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Herbert Pickett, Jr. writing:

      We had some sort of record player. I believe it was a real Victrola, with the picture of the dog on the lid, a table model. You had to wind it up for each record, which were the very fragile wax disks. The needle had to be changed with each record to protect it. We had a few records, "Andante cantibile," and a Caruso aria or two, a Harry Lauder, later we had "Ivan Sklavinsky Sklavar", which I heard so often I can almost sing it through still. The other side was "Frankie and Johnnie were lovers." I wasn't completely sure what that was all about until later.

      And, of course, the radio. The first radio I recall hearing was at Aunt Grace's in June 1924. Grandpa Ames had an Atwater Kent, which had three tuning dials and a big horn on top. There was a pile of batteries on the floor. It was an election year and the Democratic Convention was in New York at the old Madison Square Garden. William G. McAdoo and Al Smith were deadlocked for the nomination, and they had 103 ballots before a compromise Candidate, John W. Davis, was named. I can hear now the clerk calling out, "Alabama!" and the reply, "24 votes for Underwood," (Native son candidate as Alabama couldn't stand either candidate.)

      Dad and Mother finally decided they had to have one since Baltimore had two or three stations by this time. They tried several, and finally got a Majestic. It had only one tuning dial and had a large paper cone instead of the horn, totally battery operated. There was the "A" battery, a 6 volt lead-acid auto battery. The acid sometimes ate a hole in the rug. It also required a trickle charger to keep it charged up. Then there was a 45-volt "B" battery, which was a dry battery and had to be replaced from time to time. Than there was another smaller dry battery, the "C" battery. Maybe our set was more modern and didn't have the last. It had to be hooked up to an outside aerial, so Dad had a wire run from the chimney to a nearby tree, with proper insulators. The set also had to be grounded, probably to the radiator pipe. Soon we could enjoy comedies, good music, football and baseball, and some drama. The music Mother and Dad liked best was concerts by Mme Schumann-Heit, a famous contralto who sounded very good, even if she were past her prime. There were many programs to which all of us would listen. Some kids had crystal sets, but we never had one.

      Movies, which were all silent, of course. I don't remember going to the big theaters down town often in this period. I did go see "Ben Hur" and "Moby Dick," where John Barrymore played Ahab. Gilman had quite a lot of 7-day boarders then, so the school had a movie show in the Omnibus Room every Saturday night. They had only one projector so just at an exciting part, they had to stop and change the reels. There was always a cartoon, a comedy, (two reeler), and feature. I believe I saw every Bin-Tin-Tin, the wonder dog, ever made and a lot of westerns, such as Tom Mix. Then there were great comics, Harold Lloyd end Charlie Chaplin. In the city theaters there was an organ whose music was coordinated with the action, but at Gilman it was just the picture, and the comments of the boys.

      With the more comfortable and dependable Chevrolet, and the improvement of the highway system, we took more trips on vacations. One March we drove to Charlotte, NC, to see cousin Katherine Trickey McCandless, Dad' cousin. Her boys were college age, Fred and Essen. Fred was a very good golfer, and cousin Katherine's house was right on the golf course. Cousin Fred, her husband, was real North Carolina man, who ran a cement block plant. It, was called Caststone, and claimed to be better than Terra Cotta. Since my marriage I've had to deny that, (Sally's father ran a terra cotta factory at one time.) Cousin Catherine took us up to Blowing Rock to see the Smokies, which was great. The westerly wind coming up over the rook created a draft that blew anything we threw over right back in our faces. We hadn't started our Thanksgiving trips as yet, but we did go to South Orange, Maplewood and Brooklyn in some spring breaks. An incident on our North Carolina Trip, We went down through the Shenandoah Valley. We first stopped at the "Endless Caverns" and took the tour. We spent the night at a crummy hotel in Danville, VA. All they had were two double beds. So we three boys shared one bed. The unfamiliar crowding, plus the railroad yards nearby shoving freight cars around with steam locomotives, made for a not too restful night.

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