I consider myself a child of the 70’s. My formative years, the ones I can actually remember, took place during that decade. The term “latch-key kid” hadn’t been invented then, but me and a great many of my friends did walk home from school to empty houses. The near to last of the free-rangers in terms of our upbringing, we can be found sandwiched uncomfortably between the Boomers and GenXers. They call us the Generation Jones when they bother to remember we exist at all.
The radio was a staple of our growing up. Not in the same way it was for our grandparents and parents, but in a sound-tracking way that I don’t think those just before us or who followed us quite experienced.
Lacking television, our background noise is provided courtesy of the late Steve Jobs and the iPod. Rob picked up one of those docking station speakers for me to use at the hall when I teach yoga, but he employs it more than I do. He can’t really enjoy his renovation work sans tunes. But the dock lacks a radio, and Rob recently expressed a desire for one with an AM/FM option, so he could listen to the local talk radio and maybe have his weather read to him as opposed to searching for it on the Internet, so I found one for him the last time I was compelled to make a Costco run.
When I was a kid, we had a transistor radio that sat on the refrigerator and my parents had it on all the time.
KDTH was Dad’s favorite. The little music that was played was mainly country, but the bulk of the programming revolved around local news, weather and the early versions of call in talk radio. There was also a show called The Cracker Barrel, which featured a form of Kijiji or FreeCycle. People would call in looking for items or they had things to give away or sell. It was a virtual garage sale. I don’t know how much junk Dad picked up that way.
Eventually, I learned of the existence of other AM stations and discovered popular music. Dad never recovered from that revelation. His music tastes never grew to include rock or pop or bubblegum. He liked old-time country, Hit Parade stuff and big band. He fought the inevitable turn of the dial as his children aged, but it was a losing one and once he relented and allowed cable to be installed, MTV sounded the death knell for him and his preferences.
It’s strange to have a radio in the kitchen again. I can’t decide if putting one there is a sign of old age or not. I do know, however, that I can’t work with music as wallpaper. Rob has no trouble. He can even plug himself in with ear-buds when he is on his computer at work and bang away on the keyboard. Not me. I can totally ignore the spoken word, but put them to music and it’s a struggle.
Trouble is that I haven’t reached a point where I am comfortable with ignoring new music. Rob is one of the few people my age who continued to listen to current music after his early 20’s. His knowledge of groups and his taste for music beyond our youths runs as late as the 90’s, but I still like to acquire new songs. A side-effect of being a teacher for so long probably and I wonder if I will ever lose my ability to pick up new tunes.
It does make it hard for me to push the radio to the background, so I don’t think I will change my radio silence policy when I am on my own during the work week. This week is Fall Break and Remembrance Day, so Dee and Rob are home now until Monday. Noise, noise, noise as the Grinch would say. But it’s a nostalgic kind of thing. FM instead of AM, but warm and cozy just the same.
* Here’s the link to today’s NaBloPoMo at BlogHer and another to the Top Canada Mom’s Blog contest, and I hope you’ll take a moment to pop over and vote for me because losing really sucks and if each person who reads this votes (more than once is good), I won’t. Thanks.