“Mom, what’s a transistor radio?” by (4 Stories)

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I had picked up our younger son from school.  It was his sophomore year, our family’s second year after having moved from northeast Ohio to the Deep South.

Oy. Way to make me feel old, kid.

On our way home that day, Van Morrison began singing “Brown Eyed Girl” on our local radio station and my son and I were quite enjoying belting out the lyrics together at the tops of our lungs.  A great memory.  And then he asked me, “Mom, what IS a transistor radio, anyway?”  Oy.  Way to make your Mom feel old, kid.

I told him, also sharing my memories of days at the beach trying to catch the right signal for the best music, how a handheld one was so coveted by teens in my day, and how I remembered our parents asking us to turn off “that mosquito noise” (my Dad’s take on Diana Ross’ voice.)

It was not a bad way to feel old, in my estimation.  I smiled for a long time after that.

Profile photo of Pam Edwards-Hoffmann Pam Edwards-Hoffmann
Grew up in Royal Oak, MI, graduated 1971 from RODHS, graduated 1975 from Oakland University (Rochester, MI), married a wonderful man in 1975 in MI and haven't lived there since. Lived in Ohio for 25 years, during which time I got my MSSA (masters in social science application) from Case Western Reserve University, had two beautiful sons, and moved to Columbia, SC in 2000.

Characterizations: funny


  1. PZ says:

    Our generation’s iPod–portable music! I remember my very first one–my parents awakened me on my birthday (11?, 12?) with it. My primary requirement was that it be LOUD; so many of the earliest ones were underpowered and couldn’t be heard unless it was right up to your ear.

  2. I mentioned the I Love Lucy episode in the chocolate factory to someone recently and received just a blank stare. That was painful.

  3. John Zussman says:

    I’m glad you smiled when explaining our old technology to your son. A nice way to share history with the next generation.

  4. Betsy Pfau says:

    Great memory! I loved mine, particularly using the earphone, so my mother didn’t know I was listening.

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