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Write On! Library writing group responds to prompt

Community writers may share original stories through the Write On! program sponsored by Davie County Public Library. Participants meet virtually once a month to read aloud their stories written in response to the assigned prompts. The next meeting is Monday, Sept. 13 at 4 p.m.; interested persons can link in by going to the library Facebook page and clicking on the meeting link or contacting Jazmyne Baylor at jbaylor@daviecountync.gov. The September prompts are: “heatwave” and “It is 1963 and I am about to take the trip of a lifetime.”

The August prompt, “a family listens to their brand-new radio,” yielded the following two stories.

Tuning In

By Jane McAllister

Mom was clearly fuming as she pulled dinner out of the oven, ready to serve it but reluctant to do so given dad’s absence. Dad seldom arrived late at the end of his workday, so his tardiness was noteworthy. Just as she began serving portions of casserole onto each of our plates, the front door swung open and dad hurried in, an apology already on his lips.

“I think you will forgive me, however, when you see what I bought us,” he said smiling, as he pulled a brand-new radio out of a Sear-Roebuck bag. Our excitement bubbled over, and mom worked hard to calm us down enough to eat our dinners. We could tell though that she was just as excited.

When we had finished eating, mom reminded us of our chores and homework, promising that we would sit down together at 8:00 to tune into a program on the radio. We never completed our assignments so diligently and quickly as we did that night.

The promised hour arrived, and we hurriedly found seats in the living room while dad turned on the radio and tried out a couple of stations on the dial before settling on WSM out of Nashville, TN. To our amazement and delight, the opening music and commentary of the Grand Ole Opry poured into our living room. We were spellbound for the next hour, listening to a wide array of musicians and singers, clear enough that we might have been seated in the Ryman Auditorium ourselves.

Tuning into radio variety shows became a nightly ritual for us, an easy adaptation since we could not afford the time or money to go into town for a movie at the theatre very often. The radio brought entertainment directly to us. Of course, we also listened to the news programs, marveling at how we now could become aware almost immediately of the events unfolding in America and around the world.

Radio changed not only our habits, but it also widened our perspective with its immediacy and broad reach. Little did we know then that only a few years in the future, those habits and perspectives would change again, and radically, as television began making its way into American households.

Our Radio

By Linda H. Barnette

When I was growing up, my parents had a most prized possession, a very large brown wooden radio.  In our home it was actually a lovely piece of furniture as well as a radio. They were very proud of it, and I was not allowed to touch it. During the week, Daddy listened to the news every evening, but Saturday daytimes were mine. I listened to several shows, including “The Lone Ranger,” “Roy Rogers,” “Princess Pet” as well as others that I don’t remember. I especially enjoyed those cowboy shows.  Naturally, those were treasured days. Although I enjoyed reading books, it was nice to simply listen.

My most vivid memory of the radio was the night that President Eisenhower announced the end of the Korean Conflict. Even at 12 years old, I sensed that this was a momentous occasion. That was the first recollection of what would turn out to be a lifelong interest in history and politics.

The very next summer we got a television set that was also a big piece of furniture in the living room that Mother kept for the rest of her life. Although she bought a small television many years after the big one died, she left it in the same spot for a long time.  We did not watch tv all day, but my parents loved shows like “The Jackie Gleason Show.” “The Ed Sullivan Show,” “Red Skelton,” and a few others.  I remember lots of laughs, especially on Saturday evenings. They chose the shows too.

But somehow the television was not as intimate as the three of us sitting together in the hallway listening to our radio. In my mind’s eye I see all four of my grandparents gathered around their radios during WWII hoping for news of their boys in strange and dangerous places far from home.

I am also reminded of the Walton family who listened to their radio often on their television show, which I loved.

In so many ways, those were the days.