The Power Of Touch


The power of touch is such that a person will recognize the touch of one’s mate. In the many years I’ve pondered this emotion I’ve never concluded how I can tell the difference between the hand of my wife or one of my daughters. Is it the heat or is the pressure? The answer is elusive.

But everyone knows the difference between a sincere handshake and that of one who simply going through the motions.

During the years of my long life I’ve been associated with a number of sightless people, male and female. In nearly every case their hands have become their “eyes”.

My mother had a friend, a Mrs. England, who was a school teacher until she lost her sight for circumstances I don’t recall. In spite of this handicap she lived alone, and seemed to function rather well. Of course, her son did things for her that simplified her daily routine.

Mrs. England’s home was  in a rural setting which meant that her mailbox was some distance from her front door. Her son strung a length of manila rope from her front door to the box. He glued short pieces of toothpicks to her microwave – one for one minute, two for two minutes.

She told me she was so bitter about loosing her site that she refused to learn Braille when it was offered. Therefore she was not proficient with reading Braille. However, she had a metal device that clamped to a sheet of paper. By using a device similar to a thumb tack she was able to correspond with others sharing her handicap.

It was during the time I knew Mrs. England that I made a Morse code contact with a blind ham in another state. This radio operator was so proficient at holding up her end of the conversation (QSO) that I didn’t realize she was handicapped until I was ready to send her a QSL Card, proof that we had chatted. I realized a run-of-the-mill card would be of little use to her. Before sending it off I paid Mrs. England a visit.

She showed me how to use her Braille writing device and I embossed my QSO Card with my call sign as well as the blind lady’s before posting it.

A few weeks passed and we met on the airwaves.

HOW DID YOU DO THAT? she said to me in Morse.

The power of touch had served her to wellI.

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