Insights into my father and radio

My father would be 108 years old if he was still around. For CC and my stalker fan club, this is way too much information, but – who the hell cares at this point?

In 1975, I was off at college and my father was interviewed by the local newspaper

http://www.newspapers.com/newspage/3632135/

The transcript came out well from the OCR scan, although it jumps around a bit. Start reading where it says Gary Freeze (the reporter) Among other tidbits, my (Republican) father mentions his favorite radio station was the Wake Forest Public Radio station. It’s not a surprise as the local station choices were Country or Rock and Roll.

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8 Responses to Insights into my father and radio

  1. Nidster says:

    Art, thanks for sharing some family memories about your father.

    I remember sneaking a transistor radio into school in order to listen to the World Series. Those were the ‘good ole days’.

  2. Parrott says:

    That was cool. There were many professionals in radio during the time of the interview.
    Art, do you think your Dad would be disappointed in radio today? I am in someways.
    1975, I was listening to WBT and WoWo and a bunch of others at night, I thought it was great. Change was coming.
    parrott

    • Art Stone says:

      Well, his benchmark was KDKA – listening to Bob Prince do baseball games, Ed nd Wendy King at night. One of the things that only “clicked” with me recently is that people who are completely blind (as he was – he had retinitis Pigmentosa) don’t generate the hormones that keep you from falling asleep. He typically would have the radio on all night.

      The unfortunate part of moving to NC was he had a hard time adjusting. He had lived in the same house from high school to age 65. He knew every crack in the sidewalks. He could take out his red tipped cane and go by himself where he wanted. In Statesville, he was lost and never developed that confidence. He withdrew and just talked every night on 160 meters to his old buddies in PGH. The other radio mentioned was a 2 Meter band FM transceiver you could take in the car. He was “old school” AM where you might talk 10 minutes without stopping. 2 Meters runs through a repeater other people are paying for, and is intended to do short in and out messaging. He didn’t endear himself to the locals.

      So after about 10 years, they returned back home a few blocks from where he lived and lived a few more years.

      • CC1s121LrBGT says:

        He would have enjoyed the new technology. When my daughter was learning to read, she would use a tablet to read books to her. Your father would still enjoy radio but would have more alternatives.

        • Art Stone says:

          We had stacks and stacks of “Talking Book” records in the house all the time, and some braille books and periodicals. Around 1970s, they started moving to cassette tapes. The players were very slow transport speed as it wasn’t music and didn’t need good frequency response. The player they sent had variable speed control like you see today in some players (like Windows Media Player) – where you can speed up the playback, but the pitch is reduced by the same amount, making the speech faster, but the pitch the same. You quickly learn how out of balance our brains are – you can understand speech much faster than you can speak it (unless you’re from New Jersey, of course)

          • CC1s121LrBGT says:

            Funny you mention that. I replaced my cablebox DVR with Windeow Media Center for many reasons, but the primary one was that it has a 2x playback speed that is great for watching the newstalk shows. I also zap the commercials so that I can watch FBN’s “The Independents” with Kennedy – an hour long show in well under a half hour and not miss a single word of conversation.

          • Art Stone says:

            in the very early days of this directory, I incorporated an interface to a program that would record shows and the published an API – so all you had to do with click on what you wanted to record, and I did the rest.

            With recordings made, I wrote a Visual Basic wrapper around the WMP dll that had a +30 sec, +5 min skip buttons and variable playback speeds. A typical hour of talk radio at 2x took maybe 14 minutes (less if you skipped some of the reptitive or unintereseting content). The radio DVR is the end of radio, which that could have become, but I didn’t want to invite confrontation with radio stations by releasing it.

            The program in question decided to kill their API and take it in-house to get the eyeballs on their own directory. They expanded it to include video.

            They were puzzled why a steady stream of people kept wanting to purchase the version of their program that was about 3 years out of date. Eventually they just said “no more” and stopped selling the SRGuide compatible version.

  3. briand75 says:

    Art – Fascinating insight. Thank you for sharing.

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