Every once in a while an event comes along that is like stepping through the door of the Way-Back Machine. For those of you not old enough to remember it, the Way-Back Machine was designed by none other than Mr. Peabody and “his boy Sherman.” A few nights ago, I had an ‘a-ha’ kind of moment and for someone whose memory has all the spark of a Desoto parked all night with the interior light on, ‘a-ha’ moments can be few and far between. This one was sparked by a voice, completely memorable. It was the voice of Edward Everett Brady. He was playing straight man to Fred Astaire in the 1934 classic, “The Gay Divorcee.” His voice, though, was memorable to me from the 1960’s and early 70’s “Fractured Fairy Tales” cartoons’ narrator nightly on the Rocky and Bullwinkle Show along with Mr. Peabody and his boy Sherman.
A Trip into the Past (Mr. Peabody is the dog with glasses)
God’s Word tells us that it is appointed unto men once to die. About nineteen hours ago, it was my Uncle Vernon’s appointed time and he is now enjoying the presence of his Lord and Savior; not to mention so many friends and family, including my parents. That time, around Vernon’s bed, with his family, my family, looking into his face was like walking through a time portal. A flood of memories have poured across my mind from early dawn this morning and throughout the day. Vernon’s daughter, my cousin was almost exactly my age. She had no siblings so I became my cousin’s ‘cousin-brother’ and tagged along on all kinds of vacations, trips to campgrounds and amusement parks. Vernon was with me as I caught my very first fish and he instilled in me a love for amateur radio that continues to this day. But his legacy was much more than a fish and a radio license.
God’s Word tells us that we are to “Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time. Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.” I know few men who were more ready to reach out a hand to those who needed his help. His greatest love in amateur radio was to run ‘phone patch’ traffic for military personnel aboard ships and missionaries in the far reaches of the world so that they could talk to someone at home. (This was long before the days of satellite communication and cellular phones.) He fulfilled so many volunteer roles that I would exhaust the space to mention them. He ‘redeemed the time.’ How much time do we have? When my uncle awoke on Sunday morning he perhaps had no idea that it would be his last day on earth. I say perhaps because certain events may lead us to conclude that he had something of a premonition that he would soon ‘slip the surly bonds of earth’ (Vernon was an airplane navigator during the war and I believe that the poem “High Flight” by John G. Magee, Jr. may have been a favorite of his.)
It was a good day in the time machine and I imagine in the days ahead I’ll be back in it again. It has a great many advantages, the Way-Back Machine. Perhaps the best is the reminder for us to ‘redeem the time.’
The Holy Bible : King James Version. 1995 (Electronic edition of the 1769 edition of the 1611 Authorized Version.) Logos Research Systems, Inc.: Oak Harbor, WA Colossians 4:5