Thursday, May 12, 2005

more on late-night activities

So my comments on flashlight reading seem to be striking a nerve. And the truth is, even more than a flashlight reader, I was a late-night radio listener. Yes, indeed.

Let me explain.

Growing up overseas in the 60s and early 70s, I spent a lot of time listening to Far East Network, which I believe was an arm of Armed Forces Radio. All I know is that we got English-language radio, and I listened to it a lot. Sometimes they broadcast baseball games and my dad and I would listen and keep score on those baseball score cards that are still printed in baseball programs, but that no one seems to know how to use any more. (Except you, Caroline!) I don't remember, myself, though I do know which position is represented by which number.

So I'd listen to the radio a lot.

Especially at night. Every night at 9:00, I believe, they would play two half-hour radio dramas. I listened to Gunsmoke and Have Gun, Will Travel one night; The Great Gildersleeve and Fibber McGee & Molly another. I think The Shadow was too scary for me so I didn't listen on that night. I don't remember the names of the other shows, but I think the comedy and western nights were my two favorites. I had no idea that I was listening to relics of an earlier time--I thought this was current American media, a way to keep up with things back home. I've always been a little "off" with American pop culture--maybe this is why?

I kept a little transistor radio under my pillow to listen. I was supposed to be sleeping. I could do this with the lights out, of course, and, as far as I know, no one knew.

A few years later, back in the States, I took my little red transistor radio and my alarm clock to Williamsburg with me on our class trip, and left both under my pillow in the hotel. Never got them back. I'm pretty sure that was the end of my late-night radio listening.

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