the somewhat mundane years we lived in Spunky Flat the few bright spots we had
seemed to be all the more glorious. Our family had the only radio for miles and
on Saturday nights people would come from all over to listen to the National Barn
Dance broadcast from Chicago.|
When a championship fight was broadcast
the house overflowed with humanity and neighbors spilled out onto the porch and
the front yard to listen.
When we came in from the cotton fields to lunch
(we called it dinner) we all listened to The Light Crust Doughboys. Other programs
we savored were Jack Benny, The Bing Crosby Program, Fred Allen, Fibber McGee
and Mollie and Burns and Allen.
My brother and I preferred - above all
others - the Little Orphan Annie serial each day after school. Considering the
fact that we had a three and a-half mile walk home we knew we had to hustle to
make it in time. No matter how much we scurried, or how fast we walked, we could
never quite make it for the opening theme. Even while taking the shortest route
with a final sprint through a cotton patch, the strains of "Who's the little chatter
box - the one with pretty auburn locks?” … etc. would waft faintly across the
field before we reached the house. However, we arrived in time to hear the episode
of the day.
Sam and I joined some kind of radio club and we had loads
of fun with Annie’s secret decoder ring. Each day they would read out the names
of new members. When the announcer said "Sammy and Eddie Lester" we almost swooned.
The next day at school we expected to be treated as celebrities – but it
was a day like every other, since we were the only ones who had a radio.
Young people ask, “What did you look at while you listened to the radio?” Actually,
we didn’t look at anything. The room disappeared entirely and we dissolved into
the scene described on the radio.
© George Lester |