Mar 19, 2013

The Massachusetts Observer (Why does he do this?)

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From: The Massachusetts Observer

The Massachusetts Observer

Why do I do this?

Posted: 18 Mar 2013 10:59 PM PDT

It's a fair question, and it deserves an answer.  Why have I begun devoting most of my blog to creating Southbridge Old Time Radio?

There are a few reasons.  First, old time radio, or the golden age of radio as some call it, is not a new interest.  I have listened to these for years.  I started a long time ago collecting these on cassette tapes.  Recently as I have begun the process of getting rid of "stuff" that has accumulated over many years, I came across some of these tapes.  Cassettes, of course, have gone the way of reel to reel and 8 tracks.  New technologies have made them obsolete.  Still, the recordings, in my opinion are timeless.

I started listening to some of them and fell in love with them again.  I began to think of new ways to enjoy them on a personal level and also to share this love of old time radio with others who may find them interesting too.  I also believe that they can serve some important purposes in our time.

I believe that they can serve a generation that is consumed with specialization and standardization.  We live in a time where education consists solely for the purpose of employment, so those things that do not advance that purpose are rejected and neglected.  Yet, it is the imagination that has led to most advancements.  William Butler Yeats said that "education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire."  I agree with that.  Children should not just be considered empty vessels to be filled with facts.  We are robbing them of a portion of the most uplifting and rewarding aspect of the human experience.  Old time radio can help to stimulate the imagination.  It can also serve as something that whole families can share and discuss.

At the other end of the age spectrum are the elderly, many of whom today are living their golden years in care-facilities such as nursing homes.  That generation grew up for the most part listening to these old radio shows when they were new.  Many are from the World War 2 generation, and many are coping with some of the problems of advanced age such as dementia or Alzheimer's. I believe that listening to old time radio may well provide a connection that will keep them alert and happy.  I brought such a proposal to our local nursing home in Southbridge and gave them a recording on CD. There was some enthusiasm, but unfortunately they never got back to me.

As to providing old time radio shows for the elderly, I take a point of personal privilege.  On this day (March 19, 1989) my father, Stanley Abrahamson, passed away at the age of 69.  I know that if he were around today, I would be making these old time radio broadcasts if only for him alone.  I was not privileged to have my father in my life long enough for him to benefit from listening to the radio programs of his youth, but I do know that many of his generation can benefit, so this effort in part is for them.  I also wanted to personalize it for Southbridge though it is for everyone. (I heard recently from someone in Florida who is enjoying Southbridge Old Time Radio!)  If you have an elderly parent, or you are a care-giver for someone who is elderly, I encourage you to give old time radio a try.

So those are some of the reasons I do this.  But now on to today's broadcast.

It's Crime-Tracker Tuesday!

During the golden age of radio, the detective whether private or police, was a staple of programming.  All detectives, of course, had their own distinct personalities and traits.  If you want to hear from a private detective who celebrates his own superior ego, who is certain that he is God's gift to women, and who in spite of all that remained a favorite of radio listeners, you need look no further that Richard Rogue, played to the hilt by Dick Powell.

Southbridge Old Time Radio presents Dick Powell as Private Investigator Richard Rogue in an episode titled Little Drops of Rain.  Enjoy!

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