Friday, May 10, 2013

Radio could have saved her

Why, Mr. Marconi,
this is baloney—
you can’t keep this thing to yourself.
You really must share it—
one day folks will wear it,
on wrists, in their pockets,
or just displayed on a shelf.

At 1:45 pm, a message was received...warning of large icebergs in Titanic's path. However, Titanic's wireless radio operators, Jack Phillips and Harold Bride, were too busy to relay what they considered "non-essential" ice messages to the bridge. They were employed by Marconi Wireless relay paid messages to and from the passengers.

Marian's prompt today at the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads is for us to discuss “Radio has changed our lives and practically saved our lives.” (Rob Zombie)
Although I didn't listen to the entire video clip Marian provided, I can certainly relate to the statement.
I grew up in a small city in the mountains of British Columbia. Television didn't reach us until 1957, although we had seen some of it when we visited our grandparents in the Vancouver suburbs.
Therefore, radio was a large part of our indoor entertainment, along with the encyclopedia and a big orange book called "Who's Who in the Zoo"!
I distinctly remember hearing radio music in the 1940s, when I was very small. My parents would often say, "Kay, listen, there's Glenn Miller!" but the first song I really remember hearing was Red Sails in the Sunset by Bing Crosby. The first song whose lyrics I memorized from the radio was Shrimp Boats by Jo Stafford.
The family radio, occupying one corner of the kitchen countertop, was almost always left on in the 1950s. We were sometimes allowed to stay up late to listen to "the fights" with Dad, when Rocky Marciano was boxing.
Some of my friends, with the help of their parents, made "crystal sets" which were small radio receivers. I thought they looked like fun, but radio fun at our house really started when I got a transistor radio for Christmas, 1960.
Dad made an antenna for my little radio, going out my bedroom window and up to the roof. Late at night we'd try to get "far away" stations on it. Our biggest triumph was a radio station in Sacramento, California, which advertised Shakey's Pizza Parlor. I had never heard of pizza, and my father had only the vaguest notion of it. "I think it's a tomato and cheese pie," he said.


Marian said...

whoosh, LOVE this, Kay. yep. woulda shoulda, if only.

Sherry Blue Sky said...

I love this, too. Oh I must write about my radio days! Cool topic! Awesome, Kay! I still love radio - CBC only, of course!

Helen said...

Oh the grim message in your post .. I didn't know this. said...

Kay, I do remember that story about the radio operators on the Titanic. My father's family almost booked a trip on it (they were rich in those days). Glad they didn't!

Even then, the "needs" of the rich were considered more important than the safety of hundreds of people, especially those in steerage.

Great commentary packed into a short poem, Kay. Amy

Kay L. Davies said...

Thanks, Amy, and you're so right. Plus the needs of the rich are still considered more important than the safety of poor people. Nobody has learned that lesson yet, certainly not the rich, who really believe they are more important. Sad commentary on humanity.

Kerry O'Connor said...

Radio could literally have saved lives.. This reminds me of your comment on my blog - the passengers thinking it was any other day.. So sad.

Yamini MacLean said...

Hari OM
Superb expression of history Kay!

...and it IS just a tomato and cheese 'pie'!!! COL. Hugs for the weekend, YAM xx

jabblog said...

I didn't know about the Marconi wireless operators on the Titanic - how very sad.
To this day I prefer radio to television.

Robyn Greenhouse said...

How amazed would the inventors of the radio be if they could see the new "radios" of today! Amazing to think how the whole tragedy of the titanic could have been avoided.

Hannah said...

Very informative, Kay!! I'm grateful to have learned something new!! Thank you!

Fireblossom said...

Oh my gosh, I had a transistor radio just like that, with a leather case, when I was young. I can still remember how it smelled!