Photo: Heidi Reed

Photo: Heidi Reed

“I thought I was supposed to grow up to do

I still remember the smell of the soldering wire that my dad and I used to assemble this transistor radio. I was 11 and struggling to understand my dad, since he didn’t have a “normal” dad job, like construction or accounting. He was a “random access memory designer” and his technological world was a mystery to me. But he fixed TVs and radios at his workbench, and I was curious and good at taking things apart, and we starting doing it together. I remember feeling uneasy about that since I thought I was supposed to grow up to do girly things. I thought making the radio might turn me into more of a boy than a girl, and that scared me. All these years later, when I look at the radio, I think of the electronic components that eventually let me into my father’s world. When I want to reconnect to that slow-motion time before life got even more complicated, I turn it on and listen.

Heidi Reed

Creative services manager, global health nonprofit
Pawtucket, RI

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