The Old Philco Radio

Phil Whitley's picture

When I was a kid, we had radio. We didn’t get our first TV until I was 10 or so... 1953-54. Programs didn't start until 12 noon, and ended at midnight. Then you could watch the test pattern Indian to see if he moved.

Before TV, Mom, Dad, Johnny (my 5-year-younger brother) and I would sit around in the living room and listen to radio shows like Amos n' Andy, The Guiding Light, Crimebusters, Tarzan of the Apes, Inner Sanctum (really scary) and Gunsmoke.

One night years later, the TV went out and Mom said, "I know, let's get the old Philco out and listen to it like we used to."

We all thought it was a good idea, so I went to the attic and got the radio down and got it playing on top of the dead TV.

We sat there for a while, listening, staring at each other, looking around the room, feeling a little silly. What was wrong? We started talking about it, trying to figure out what was different, (besides the programming) and this is what we decided:

While listening to the radio, Mom would be crocheting or sewing, Dad would be working at his desk, Johnny and I would be in the floor playing with a puzzle or an erector set. We were all doing something else! The point is, is that with radio, you could still DO something! Radio didn't demand the attention of your eyes and ears. We were constructive!

Don't get me wrong.... I love TV. But now I try to focus on shows like "The Learning Channel, Discovery Channel, A&E, History Channel, etc. At least learn something, while the spittle drools down my chin....but now the TV has a competitor! THE INTERNET!

I forgot to mention that I also like The Simpsons, X-Files, 3rd Rock from the Sun, King of the Hill, and those old black and white Tom and Jerry cartoons.........

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Submitted by Davids mom on Wed, 01/14/2009 - 10:32pm.

Thanks for this. I haven't thought of our old Philco in years. I remember listening to FDR's speeches (fireside chats) in front of it; following the news of the battles of WWII; and of course Jack Benny, Amos & Andy - and The Shadow!!

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Submitted by Phil Whitley on Thu, 01/15/2009 - 11:02pm.

Thanks, Davids Mom! I wasn't sure if anyone was reading these things. Dang, I loved that old radio... especially in retrospect.

Phil (friends call me Brew)

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