“It’s Going to Blow Up!”………#21 (the 50’s)

1928 GE Frig – replacing the icebox

Would he miss the Ice Box, the Young Boy thought  “Not”.   Emptying the water pan underneath the ice box was part of life.   He was assigned that charge when it was discovered he could shoulder the partial melting remains of a 50lb. chunk of ice, purging the watery remnants out the dining room french doors and off the Shone Ave side porch,    No more sign rituals either,  the act of correctly positioning a sign in the living room window so the 50lb.  number was in the up position,  rather than 25, 75, 100 or the backside turned over reading No Ice.   No more ice man with his leather sheath and ice tongs and no more watching him chisel and reduce the larger blocks of ice to lesser ones,  the fragments left for eager young hands to grasp from the back of the truck.   The Lad witnessing the passing of an era.

transported with ice tongs

It’s place in the window no longer a home

Mike could tell from its appearance that the new addition in reality was old.  It had an emblem above its  door,  displaying a familiar name, General Electric.   A refrigerator was a copious step forward considering the prevailing history of an ice box.   Observing it more closely,  it was very similar to its predecessor,  performing the same function,  but without using a dissipating cooling source.  The refrigeration mechanism was located on the  top and appeared to be a motor encircled with tubing.   The only down side that Mike could see, was that it didn’t make ice and there was no longer a block of ice available for chipping.   The boy knew very little about refrigeration except that recently George Chamberlain, a neighbor who lived behind them had a refrigerator explode,  damaging the kitchen and partially moving the house off  its foundation.  It was Mike’s understanding that  George’s refrigerator was an absorption ammonia gas unit and that had something to do with it.

The school day completed, the Young Man proceeding home from Burckhalter Elementary and upon entering the house discovered his Mother scurrying about moving furniture from the dining room that adjoined the kitchen toward the front of the house, asking  what was going on and why the moving of furniture.  Her reply was,  “It’s going to blow up”,  Mike noticing that his mother was quite upset, asking for explanation.  She immediately began explaining in hurried tones that the refrigerator was making a hissing sound and she was afraid that it was going to blow up, with a reference to the neighbors refrigerator.  Mike ‘s first inclination was to investigate, with his Mother in tow, they entered the kitchen.  She pointed to the top of their recently acquired refrigerator where the large coils were located exclaiming that the noise was come from there. He asked if she had turned it off and she replied that it was off and unplugged.   He politely asked her to step out of the room so he could look and listen for the sound of the impending disaster.   With the room quiet he waited, at first nothing but silence and then a unmistaken hissing sound.

A smug Young Man calling his Mother to return to the kitchen  announcing that he had found the source of the noise and it was not coming from the refrigerator.  Prior to the family acquiring the refrigerator, Mike having opened a mason jar of Grandpa  Marvin’s canned cherries, placing the leftovers  in a newly acquired Tupperware juice container and instead of placing it inside the icebox  he placed the container in the cupboard above the icebox.  The newly acquired refrigerator having replaced the icebox beneath the cupboard,  The youth surmising,  because the refrigerator motor gave off an insurmountable amount of heat whereas the icebox gave off none,  causing the Tupperware enclosed container to heat, the cherries to ferment and the carbon dioxide gas from the fermentation was lifting the container  lid and escaping with a hissing sound.

The Culprit

Mike reasoned that in essence his Mother acted in accordance with her supposition being astute in her vivacity of the circumstances involving the refrigidaire*  (Mike’s mom having a habit of assigning brand names to products, thus all refrigerators were known as refrigidaire’s) and the event also confirmed that Grandpa’s cherries will ferment.


One Response to ““It’s Going to Blow Up!”………#21 (the 50’s)”

  1. Nancy Says:

    You are doing a wonderful job and I am enjoying every bit of it. It does bring back memories.

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