In the 1970s my brother and I would watch science fiction reruns on VHF T.V. and the adventures of Saturday Afternoons included reliving those we observed in monochrome. Flash Gordon, Buck Rogers and a slough of guys in rubber suits. Space travel was still new and every time an astronaut was shot into space the world held it’s breath. For two brothers growing up in rural Appalachia virtual reality required a large empty box, some crayons and bits of whatever they could find. Was the moon really made of green cheese? There’s only one way to find out.
The two boys worked diligently. Because they were brothers they didn’t need to speak much. Each knew instinctively what the other needed. A piece of tape here and crayon there. Flashlights rested in cardboard holsters on their hips. If the enemies attack before they were done they would need their laser swords close at a hand. The last meteor shower had done a lot of damage to the ship. Repairs took a lot of time but doing it right was worth the effort. Being the better mathematician, the younger brother picked up a stick and double checked his calculations in the dirt. “I think we’re ready.” He said as the boys stepped back and admired their handiwork. The refrigerator box had everything a good spaceship needs. Empty two liter bottles for rocket boosters. Empty toilet paper tubes for death rays. And flexible hoses they found in the shed for miscellaneous systems. They were really ready for a moon landing. Fortunately, they were able to record some space sounds by placing a cassette tape recorder next to T.V. This would allow for more realistic experience. The young astronauts entered into the cardboard ship and took their places at the control panel. The older brother pushed play on the recorder. Three…Two…One.. We have liftoff!
The adventure never ends as long as you believe.