In the late 40's radio was It.
My dad told me a little man lived
in the round lit up globe
and that he was the one talking,
and, four years old, oh yes,
The highlight of afternoons
at my grandma's
was rocking back and forth,
the rocker pulled out
into the middle of the room,
while I listened to Maggie Muggins
and Mr McGarrity.
The show always ended with
"And we don't know what
will happen tomorrow."
In my world, neither did I.
Me and Maggie Muggins were soul sisters.
Pennies From Heaven, Sunny Side of the Street,
Happiness is Just a Thing Called Joe,
and, at twelve, freckle-faced
and falling all over my feet,
I began to dream.
At thirteen, the sound of Brenda Lee
on the radio gave me an electric shock
as I recognized we sang in the same range.
All through my teens, my long-suffering family
listened to me rockin' out with Brenda,
wailing and howling with all the angst
of life's uninitiated,
dreaming that someday somehow my clumsy psyche
would at some point, magically,
achieve some kind of grace.
Teen years were sock hops to the radio
during school lunch hour,
and after school request programs.
We dropped our requests into a little box
at the bottom of the stairs at the radio station -
walking, as kids were rarely driven
anywhere back then -
and they would be read on the air
from 4 to 5 p.m.:
"Please play Run Around Sue for......well,
you know who you are."
The 60's was driving around in souped up cars
that are now classic antiques,
boys in duck tails (the hair style of the day),
girls in bouffant "Do's" that got all disarranged
what with all the necking.
In the background or, perhaps, the foreground,
the radio played all the songs of love and heartbreak:
Cold, Cold Heart, Who's Sorry Now?
Your Cheatin' Heart.
(It should have been a clue
that love songs were always about heartbreak.
Yet all we longed for was Love, capital L.)
Misty. Chances Are. Blue Velvet.
Soft and dreamy. Girls mooney-eyed,
lying on their beds dreaming of.........
whatever it would take for their lives to begin.
Beam me up, Mr Radio Man.
Would you like to run that program by me
all over again?
I'd do a lot less agonizing and a lot more dancing.
At Real Toads, the fair Maid Marian set us a simple, intriguing challenge: to discuss the impact of radio on our lives. The radio has been the sound track of my life. In a big way, especially in those pre-tv days when I was a kid.