Radio’s become for me a rediscovered life

Published 10:13 am Friday, January 24, 2020

I now have a radio again.

Because when my computer finally finished breaking down and I don’t own a television, all I had was a radio.

One sits atop a kitchen counter, close to a connection. But it’s never working because the crockpot always is.

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The other looks nice, sitting high up on the fridge. But it’s never working either because there’s not an outlet close.

So, I forget about them.

And when the weather changed and rain turned into a deluge, I had no way of knowing exactly what was going on. I did call “Time and Weather” for reports over the phone. Other than that, though, no news, no weather.

In truth, I had forgotten that I had those radios. They had been silent for so long.

So, when someone asked me if I had a radio, my answer was I didn’t. Then I remembered the two in my kitchen.

Having written a little last week about hearing but not seeing, I quickly got hooked up again.

Do you remember radio? Every evening had a favorite, just like TV does today. Or did.

Do you remember “The Shadow,” “Fibber McGee and Molly” and “Gangbusters?” Or “Straight Arrow?” And to really date myself, “Bobby Benson” and “Tom Mix?” “Louella Parsons?” “Walter Winchell?” And for recorded music, there was “The Old Hip Cat” in Vicksburg who was an afternoon DJ. We used to be so hip.

Later in Chicago, I learned to love WFMT, Chicago’s ultra-Fine Arts Station, and the repository of the finest and most pleasant speaking voices on the planet, Norm Pellegrini and Ray Nordstrand. I understand its current audience is the largest in its history.

I don’t know when I stopped tuning in. Probably when I left.

The question, though, is why we all stopped.

It wasn’t just Luci.

And now I’m all worked up again.

There is just something magical about a voice without a face.

One of my friends here has the sweetest little girl. She’s just a wee bit over one. But she knows my voice. I don’t think she recognizes my face at all. But she knows my voice. So, I’m going to start reading to her. Her mum has all her life.

Radio’s become for me a rediscovered life.

I used to reject arguments that progress had an end. But now I think they do. Progress gets to a point and then begins regressing. It stops and starts declining. With the telephone, I couldn’t imagine anything more possible or pleasing than long-distance and being in Chicago talking to my folks in Vicksburg. What could possibly be next? Or needed?

What more could be needed? And now, today, we know. Endless calls, robotic calls, and power to never call back someone who’s calling us!

But radio was different, something I’m discovering again.

There is an irony though.

The radios in my kitchen are both re-enacted models of how they used to be and look. I can play my CDs on them.

You remember CDs, don’t you?

Yolande Robbins is a community columnist for The Vicksburg Post.