By J.R. Klassen – Regina, Sask.
I remember old radios and lightning storms. In the late 1940s in my hometown of Aberdeen, Sask., about 25 miles northeast of Saskatoon, it was a hot summer’s day and the annual Sports Day was in progress.
Among the games and entertainment were bicycle races for the kids. My friend, Allen Neufeld, and I entered one of the races.
When we started the races, we noticed a huge thunderstorm was fast approaching. We finished the race and collected our prizes. It was obvious the storm would hit at any moment so we quickly pedalled our bikes to my home.
Father had always taught us that if a thunderstorm came, we were to make sure that the outside antenna was disconnected from the radio, so that was what I did. The thunderstorm hit with lots of rain and lightning. We just kind of hung out.
When it appeared the storm had passed, I glanced out the window and saw the very edge of the cloud was over us so I decided to hook up the radio to listen to some music. I no sooner touched to wires together and the lightning hit!
Well, what a mess! The radio went flying across the room. The old easy chair I had my foot propped on fell apart at every joint. The noise was absolutely tremendous.
I ran to the bedroom and laid down on the bed because I was sure I was about to die. A short time later Allen came into the bedroom and started talking to me and I realized I was still on this earth.
Ugliest shade of black and blue
I began to check myself out and other than a noise in my ears that sounded like a dozen church bells, I appeared to be all right, however, the big toe on my left foot was the ugliest shade of black and blue I have ever seen. Thank heavens for the ground wire which had absorbed the bulk of the energy.
The three-foot-by-three-foot window where the wire entered the house was smashed to little pieces and there was a huge black scar down the side of the house.
Ever since then, I have had a great respect for lightning – although I still like to watch a good storm.
By the way, the radio didn’t have a scratch on it and served us for many years after.