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July 22, 2011     Post-Gazette
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July 22, 2011

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POST-GAZETTE, JULY 22,2011 Page 13 00Fanna 00abb00onno I recently bought a new car and it came equipped with XM radio. I can now listen to hundreds of unwanted stations that are available through satellite broadcast- ing. There are a few of the stations that I can identify with, and I programmed them into the car's radio. I have a jazz station, another called Strictly Sinatra and others that play music of the '40s, '50s and '60s. I discov- ered another that I had to program in, called Old Time Radio. This station plays the radio shows made popular in the '40s through the demise of traditional radio in the '50s. I was on the road the other day and I listened to The Shadow, Abbott and CosteUo, The Green Hornet, and Gang- busters. I was enthralled with the programs because they brought me back to my youth when I listened to radio every day. I knew that Dad listened to the news in the morning and Morn listened to The Romance of Helen Trent and Our Gal Sunday during the mid day, but the radio was mine in the afternoons. I lis- tened to the fifteen minute serial episodes of The Lone Ranger, Superman, Tom Mix, Gene Autry's Melody Ranch, Bobby Benson and the B Bar B, and Captain Midnight.- At night, especially during the week, it was different. Morn and Nanna were always occupied with things. Dad played music six nights per week and that left Babbo- nonno and me to listen to the radio. If he would head to one of the store-front clubs that he belonged to, I was on my own and didn't have to share the radio. If that was the case, I had a mental list of nightly programs that be- gan at 7:00 pro, and ended when Mom would yell, "John, its bed time." Here's a partial list of what was on the radio and the programs I listened to: Charlie Chan, Ellery Queen, Nero Wolfe, Ozzie and Harriet, Philip Marlowe, Sam Spade, The Aldrich Family, Amos 'n' Andy, Baby Snooks, Beulah, Bob and Ray, Bob Hope Show, Bulldog Drummond, Boston Blackie, Camel Caravan, Sgt. Preston of the Yukon, The Cisco Kid, Crime Dpe. s Not Pay, Dick Tracy, Dr. Christian, EUery Queen, The Fat Man, The FBI in Peace and War, Fibber McGee and Molly, Fred Allen, Gang Busters, The Green Hor- net, Halls of Ivy, Inner Sanctum, Lights Out, It Pays to be Igno- rant, Jack Benny, The Life of Riley, Life with Luigi, Lux Ra- dio Theater, Martin Kane Pri- vate Eye, Mr. District Attorney, Nick Carter, Our Miss Brooks, Phil Harris and Alice Faye Show, The Shadow, Sky King, Spike Jones, Studio One, Sus- pense, Tom Corbett-Space Ca- det, Truth or Consequences, The Voice of Firestone, The Whistler, and You Bet Your Life. This is just a partial list of the radio shows that could be found every night on just by John Christoforo A Nostalgic Remembrance i were among my favorites and the ones I listened to. With the car radio pro- grammed to get the Old Time Radio station, I can listen to a few of these old shows. Unfortunately, back in the day, most of them were live broadcasts and were never recorded. Back then, you had to record everything on records. Wire recording didn't come in until the late '40s and tape recording a few years later. Some of those shows made it to TV, but many died in the '50s, as radio changed to stay alive. As a result, many of those old shows, es- pecially the ones with low budgets, are forever gone. The first time I listened to a '40s show in the new car, I became nostalgic and started to think about things that existed when I was a kid, that are gone forever. How many can you remember? Girls had to wear ugly gym bloomers, it took five minutes for the radio (and later the TV} to warm up, everyone's mother was home when we kids got home from school, nobody owned a purebred dog, a quar- ter was a decent allowance, you would actually reach into a gutter to pick up a penny, your mother wore nylons that came in two pieces and each leg had a seam up the back, all of ffoui- me teachers wore neckties and female teach- ers had their hair done every day and wore high heels, at a gas station you got your wind- shield cleaned, oil checked and gas pumped without any- one asking and it was all flee, and at that same station, you didn't pay for air and you got trading stamps at the end, laundry detergent had free glasses, dishes or towels inside the boxes, the teach- ers threatened to keep kids back if they failed in school, a '55 Chevy was everyone's dream car, cruising Revere Beach, watching the subma- rine races at Wood Island Park at night (La Mundanial), going steady, playing baseball with no adults to help kids with the rules, playing tag, hide and go seek, relevio, stuff from the drug store came without safety caps, being sent to the principal's office was nothing compared to what awaited you once you got home, and ... how many of you can listen to the Finale to the William Tell Overture and not think of the Lone Ranger. As the '50s progressed, things we aging kids took for granted began to disappear: candy cigarettes, wax coke- shaped bottles of colored sugar water, tonic machines that dispensed glass bottles, coffee shops with tableside juke boxes where you could play a song for five cents, or six for a quarter .. brands of chewing gum called Black- jack, Clove, and Tea-berry, cigarettes named, Old Gold, Pall Mall, Phillip Morris, Ra- leigh, Chesterfield, daily milk deliveries in glass 'hout everv station but tl.ese bottles.withocardboardstqp- pers, Cushman Bakery trucks, Fuller Brush sales- men, trucks delivering win- ter coal, others delivering range oil or ice, junk dealers canvassing neighborhoods buying what you might throw out, fruit and vegetable trucks selling their wares to grandmothers who bargained the prices down, corner vari- ety stores where you could buy loose cigarettes from men who wore white aprons and straw hats, barber shops where you waited your turn for a haircut, boxes of soap with names like: Duz, Rinso White, Supersuds, and each box had a surprise inside, Saturday afternoon matinees at the local theaters where they gave away free comic books and showed a Tarzan feature and ten cartoons while you ate their ten cent pop corn or five cent candy bars, ice cream trucks that traveled the neighborhoods in the early evenings selling Popsicles and Fudgecicles for five cents and chocolate cov- ered ice cream for ten, the same cop walking his beat through your neighborhood- and you knew him by name, the old man climbing his lad- der to light the gas lights on your street at sun down, and if I go back farther, gasoline rationing, as well as ration stamps for food. Wow, I could go on and on. The other night, Loretta and I visited her uncle, Joe DeVito, a man in his early 90s and a reader of this news- paper. He came from East Boston in the old days and we began reminiscing about all of the above and a few other things that don't exist any longer. If I try to tell my kids about these long-gone as- pects of life, they make it seem as if we came from outer space. I don't despair, because when they have their own children, they will tell them about life in the '80s and '90s and be treated the same way. Even though, back in our youthful days, things were simpler and more inno- cent, don't you think? GOD BLESS AMERICA 4app!J 000041nnipersart d from East Boston Chamber of Commerce Helping local business to do business 296 Bennington Street East Boston, MA 02128 Tel. 617.569.5000 Fax 617.569.1945 E-mail: EastBoston.Chamber@verizon.nct Website: Yhe Socially Set {Continued from Page 9) Left to right: David Burnham, Jensie Shipley and Judy Avery smile for the camera at the NEHGS Annual Dinner held at The Four Seasons Hotel. (Photo by Roger Farrington) activities, fabulous kids' art, nature activities, and garlic games galore all weekend 16ng. A volunteer committee of friends and neighbors, and the Seeds of Solidarity Edu- cation Center, a non-profit organization, organize the "North Quabbin Garlic and Arts Festival." Supporters include the Forster/Stewart Family, local businesses, and more than 200 commu- nity volunteers on the festi- val weekend. Festival pro- ceeds keep the event sus- tainable and affordable, and support the festival's com- munity grant program for regional arts, agriculture, health and energy projects. Log on to www,garlic for the 2011 schedule of vendors, music, entertainment and games, chef demos, renewable en- ergy, local living and healing arts workshops. Enjoy! (Be sure to visit Hilda MorriU's gardening Web site, Www.bostongardens.eom. In addition to events covered and reported by the columnist, "The Socially Set" is compiled from various other sources such as news and press re- leases, PRNewswire services, etc.) NEHGS Annual Dinner Reception hosts Martin & Debby Hale, left, with Ken Burns. {Photo by Roger Farrington) I tapplj.ylnniversar!j J.M. MECHANICAL SERVICES, INC. Plumbing Heating Gas Fitting Fire Sprinklers Backflow Preventers . "'A' (617) 561-4733 # .A Boston Harborside Home Joseph A. Langone 580 Commercial St. Boston, MA 02109 617-536-4110 Augustave M. Sabia, Jr. Trevor Slauenwhite Frederick J. Wobrock Dino C. Manca Courtney A. Fitzgibbons A Service Family Affiliate of AFFS/Service Corporation International 206 Winter St., Fall River, MA 02720 Telephone 508-676-2454