There is something to be said about taking refuge in the privacy of one’s own bedroom at the hour when you were told to go to sleep when you were a child by your parents. For myself, as a kid I would look forward to one thing if I did indeed have to go to bed; I welcomed my solitude with an ally that I continue to use to this day; my trusty rotating fan.
In some ages of childhood we all have a dispute with the pending “time to go to bed” clause often espoused in parenthood, since we think that we want to stay up longer than directed by our parents. I can guarantee that in the sixties, I also succumbed to this line of thought. But fortunately for me, at times I had a good reason to go to my room if I had to go to bed when it was time. I remember having a metal rotating fan that I would place in the center of my room on a chair, having it set on medium to full speed as it would rotate just before I would go to bed. It was an oscillating fan made by one of those former giant American company’s that actually made things to last. Durable heavy cast metal, and a sound that would put me to sleep for the nights that I had it as a companion to my quiescent states.
Its use was not for the effect to displace the temperature of a small bedroom I happen to be in, but more for the sound qualities that I continue to take asylum in to this day.
The sound alone would often filter into my dreams as I were maybe the captain of an aircraft, or that aeroplane’s would become part of my dreams due to the sound of the fan in my room, rotating from side to side as the hum from the motor would squelch any exterior distractions. The kind of sound I imagine a squad of planes would sound like in unison, flying high up in the sky. Maybe a single engine passenger airplane taking to the sky’s is a sound that may have been envisioned.
In that day the sound of a propeller driven aircraft was in frequent use and easily recognized, especially from a generation of kids used to watching WW2 movies.
As a kid, my room was the very first bedroom in the house, and subsequently closest to the living room where my dad would watch the television set, and often at night. I do not know if I used the fan to drown out the noise from the programs being watched, and my parents talking, or if I just liked the feel and sound of that old oscillating fan. One thing for sure is that it has a mesmerizing effect on me even to this day.
Maybe a reason that I love the sound of the fan, let alone the feel of the breeze it created, but that it covered up the noisy background of a small American home when I did have to go to sleep. Was it a difficulty for me when I was instructed to go to bed, and all you could do is hear the loud background noise from the television set? Whether it be a discourtesy for a child my age to go to sleep with or not, I am drawn to those memories as I reflect on the pleasant outcomes. Whatever the reason for my fascination with a rotating fan, it travels back to that time when I truly enjoyed it’s phenomenon. It is deeply embedded into my consciousness.