Daddy would buy anything sold door to door. He probably would have bought a helicopter had a salesman shown up and offered one on a no-money-down, three-year-payment plan. He bought waterless cookware. It was supposed to cut cooking time, save money and increase Mother’s effiency. He was all for anything that made Mother more organized. I guess it never occurred to him a string of babies and unending farm and house work might be a factor.
When the vacuum salesman came around, Daddy didn’t feel he could afford the new model, so he bargained for the used model the salesman had taken in trade on his rounds that morning. The purchase probably saved the guy a trip to the dump. The salesman jimmied with it enough to get it running that day, but it never started again. I don’t believe that helped Mother’s organization or her attitude a bit. The good news was, the salesman took five dollars cash, and Mother was to send payments afterwards. The good news was, Mother never sent a payment, which meant the guy only beat them out of five bucks.
We also had the only house distinguished by lightning rods on the roof. The theory was, the lightning would strike the rod, rather than the roof. The charge was to follow a metal cable downward, where it would be grounded. The lightning rods might have been an the answer to a prayer had Daddy not bought a remote-controlled television antenna which was probably twenty feet taller than the model that came with the TV from the next guy who knocked on the door. He enjoyed trying to find the best reception for a month or two until the antenna was struck by lightening. The charge ran down the wire, melted a hole in metal TV case and fried the vacuum tubes. Sadly, it also blew out the works in the beautiful ship lamp that came with the TV and melted its lovely red cellophane windows. I was kind of glad when the antenna motor blew out since Daddy spent a lot of time adjusting it, limiting our viewing pleasure. We were frequently sent outdoors a lot to let him know if it was moving while he adjusted. I never could tell when it moved, so I just gave random answers. I don’t know why it gave him so much trouble.
to be continued