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The following was posted on my blog on Tuesday, August 20th.


My Radio Memories


Today is National Radio Day, according to the national calendar. In this digital age, I wonder how many people still use radios. I rarely do, now that I have a smart speaker that can play the stations to which I enjoy listening.

When I was growing up in Tucson, Arizona, I had a transistor radio. I loved carrying it around the house. After my younger brother was born and I started acting up in second grade, Mother took it away from me for a day or two as punishment. I missed hearing my favorite songs and commercials and occasionally calling in requests. When I was a little older, I discovered an easy listening station with some classical programming that I also liked.

That radio lasted until we moved to Sheridan, Wyoming, in the summer of 1973. We stayed with Grandma for a couple of months until we found a house of our own. I slept with Grandma and loved waking up to her radio each morning. She preferred news programming. At the age of twelve, I couldn’t understand why but soon learned from her the importance of knowing what was going on in the world.

After we were settled in a home of our own, I got a clock radio for Christmas. Because of my limited vision, although I could read the time on the digital display, I couldn’t set it or the alarm. But I enjoyed waking up each morning to the same news programming and listening to popular music.

When I was in high school, one of our A.M. stations started broadcasting old episodes of The Lone Ranger, The Shadow, and some comedy. An F.M. station broadcast a mystery theater program. These helped me escape in a way television never did.

In college, my favorite shows were those containing count-downs of the most popular songs in a given week.
When my clock radio finally quit working, I asked my parents for another radio for my birthday during the summer of 1984 and got a lot more. First, there was a receiver, then a cassette deck. For Christmas that year, I finally got a Cd player. It was more than I could ever have dreamed, and since many of my friends in college also had stereos, I was elated. A year later, I discovered public radio and enjoyed news, classical music, jazz, and programs like A Prairie Home Companion. I lost interest in popular music.

Through the years and many radios, I continued listening to public radio. I still do today. I ask Alexa to play my local station each morning so, like my grandmother, I can be aware of what’s going on in the world. While working, I ask Alexa to play the station’s classical and jazz programming. I’ve also re-kindled my interest in songs that were popular when I was growing up. So, I sometimes ask her for Amazon music stations that play 1970’s and 80’s music. I still have a radio/CD player combination that belonged to my late husband, but I rarely use it.