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Opinion: Missing my friends

In last week’s column, I wrote about the never-ending round of questions associated with the word why. Another question I find myself asking starts out, is it just me or do you… ?

Every morning I find my self looking at the magic black box sitting on my kitchen counter and thinking, is it just me or does anyone else look at their microwave oven and think it is a great coffee warmer and popcorn popper? That really is how I view it.

I know some people actually cook with theirs, but, when you nuke something in the microwave, the food gets hot but it’s not really cooked. But for popping corn and reheating coffee, it works out especially well.

When the microwave first gained popularity in the late 1970’s, appliance stores held seminars to teach why this indispensable kitchen gadget should be in every home. Held in the Women’s World building at the Madera Fairgrounds representatives introduced this wave of the future, pun intended.

At the time, I viewed it much like I did home computers when they first debuted, as an expensive toy I could live without. At that time, the microwave ovens cost between $300 and $500.

The one I have cost under $100 and is the last appliance we bought from Massetti Appliance before Jim Massetti retired.

When I first got it, a friend scolded me, saying if I had gone to the big blue box store, I could have purchased the same oven and it would have been about $30 cheaper. I told her I would spend twice that much to stay out of the big box store. I thought it was hilarious and couldn’t wait to share the story with Joan and Jim Massetti.

I am not alone when I say I miss Massetti Appliance. My entire life — first at Radio TV Hospital, and then at Massetti Brothers Appliance — they were my go-to stores for household machines. I remember when I was a little girl and I heard Radio TV Hospital, my imagination envisioned a store filled with little beds containing radios and televisions waiting to be repaired or sold. The first time my parents took me into the store, I admit disappointment because there were no little hospital beds.

They always carried the latest models of must have household goods. More importantly, they serviced and repaired what they sold.

My late mother-in-law, Ann Nix, was from the school of thought that laundry was done only on days when the sunshine could be utilized to hang the wet clothes on the line. She practiced this except in the dead of winter when wasting electricity was deemed unavoidable.

She had a matching washer and dryer, and preferred her clothes had the unmistakable scent of line-dried air. She also never used fabric softener. She didn’t know that it not only softens the laundry, but neutralizes the detergent used.

One day, not long after I joined the family, her dryer quit doing its job. The clothes tumbled around, but the machine didn’t get warm, much less hot.

I called Massetti Brothers and explained the problem to Jim. He asked if I had emptied the lint remover. My response was “lint remover?” He said to try that and if it didn’t fix the problem to call back and schedule a service call.

My husband and in-laws were near fanatical when it comes to saving the instructions of electronics. Fred still is. We have instructions for things we no longer own.

I went to the file and read where the lint trap was located. On this model, it was underneath the dryer and looked like a window screen.

When I pulled it out, I discovered what I swear was a four-inch deep layer of dryer lint. Apparently, it had not been cleaned since the machine was purchased. No wonder it took so long to dry a load of clothes.

Looking at the lint, it was a square the size of a dryer. I had never seen so much dryer lint in one place. It seemed a shame it couldn’t be used for a project of some sort.

Well, removing the lint seemed to have fixed the problem and I was able fix something the “men” in the family couldn’t.

My father would have used it in rabbit hutches to line the boxes used for beds. But he no longer raised rabbits so that wasn’t an option. Short of stuffing a pillow I couldn’t think of any use for it and threw it away.

While I wish the Massetti family blessings on their well-earned retirement, I miss my go-to guys when I need help.

Long days and pleasant nights, have a great weekend.

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Readers may contact Tami Jo Nix by emailing or following @TamiJoNix on Twitter.


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