had his 16th birthday that winter and wanted to join the youth group he had to start instruction class to join the church. Before the first Sunday of instruction classes Mom and Daddy got a big garbage bag and held it open saying "Okay, John. Anything you shouldn't have in order to be baptized bring and throw them in the bag.

David, and Mahlon were at school, and I sat at the table to watch as John went upstairs to his room. He brought a big armful of records down and placed them in the bag. Mom and Daddy asked what he used to do with that so he set up his player and we all listened to Tom Sawyer for one last time before Daddy broke the record in half and without bothering to listen to the others he broke those in half as well before putting them back into the garbage bag.

John made another trip upstairs and this time the radio was demonstrated and then destroyed and put into the garbage bag for Daddy to burn. I was relieved that John didn't tell them that I used to listen to it on a regular basis too.

Evenings seemed kind of bland for a while with out any music to listen to, but we soon returned to enjoying reading books, playing games and other fun family things.


  1. Oh, my!, JC! What an interesting insight. I had no idea ...

    I so love your stories, each & everyone. A whole new world opens to understand ...

    Have a BOO-TEA-FUL week!
    TTFN ~ Hugs, Marydon

  2. What honesty John showed, and what courage. And how extraordinarily sad.

  3. I always thought how neat it would be to be Amish.
    I enjoy reading about the Amish.
    But, truthfully I think it must be a hard life.

    You always have the most interesting posts.
    I always enjoy my visit.

  4. Sounds like John had a gift and would have worked well in/with electronics. But I guess he couldn't continue on in that line of work could he?

    Very insteresting story though. That's neat that he could come up with those things and build them himself. I couldn't imagine a life without listening to music. It's so much a part of who I am.

  5. Ohhhh.... I got my "rest of the story!" I'm glad no one got in trouble for it and you have to wonder if Mom and Dad didn't already know about them! Please let us know how John's new invention works out for the people when he gets it done!

  6. I greatly admire your brother John. Where is he today, still Amish? Amish have their gifted people too. There is an Amish man living down here that came from Northern Indiana. A few years ago he told me he would be sent all over the USA by plane to figure out why something doesn't work. Basically when all else failed they asked for this Amish man.

  7. Mary Ann, you probably know...but just in case you didn' were mentioned in the New York Times today. Your Blog post is a perfect segue.

  8. Enjoyed your post. Boy your brother was quite the inventive one.
    until next time...nel

  9. It is such a shame that your group didn't allow music.I personally couldn't imagine living without music.John must have had a strong faith to give up his invention.Plenty of children today wouldn't choose to give up anything at all.

  10. I'm with Ember up there.
    And also curious about what ever happened to John- what's he doing now? Still Amish?

  11. ps- And the NYT article was quite interesting- thanks to the commenter who shared the link! :)

  12. That's so painful to not be able to listen to music! And I'm sure that those records were vintage gold. Sigh. I'm glad that you've got some freedom now.

  13. It breaks my heart to read that John had to part with his invention. What 's wrong with listening to good wholesome clean music ?


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