Saturday, January 09, 2010

Once Upon A Book

Books, lots of them in my earliest reading ages. They had woodcuts in them, they had line drawings, they had little curlicues and wisps for clouds. There were fairies and woods and intimate gardens. I curled up with them in the back attic where I was living and imagined the magic places where nymphs lived.

And most of my friends missed all this. They were occupied with sports and baseball games on the radio (we didn’t have tv then). They missed the sprites.

These books led me down the path to Imagination Land, a place where Buster Brown and his Sister Sue lived, where the Hardy Boys carried on their adventures. I visited strange countries and met savages in the jungle, cruised down strange rivers and crossed oceans in ships. I went to the Arctic and the Equator.

In Rudyard Kipling’s “Just So Stories,” I learned how the camel got his hump, how the leopard got his spots. I learned how the rhinoceros got his skin, by retribution for stealing the man’s baking: “Them that takes cakes which the Parsee-man bakes, makes dreadful mistakes.” And the cat that walked by himself.

There is something entrancing about having your own corner of the library, where you can sit on the floor and read, undisturbed, without the librarians asking why you are not on a chair at a table. If they know you, it doesn’t matter what your age; they know a reader when they spot one.


Anonymous DennisB said...

Is this the Tom Carten, infamous operator of WICC Short Wave Central ????

January 10, 2010 10:35 PM  
Blogger Tom Carten said...

Yeah. Sounds like you might be Dennis Bourassa.

January 11, 2010 4:45 PM  
Anonymous Laura said...

My absolute favorite book of all time is my mother's copy of the Tall Book of Make Believe. Out of print and very hard to come by now...but that was my first introduction to the wonderful land of imagination...

January 12, 2010 10:04 AM  
Blogger Tom Carten said...

Or are you Dennis Bouffard? Or Dennis Brown?

January 13, 2010 2:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In my first dictionary, a exceptionally well done dictionary for kids it has two notes
1. To ....Dec. 25, 1944

2. in very young child's hand printing Tom Carten 179 California St.
You want it?

Ms. Victoria Lawn

January 13, 2010 5:38 PM  
Blogger dennisb said...

Hi Tom,

I'm Dennis Bourassa, your ole SWL buddy from Bridgeport. I was researching WICC-TV for a few friends and up popped your name....
It's great to connect up with you again !!!


January 13, 2010 6:23 PM  
Blogger Tom Carten said...

You will notice that you were the first person I thought of when I saw the posting. I still have your picture around here in one of my albums.

I'm still in radio after 50+ years and doing lots of other things, as well, that we can talk about via e-mail.
Wilkes-Barre PA

January 14, 2010 12:41 PM  
Blogger Tom Carten said...

Dennis: Here is my contribution to the WICC-TV page on Wikipedia.

"Considering that UHF was rather new at the time and required an expensive converter, the station was not seen by many. In addition, ABC network programming was easily seen in much of WICC's viewing area through WABC-TV from New York City.

One attempt at locally-generated programming on the station was Newsvision, created by station owner Ken Cooper, in which a station camera was pointed at a teletype machine, with music being played on the audio channel. The FCC disallowed this because they ruled the video and audio channels must work in sync, rather than be separate sources."

January 14, 2010 12:49 PM  
Blogger Tom Carten said...

Correction: Actually the WSAH page, one of the callsigns after WICC-TV went dark.

January 14, 2010 12:50 PM  
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