Radio days

Vintage Zenith Royal 150 Transistor Radio (8397268271)Radio was different in 1961. I had a brand new pocket transistor radio.

According to Wikipedia, the radio probably cost me about twenty dollars. Adjusting for inflation, that’s well over a hundred of today’s dollars. My memory is foggy on where the money or the radio came from, but having one of those little Zenith radios says something about my interest in technology.

Jamestown had only two radio stations in those days. KSJB and KEYJ. Both are still on the air, but now there are many more. That summer I listened to a few baseball games, but they didn’t hold my interest. Roger Maris was almost a local boy, but that wasn’t enough. KSJB played top ten hits, which did catch my interest. I collected their weekly Billboard Top Ten sheets for years, saving them for decades. It took a while for me to get my first RCA 45 RPM record changer, which allowed me to start buying those top ten records. Nat “King” Cole got the honors of the first record I ever bought: Those Lazy Hazy Crazy Days of Summer.

KSJB had much more than music. One of my grandmother’s favorite shows was the Reverend N.E. McCoy. He preached in the small town style. No asking for money, as not many people in our town had much for money. Most important, from Grandma’s point of view, was McCoy’s hospital visits. He would make the rounds of the hospital in the morning, visiting with all the patients, then give everyone in town an update on his noon-time radio show. From what I know about privacy and HIPAA laws, he wouldn’t have much to talk about today. Continue reading

Christmas Shopping

Merry Christmas from Guy - 1953

Merry Christmas from Guy – 1953

One of the reasons you don’t see me on Facebook contributing or reading much (beyond publicizing this blog) is the number of people who whine and complain daily about political topics. There’s the Tea Party people who are offended because of IRS regulations. The anti-gun people get irritated when the pro-gun people insult them. The anti-abortion crazies get excited when the liberal wackos feel offended. Don’t get me started on the Christians.

One target of the whiners is welfare recipients. Give ’em a drug test, they say. Where do they get off thinking they need a smart phone or Internet access? Get a job already. The anti-welfare complainers irritate me. It’s that irritation that keeps me from reading Facebook posts and, especially, from responding to political diatribes on Facebook.

Why would I be so sensitive?

Continue reading

Juarez, Mexico

New Mexico License Plate

New Mexico License Plate

Louie opens this letter with a quote from the New Mexico license plate. I was in the fourth grade when we moved back to North Dakota. Most of the kids in my class had never been out of the state, but I had lived in New Mexico. For several years my doodles included the sun symbol that dominates the state flag and license plates. My time in the Land of Enchantment had been exciting. Apparently not as exciting as it was for Louie.

Louie  writes:

Back in 1961 I was stationed in New Mexico and Grace came down to see what it was like in “The Land of Enchantment.”

While there she wanted to go down into Mexico, and the closest port of entry was Juarez, just across the Rio Grande from El Paso, Texas.

A friend of mine said he would furnish the transportation there and give us a guided tour of Juarez – seems he knew all the off beat places … Continue reading