by Ski Ingram

When I was about 10 years old (1960), I wanted my own bedroom.  We lived in a two-bedroom house at 2610 Manhattan Beach Blvd, Redondo Beach, California.  I shared a bedroom with my teenaged sister Sherry, and my little brother, Doug.  Doug and I slept in a double bed, not fun at all. It wasn’t the best of circumstances, but we were poor and that was the best my parents could do.

I talked my father into clearing out some space in the garage where I could put a twin bed and make it my bedroom.  The garage was full of all kinds of “garage stuff.”  There was stuff hanging from the rafters and the garage walls.  There was stuff stacked up against two of the walls. My dad had hung up a tarp to separate the area where my mother’s washing machine was from my bedroom area.  He also sealed up the bottom of the large garage door to keep some of the cold air out, but it didn’t do much good.

After clearing out the space for my bed, a dresser, and a small table on which to put a lamp, I was set, I had my own room. There was a wall that separated the garage from the house’s living room. The head of my bed was against that wall.  If I was really quiet, I could hear the TV playing in the living room. I loved sleeping out in that “room.” Every night I’d go off to my room and listen to KNX radio on my crystal radio set through an earpiece as it had no speaker.

I don’t know how a crystal radio works, but mine only picked up one radio station, KNX.  KNX was a 50,000-watt station that was only a few miles or so from where I lived.  It had a very large radio tower that could be seen from miles around.  The station was a news station with a few talk shows during the evening hours. One of the DJ’s was Michael Jackson, a guy who said he was from South Afrika unit that became unpopular when the world found out about apartheid. After that he claimed to be from England.

When I said Michael Jackson had a talk show, that wasn’t quite true.  It was more of a call-in show.  Jackson would introduce a local topic by talking about it for a few minutes and then he would open the phone lines.  People would call into the show and voice their own opinions on the topic.  Jackson was not allowed to respond to the callers, no matter how stupid their opinion may be. It was very frustrating for me at times.  Even though I was only 10 years old.  I had my own opinion but wasn’t able to call in and voice it.  I must admit that I didn’t always know what they were talking about.

One night I woke up in the middle of the night and had the feeling that someone or something had taken my bed and turned it around so that my feet were near the living room wall and my head was where my feet were supposed to be. I knew my fear was unreasonable, that no one or nothing had entered my little sanctuary and turned my bed around, but for whatever reason I was too scared to move.

That was the first time I was really scared in my young life.  I laid there for hours afraid to move a muscle.  I knew that I was being silly and all I had to do was reach up behind me and touch the wall that should be behind my head, but I was too afraid to do so.

As I laid in bed, I began to see all kinds of scary things in the garage that were made by the shadows from what little light was coming into the garage.  The items that were hanging from the wall and the rafters began to look like monsters, which made me even more afraid.

I don’t remember how long I lay there, but I eventually fell back to sleep after saying a little prayer and asking Heavenly Father to keep me safe. I woke up that morning, and vowed never to be that scared again, and I never have been. The next night I went right back into my bedroom and slept like a baby, falling to sleep listening to KNX radio of my crystal set.

The Apostle Paul declared, “God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”  I know that the Lord put each one of us on earth to learn.  To learn the difference between what is good and what is evil.  When we learn that lesson and then choose good over evil, we are ready to live with God again.

We don’t have to learn this lesson on our own.  He has given us plenty of help, plenty of examples of great men and women to help us learn.

A few years later my dad came home with a camper that had been on the back of a flat-bed-truck. It was about ten feet by ten feet square. It had a real door and three windows.  One window in the door and one on opposite walls.  My dad put it in the backyard with an extension cord running from my sister’s bedroom to my new bedroom.  As you can imagine, I was in heaven. My dad put a bunk bed, a dresser, and a small table and chair inside. 

For the first time in two years, I was able to go to bed in my own room.  I no longer had to share my room with my mother’s washing machine and everything in the garage.  I had a door and windows to look out of.  I had a bunk bed, so I could have friends sleep over night.  I could lock my door and keep my little brother out. Yes, I was in heaven.

I slept in that room until I was 14 years old when we moved to a house up the street about three blocks from Gibson Place.

As remembered by Ski Ingram January 2019