Cleaning up the garage the other day, I came across a stack of outdated items that I had almost forgotten about. There were two VHS players, still both functional but no longer used because everything is now blu-ray or DVD. I didn't want to throw them away, but there was no use for them anymore except maybe in the realm of educational toys.
I can remember growing up the fun we had taking things apart. We would get an old radio and begin dismantling it piece by piece. In my days, those things were big and clunky, mostly composed of many vacuum tubes that looked so intriguing. Making up science-fiction stories about the "rays" that were coming off of these strange inventions could take us to the furthest reaches of the universe, which at that time only included our galaxy. Small copper wires unwrapped from the electromagnets in the plastic or wood cases could be strung out between dials to form a "force field" where unusual things happened.
I called my Dad over to see our playhouse equipped with the strands of wire taken from the radio. To go along with my imagination, he said that he could feel the heat radiating from them as he stretched out his hand close by. From there, I moved to the lofty perch of 10 feet above ground in our pecan tree where I could take a seat in my "airplane" - where three branches provided a seat and pedals for the rudder controls.
Taking the radio down to its inner parts there was usually a magnet concealed in the inner wrapping of wires. This weird lodestone had properties that are still unexplained by modern science. It provided us with tricks of fascination as we tested different metals with its mysterious force.
Putting in mind all the good memories from my youth I decided not to toss out the VHS player but instead give it to my youngest grandson to tear up and take apart at his leisure. Who knows what great ideas he might get as he unravels the unknown inside the metal case?