Posted by: davidbowerkingwood | June 22, 2012

The Korean War Intervenes, by David Bower

The Korean War Intervenes

The later events described in my last blog were taking place during the Korean War and unknown to me my number was about to come up for the draft. In retrospect I still have a hard time understanding how that came about. I was married, in college, in the Naval Reserve and a Naval Officer Candidate; how was it under those circumstances I could get drafted? That is just one of the mysteries of life to which I’ll never find the answer; my draft notice came in and I was shocked by it.

The first thing I did was contact the commander of my Naval Reserve unit and asked him what could be done. He told me once I had the draft notice there was nothing he could do; I had one choice I could make and that would be volunteering for active duty in the USN and that way I could avoid going into the Army or the Air Force. Since I was already a non-commissioned officer in the Navy I chose active duty in the Navy and spent the next two years on board ship. Enough of that sad phase.

A Civilian Again

Things moved rapidly in the field of high fidelity so by the time I was discharged from the USN progress had been made in the marketing of sound equipment. Somewhere along the line of my earlier equipment searches I had met a couple in Ft. Worth who owned a TV repair shop. By the time I got out of the Navy their business had shifted from TV repair to hi-fi sales and service.

They had a nice store and I liked to spend as much of my spare time there as I could listening to all of that great equipment they had for sale. I still had my first system which I really enjoyed and appreciated but I continued to read everything I could get my hands on and became fairly knowledgeable about high fidelity equipment.

Much to my surprise they offered me a sales job selling the equipment about which I was so enthusiastic. That turned out to be a match made in heaven; I had a ball being around the equipment and my enthusiasm and knowledge of the equipment helped turn me into their ace salesman.

One of the biggest differences between component high fidelity equipment and the standard Magnavox open back type console that had been the norm was the extended bass response offered by component high fidelity.

I Discover the Pipe Organ

In order to demonstrate that difference most effectively the audio industry started utilizing recorded pipe organ music to demonstrate the low base response their equipment offered to the buyer. As a result of that process I was being strongly influenced regarding pipe organ music; the pipe organ had the most extended bass range of any instrument and quickly became a favorite among “high fidelity” audio hobbyists to display the frequency response of their subwoofers.

In the process of displaying my subwoofer and hearing other enthusiasts display their subwoofers I actually fell in love with the instrument and its music. When I finally designed my dream system I made sure it could reproduce the full range of the pipe organ.

Fortunately for me I met a remarkable and patient man who was professor of pipe organ at TCU. Amazingly he took me under his wing and went out of his way to communicate his enthusiasm for the pipe organ to me. It worked to perfection because that enthusiasm has never gone away. It is my privilege to still call him my friend.

Later when we moved from Ft. Worth back to Houston, I easily found a job selling high fidelity equipment at a new hi-fi store in Houston and held that job until I graduated from the University of Houston.

It was ironic that after I graduated and started teaching full time in the Houston Public Schools that I had to take a pay cut to be a teacher; I was actually making more money selling sound equipment part time.

Next, the digital revolution


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