Monday, June 3, 2013


Today and maybe tomorrow with all the technology that become fashionable and even necessary to our daily existence, I must think back. Back to the time of black and white television and rotary phones.
Now that might sound ancient, but just like the automobile and electricity and the telephone and radio were to my parents, the digital age came during my lifetime.
As I see people walking staring at their palms or talking out loud about whatever in the grocery line or plugged into ear plugs dazed by the blast in their head, I must remember my first real experience with new technology. There was the “portable” hi-fi record player that was the size of a small refrigerator or the 9” black and white television with rabbit ears and three stations.
One day our family was owners of a transistor radio. I believe it was just AM, since all the cars only had AM radio. It was tiny. It had a leather case with a metal snap. It had a single dial. It had a 2” speaker. It had a single ear plastic earplug. Batteries powered it.
It wasn’t great, but you could carry it with you. If you didn’t have a car you could actually receive music while you were walking. Of course there was static and weak signal but it was the only option.
Later I got a multi-band shortwave radio. It wasn’t what those guys with giants antennas were receiving, but I could hear Boston, and New York and on some good night Europe. I could even get channels like police band or foreign languages, but I wanted the music.
Today, I don’t have an iPod or an iTunes or a whatever MP3 player. I don’t have music on my phone and when away from the computer or wired stereo or boom box, I just have to imagine the songs in my head.
They sound just as I remember them, even if I don’t know the words. I can change the speed or skip to the best part and I don’t require headphones.

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