DISTANT VISIONS

A continuation of Pemberly Farnsworth’s story:

 

 

After Phil (Philo T. Farnsworth) explained to me his concept for transmitting moving pictures without any moving parts, I was amazed. Although pictures were being transmitted by GE and RCA during 1927 by using spinning discs; that mechanical methodology was severely limited. Phil dreamed up his electronic television in 1920 at the age of fourteen while walking behind a team of horses, disking a field. And it would, as we shall see, totally transform this new technology. I became uneasy to think my world of solid objects, were actually made up of atoms whose nuclei were surrounded by dancing electrons.

I listened wide-eyed to Phil’s story. I had always sensed a deeper side to him than the fun-loving young man that I knew, but was hardly prepared for this sort of technical information. Seeing the sincerity and honesty shining from those blue eyes, how could anyone doubt him? Had he told me he could fly to the moon I would have believed he would find a way. Strangely enough on September 7, 1927, at the age of 21, Phil made the first modern electronic television transmission. And by 1969 most of the world viewed mankind’s first step on the moon via Phil’s “Image Dissector Tube” which was basically the same as the one he used in 1927…

…By now several hours had passed since Phil had promised he would be right back. My loneliness was beginning to turn into worry, and my mind filled with thoughts of a sadder time…

…On Phil’s weekend visits he always took time to sit and visit with my mother, whose health was failing rapidly. They became very fond of each other. He often brought his violin over, and he always asked if there were any pieces she would like to hear. Her favorite was the Mormon hymn “Oh My Father.” On Phil’s last visit, suspecting time was running out for Mama, he told her he intended to marry and take care of me. Later that evening I went in to sit with Mama. She was so frail that her hands were almost transparent. My heart shriveled within me to see her like this. She reached for my hand and taking her hand in mine, I bent and kissed her pale forehead. It felt cold and clammy but she smiled her most brave and courageous smile.

She said, “Phil told me he was going to marry and take care of you.”

“Yes, Mama, I am in love with him, but he hadn’t given me any idea that he wanted us to be more than good friends until last Christmas. He thought it best not to tell anyone, because we had a few years of education to finish before we could think of getting married. I’m glad he told you.”

“I’m very happy for you, dear. Phil is such a fine young man, and you’ll make him a wonderful wife.”

The next morning, January 18, 1926, my mother passed from this world. We were all huddled together in the kitchen, too numb and grief-stricken to talk, but drawing some measure of comfort in being together. We had always been  a close-knit and loving family. Daddy had shut himself in with Mama, completely shattered and heartbroken. She had been his love and inspiration all through their life together. Her shining light that had guided us all, now gone, left us adrift. Pulling myself together, with heavy feet I went next door and telephoned Phil and Cliff with the devastating news. They took the next train to Provo. Cliff sought the comfort of the family, and with the memory of the loss of his father fresh in his mind, Phil knew how much I needed him.

To be continued.

The Waynedale News Staff

The Waynedale News Staff

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