When I was roughly eight years old, in 1955, Don Herbert changed my life. I watched the show religiously at a neighbor's apartment as my father (quite rightly) was convinced that if we had a television, we'd all stop reading books. One day, the project was making an alcohol lamp using a milk bottle. One poured a little alcohol in the bottle, made a slit in the wax paper lid and pushed a string down through the hole to make a wick. We were supposed to allow the wick to become thoroughly saturated with alcohol, but my mother and I were a bit impatient (or we hadn't absorbed that particular step in the procedure) and we lit it prematurely. The bottle was in the kitchen sink at the near edge and, when it exploded, it blew out the kitchen window with such force that we found that bits of wood had traveled the breadth of the vast lawn of our garden apartment house and had smashed into the front of the home across the street, some 200 feet distant. The only reason we weren't killed was that the near vertical face of the deep sink reflected the blast away from us. One day, when I was a Freshman at Ithaca College in 1966, I told this story at dinner and my friend, Doug Lane, said quietly that he had been "Little Dougie" on the show!
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