Monday, March 28, 2011

Transistor Radios - Too Cool


Recently on a trip to one of my favorite stores with my son we came across a baby blue transistor radio. As he picked up the radio, I was struck by his pose and the expression on his face, all at once the rocker, a young Sid Vicious.... cool and confident and yet like a kid with his first big toy. And I knew just how he felt. I had first seen a transistor radio while at boarding school when a fellow classmate had brought one back with her after a weekend at home.  She and her little transistor radio became very popular.  Every Sunday night we would huddle around her and her radio as we listened to the weekend countdown of the top records of the day, praying that our favorite groups would make it to Number 1.  If they did we would jump up and hug each other and revel in the victory.  I finally persuaded my mother to buy me one after months of nagging, and I carried the tiny radio all over our flat in London and through the halls of my boarding school listening to my idols: The Police, Madness, Blondie and Duran, Duran.

I will never forget that first radio, and although we moved on from transistor radios to The Walkman, CD's and now I Pods that allow us to choose our favorite songs and listen to them in solitude with the aid of tiny earbuds, we are no longer sharing in the music, the way we once did.  And, it seems to me that we may be the poorer for it.

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