Was the clock's time just up?
Here's a strange synchronicity. Recently, through facebook I made contact with an old elementary school classmate. We lived on the same street in Virginia and sometimes walked to school together. In 1968, her dad was kind enough to guide her brother and me to sell tickets door-to-door for the Boy Scout Exposition. At $1 apiece, I hawked over 100 tickets, for which the Exposition leaders gave me some prizes. The award I remember most was a state-of-the-art clock radio, by which I could set to wake me up with loud music. I thought this was cool.
In the pre-digital era, this clock had a relatively simple design: Every minute a little number would physically flip down, until the top of the hour, when the hour’s column flipped over. This radio clock woke me up diligently for 25 years, for paper routes, school and work, until January 1993 when it went haywire, the week before I left Virginia to move to Idaho. I tried fiddling with it for a few days, but never could figure out what could make a clock designed that way, want to run backwards.
Finally,I gave up and threw the clock radio away. I owned better radios and if this clock didn’t work, the device was essentially useless. Plus I needed to pare down on possessions for the move.
For me, the strange behavior of that clock was a metaphor marking the end of my Virginia years.
Now sixteen years later, after reading books like Michael Talbot’s Holographic Universe, I wonder if the behavior of the clock was sparked by some unusually high level of electromagnetic energy, somehow related to the excitement of my Idaho move.
Or was its time just up?