Thursday, March 15, 2007

There Might Be Static On The Radio Tonight

It’s one of my favorite sounds. One reason might be that it reminds me of all those late nights listening to the radio and trying to pick out distant stations from the garble of interference and distant electrical storms. Anytime in the spring, summer and fall there would be static crashes, weak or strong, in the background and I would strain to hear the stations’ call signs. Check off another weak signal on the list of stations, send them enough information to prove you heard them, and wait for the confirmation reply.

I have a small box full of such replies. Lots of listening and lots of static are represented in those letters and cards. Lots of triumphs, too; ever try listening to some little teakettle of a station on a frequency crowded with dozens and dozens of other equally weak stations? You are trying to keep your ear on just one of them, pick out a couple of ads, a call sign, a location – all this between the ever-present static from a storm that might be a hundred or more miles away.

And your tape recorder is going all the time. What? Did the station jingle come out with “KCJB in Minot”? Check the tape. Yeah; a 1,000 watt station, maybe less at night, all the way from North Dakota. Keep that tape, send it to the station. They will like to know they made it all the way to Connecticut and I’d like proof of that via a confirmation card.

Everybody has a name.
John Paul, Jr., or, as I prefer to know him, John Paul II, died Sunday in Texas. He had been a local resident. I wonder if I’m the only person to notice this name thing?


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