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Good Morning Nanty Glo!
Thursday, July 26 2001

Note: After today's entry was put online, a reply to yesterday's entry was received. It can be read here.

Radio Days

I've never seen Woody Allen's movie, Radio Days, but the first time I heard of it a rush of pictures and associations flew through my imagining. One thing anyone born after 1950 is likely to have missed from my generation is their own radio days. I've never had a real sleigh ride, one of the things my mother waxed nostalgic about from her youth, but I do have my radio days.

We're talking about soap operas, detective shows, variety comedy shows, situation comedies, and even—maybe preeminently—western shows played on the radio. Those who were fans of such shows, and in those days everyone probably fit in there somewhere, was always described as "glued" to the radio. Background sound effects were an art, as was "reading" scripts in a soundproof studio so well you had your audience eating the story out of your hand.

The experience of "listening to the radio" was also an art; in those days you didn't just have the radio on, you were listening to it. It was such an intense activity that Marshall McLuhan invented the term "hot medium" to describe classical radio listening. Television is, on the other hand, because it takes no imagination or concentration to follow anything on that medium, the quintessential "cool" medium. You can "follow" most any TV show with near total detachment. I have a slew of memories and thoughts tied to radio listening that may come out in future entries if there's interest in pursuing it. The one that looms largest is a general gestalt, a memory of how radio nights, in particular, affected me at age four, or five, even six.

When the long autumn nights would start beginning right after supper at 5:30 or 6 p.m. after Halloween, Dad would mandate the use of only one or, at most, two lights in the house. The dining room, where the radio was, got light only through the kitchen door and from the dimly lit Zenith radio dial.

My brother Gary and I would lie on the floor, the table and chair legs serving as props the imagination could use to stage the shows. We would stare at the dial as though images were flying through it into the room. The sound effects for the dramatic shows were so...well, effective...that it seemed like the creaking door was our door, the car engine was transporting us through the stormy night, the galloping horses were running us through the gunslingers' lair. The darkened room heightened the heat emanating from the hot medium.

Do you have favorite radio days memories? If you're too young to recall the networks holding the nation in their grip through casting their spells, have you heard some of the transcribed radio dramas on Public Radio or on tapes? Would you like to go back, at least once?

Webmaster Jon Kennedy

Martha Stewart's Way vs. My Way
(collect all 19)

Martha's way #7: Spray your Tupperware with nonstick cooking spray before pouring in tomato based sauces and there won't be any stains. My way: Feed your garbage disposal and there won't be any leftovers.

Martha's way #8: When a cake recipe calls for flouring the baking pan, use a bit of the dry cake mix instead and there won't be any white mess on the outside of the cake. My way: Go to the bakery. They'll even decorate it for you.

Martha's way #9: If you accidentally over-salt a dish while it's still cooking, drop in a peeled potato and it will absorb the excess salt for an instant "fix me up." My way: If you over-salt a dish while you are cooking, that's too darn bad. My motto: I made it and you will eat it and I don't care how bad it tastes.

Sent by Bonnie Turner

Still waters run deep

He who speaks about empty things has emptiness in his head and heart, emptiness also in his life.... He who speaks about good things becomes more and more enflamed toward the good and enriches himself by it.

—St. Theophan the Recluse .

Sent by Andrew Damick

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