Last night, something absolutely scary and amazing happened.
I sat in my living room, turned on my RADIO (well, maybe I was live streaming the radio station through the internet), sat back and listened to Orson Welles present the radio adaptation of “War of the Worlds” from the famous Mercury Theater in 1938.
There is certainly something to be said about LISTENING to something on the radio in your living room. You pay VERY close attention to what is being said…especially when the announcer is giving you first hand accounts of an alien invasion…
One portion of the broadcast really caught my attention though:
…Thank you, Professor Pierson. Ladies and gentlemen, here is a bulletin from Trenton. It is a brief statement informing us that the charred body of Carl Phillips has been identified in a Trenton hospital. Now here’s another bulletin from Washington, D.C. Office of the director of the National Red Cross reports ten units of Red Cross emergency workers have been assigned to the headquarters of the state militia stationed outside Grovers Mill, New Jersey. Here’s a bulletin from state police, Princeton Junction: The fires at Grovers Mill and vicinity are now under control. Scouts report all quiet in the pit, and no sign of life appearing from the mouth of the cylinder . . .
This made me think about the power of the Red Cross and what we do and what we have done. Even in 1938, during a radio broadcast that scared the bejeezers out of people across the country, Orson Welles knew that the American Red Cross would be there to help in the Nation’s darkest hours. That certainly makes you stop and think about the history of this organization and everything we’ve responded to since 1938 (doing this might make your brain spin, I wouldn’t recommend it)
Then, now, and in the future…even if it seems scary and like the world is about to end, we’ll be there…although I’m now looking for information on “alien invasion preparedness” – if you have any pointers, let us know!
And as you’re out and about tonight, remember…
That grinning, glowing, globular invader of your living room is an inhabitant of the pumpkin patch, and if your doorbell rings and nobody’s there, that was no Martian. . .it’s Hallowe’en.
Have a safe and happy Halloween!