In the early 1960’s, my sister’s boyfriend gave me a reel-to-reel tape player. It was an older one but it worked fine and, at age 13, it felt like a real treasure. I lived in a rural area with few other kids around so I was often bored, looking for something to do. One summer day, walking by myself down one of the narrow, country roads, I saw that someone had taken a reel of audio tape and had apparently thrown it out of their car window. The tape was completely unraveled and tangled in the weeds and tall grass alongside the road. Having nothing better to do, I went home, got an empty reel and returned to where the tape was and started to carefully wind it onto the reel. I finally finished and hurried home to play it. After all, wouldn’t it make sense that a spy or someone like that would throw a tape out of a car window? I turned on the tape. “…the battle which took place tonight…” there was a battle? “… has ended in one of the most startling defeats ever suffered by any army in modern times; seven thousand men armed with rifles and machine guns pitted against a single fighting machine of the invaders…” The Army was fighting a machine? “One hundred and twenty known survivors. The rest strewn over the battle area from Grovers Mill to Plainsboro, crushed and trampled to death under the metal feet of the monster, or burned to cinders by its heat ray. The monster is now in control of the middle section of New Jersey and has effectively cut the state through its center. Communication lines are down from Pennsylvania to the Atlantic Ocean..." What? I live in Connecticut! "Railroad tracks are torn and service from New York to Philadelphia discontinued…” What the heck!? “… except routing some of the trains through Allentown and Phoenixville. Highways to the north, south, and west are clogged with frantic human traffic. Police and army reserves are unable to control…” O.K., that was enough. I ran to my mother and started telling her about this amazing tape I found that had probably belonged to a spy and the Army was defeated and we should call the government or something and… She came over to listen to the tape. Within moments she was smiling broadly and telling me about an old made-for-radio play called “War of the Worlds.”

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