Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Turn the Radio On

Our radio wave reception at school was somewhat unique.

Out in the middle of the Yakama Indian Reservation, coverage - by air waves, cell towers, internet, satellite, television, radio - anything that travels invisibly through the air - was intermittent and many times non-existent.

But sometimes, when the stars, clouds, wind, sun, moon, weeds, tall trees, and traveling motorists were all in alignment, we could enjoy music and making calls on our cell phones.

It didn't happen often, but when it did, it was a "Hallelujah!" day.

I have fond music memories from walking down the hallway. When the invisible wires, waves, and receptions were all in place, I could often hear five radio stations going at once. Some would be on the same fuzzy station, but there were always at least two different channels, fraught with varying degrees of static.

If I timed it right, I could walk out of my room, singing with whatever song was playing on my station. Humming along to the music in my head, I would walk into the continuation of the same song, playing on a different device. Or I would jump into the middle of a new song and adjust my mental channel to play that song. This continued for each room I passed or walked into.

If, occasionally, I could not get reception in my room, there was usually at least one other person who could receive signals, and therefore, music.

Long-distance enjoyment and singing were side effects of this phenomenon. Harmony, debatable in its quality at times due to the interference of walls and time lag, was often produced. But all the more beautiful and interesting, right?

It was like visiting a music practice studio where little cubicles were filled with a musician or soloist, each performing a different song or musical piece. Only in the hallway could you enjoy the variety and choose one or the other to join in with and hum along.

I totally loved the fluctuating musical performances. We became quite adept at filling in the blanks caused by our placement in the reception grid.

Good reception is overrated. Any reception is awesome.

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