Simple Amusements, Part Three-Radio

Dagwood has created a typical Dagwood sandwich...

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EAR TO THE SPEAKER

Radio was a large part of my life.  It was my entry into the world of imagination.  Every day after school, I played outside, then came in just before supper to listen to my favorite radio programs.  The programs were soap operas for kids.  A story ran in daily segments Monday through Friday. Every day a chapter left the main character hanging in a situation covered in the next segment.

The programs I  listened to: The Lone Ranger, Sky King, Yukon King, The Green Hornet, and Gene Autry. After supper, the entire family listened to variety shows like Jack Benny, Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, Fred Allen, Fibber McGee and Molly, Blondie and Dagwood, and the Life of Reilly.  We also listened to a mystery show called  The Inner Sanctum. It began with the noise of a squeaking door that  ran shivers up my spine, and set my mind into mystery mode.

Mom didn’t like to hear the radio on loud, so I turned the volume down real low. It was so low that I had to put my ear on the speaker. I leaned against the Zenith console, closed my eyes and imagined the characters in the story acting out their parts. In my mind I saw the Lone Ranger on Silver, his big white horse. Tonto, his Indian sidekick rode next to him.  At the end of each episode, the Lone Ranger and Tonto rode off into the sunset and one of the characters always asked “who was that masked man?”

I visioned the Green Hornet opening the secret door in his house to get to the “Black Beauty.”  To me the “Black Beauty” is a 1939 Buick sedan. I saw Sky King flying a Cessna low wing plane.  I saw Sargent Preston mushing his lead dog King through the snow and cold of the Yukon. I laughed every time I heard Fibber McGee opening the door to his hall closet, and his junk fell out with a big cacophony of sounds. I could see the look of bewilderment on Riley’s face when he got into his weekly jam and uttered “what a revoltin’ development this is.”

The radio played a large part in my life by making my mind work creatively. It stimulated the imagination, and  I participated in the adventures.

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