Before the microchip age, we geezers were often left with only our imaginations for entertainment. Oh, we found things lying around us to help, but we could entertain ourselves without some gadget glued to our ear.
That leads me to a story about using imagination in a creative way. The father of two guys my buddy and I knew owned the largest second-hand store in Southern Oregon. When he tossed out an old refrigerator for scrap, we scavenged the compressor, powered it with an old lawnmower motor we found, attached a 100-foot garden hose and made a diving suit. We did have to borrow a cutting torch, a 5-gallon bucket, and some various WWII surplus items to complete our design. But, in a single afternoon, we had the compressor jetting air down into the top of the bucket which had been cut to fit over a boy’s shoulders, held on by rubber straps, and fitted with a Plexiglas plate for visibility.
When we went to the river to test our invention, I figured my buddy would wade out and do some preliminary testing in seven feet of water. We had planned for the air pressure from the compressor to fill the entire bucket with air, pushing the water level down to the diver’s neck, so he could breathe. But wearing an old ammunition belt filled with lead weights, my friend walked out onto a dam and jumped into 25 feet of water.
I dove in after him to see how he was faring. When I swam close and peered through the Plexiglas window, the water level was right at his eyebrows. He tilted his head back, but couldn't get his nostrils or mouth above the water line. Our design had a few little problems.
To draw this story to some satisfactory end, he didn't drown. He used his imagination. We both survived our childhood and, well into geezerhood, we’re both still doing brain-straining work.
If you need a little more incentive to use your imagination, try listening to this oldie song on YouTube, called Imagination. It’s done by the Quotations. I think Paul Simon had the same idea in mind when he wrote Kodachrome.
H. L. Wegley served in the USAF as an Intelligence Analyst and a Weather Officer. He is a Meteorologist who worked as a Research Scientist in Atmospheric Physics. After earning an MS in Computer Science, he worked more than two decades at Boeing before retiring in the Seattle area, where he and his wife of 47 years enjoy small-group ministry, their seven grandchildren, and where he pursues his love of writing. He is a published author with 8 books under his belt.