Monday, June 23, 2008

Prime Time Radio

I guess you must be as old as I am to remember it: Prime Time Radio. I was just a lad of 10-12 or so, but I remember it. Saturday night, the family gathered around the radio in the living room. What a radio it was! The console was probably 4 feet tall, and at least 2 feet wide, designed to be a piece of furniture, not just some electronic gadget. The actual radio and speaker took up very little room. The rest was empty space, but space with a purpose. The bottom 2/3 of the cabinet had a removable front, designed to accommodate something called “television” when such a dream actually became available.

We gathered around, and we listened to “Prime Time Radio.” Ah, the programs! “Amos and Andy,” “Fibber McGee and Molly” (with the famous overstuffed hall closet), “Inner Sanctum” (with the creaking door), :Kay Kaiser College of Musical Knowledge”, “The $64 Question (I have a lady in the balcony). There was one other that I have forgotten the name, but one of the main characters was Parkey Carcus. Maybe someone else can refresh my memory.

We sat on the floor, we listened and laughed. It was a dream world of make-belief, but without pictures, color, animation or grandiose special effects. We had to provide all those in our minds. For a couple of hours or so, we were transformed to another world. But then, it was bath time, for tomorrow was church.

What a difference now. Just the wife and I rattling around in this big house. She is up in the den watching Oprey or a news show, I am down in my office watching sports. We do listen to radio together in the morning during breakfast. But that is for the latest news, not for entertainment.

We’ve come a long ways, but we have lost a lot in the process.

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