Impressions: Radios by
(149 Stories)

Prompted By Remembering Radios

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Two little Sony’s.

Two little Sony's and a tabletop radio in my bedroom.

The red one in my dad’s pocket. Scratchy voices, football and baseball play-by-play. He takes the games with him as he cuts the lawn.

The white one for my birthday. A technological miracle. Past my bedtime, under the covers. Listening to Cousin Brucie on 77 WABC, sometimes WMCA, hey, hey. The Beatles. The Supremes, “Baby, baby, where did our love go?”

Tabletop radio in my bedroom.

Autumn, 1971. Worst case of mono my doctor had ever seen. Too tired for voices. Classical music got me through fevers and 12 weeks in bed.

Still listen to NPR. But not much lately.

/RetroFlash 100 words



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I have recently retired from a marketing and technical writing and editing career and am thoroughly enjoying writing for myself and others.

Characterizations: right on!, well written


  1. Betsy Pfau says:

    Great reflections, Marian. That little transistor got you through some good and bad times. Your case of mono sounds awful. Glad the classical music was there to soothe you.

  2. Suzy says:

    Nice, impressionistic RetroFlash, Mare. We NJ kids both had transistor radios and listened to the same stations. Did you miss out on Murray the K? He called himself the Fifth Beatle, and had the best Beatles coverage of the NY stations, but WINS went to all-news in 1965, and Murray went to one of the first FM rock stations (which we probably couldn’t get on the radios we had then).

    Sorry about your mono. That must have been awful, but good that you had your radio to help you get through it! Was that after your year at Brandeis?

    • Marian says:

      I knew of Murray the K, Suzy, but for some reason didn’t listen to him. The mono was during my year at Brandeis, so I made it most of the way through the first semester, left for 3 months, came back for a few weeks, and started having issues again. Brandeis was not that accommodating, so I pushed reset and started again at Mills the next fall. I had enough AP credits and could take course overloads, so I skipped a year and graduated at my “original” time.

  3. Laurie Levy says:

    I guess we both had dads who were addicted to radio play-by-play baseball. Of course, I remember all of the songs you listened to. Wow, 12 weeks in bed! That sounds awful, even with classical music playing in the background.

  4. John Shutkin says:

    Great RetroFlash, Marian. As Suzy notes, beautifully impressionistic.

    It does seem that every dad in the world — and I — listened to games on our little radios. And yes; all of us Tri-State “kids” listened to Cousin Brucie on WABC.

    • Marian says:

      Thanks, John. It’s amazing how similar the radio experiences of the NYC metro teens was. I hadn’t realized before reading these stories the strong connection that boys and men had to sports on the radio. Cousin Brucie really made an impression on us all.

  5. Khati Hendry says:

    We are all sharing a stroll down the same memory lane I think, most of us ending up on NPR. Maybe we could all do a road trip together.

  6. Wonderful RetroFlash Marian! I can see your dad with the ball game on the radio in his pocket, mowing the lawn on a balmy summer evening.

    And poor Marian stuck in bed with mono for 12 weeks (!), with at least some comfort from the classical music on the radio!

    • Marian says:

      Thanks, Dana. It’s interesting what our minds remember most clearly. Most of the rest of my mono time was a blur, except for when I had enough energy to open a can of soup while the rest of my family visited relatives for Thanksgiving. The radio and classical music I remember well, though.

  7. Wonderfully evocative RetroFlash, Mare…hard to hit a lot of notes in such a minimalist format, but you did it. I had mono, too…but as sick as I was, I was delighted to hear it called “the kissing disease” because now people would assume I’d been kissed. I hadn’t.

  8. Great fragmented impressions Khati! Most vivid, the pocket transistor radio in your dad’s pocket. My old man wasn’t a baseball fan and built custom hi-fidelity phonographs and FM systems for people on request, but the image of your dad mowing the lawn was sooo evocative! And sneaking sounds under the covers. Baby, baby, where did our love go? The sounds of a lucky generation. We had so much good music thrown at us!

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