There’s an ancient radio sitting on the window ledge of my Dad’s shop. If my memory serves me correctly, he got it when he was a teenager. I can only imagine how many hit songs and radio show hosts came through the speakers over the years.
My favorite memories surrounding that radio are from the late 90’s.
Dad had a habit of listening to public radio on the weekends while cranking bolts on his Volkswagen Beetle, popping rivets into his (still unfinished) Nieuport 11 biplane, or just working on projects during those hot Georgia summers. His listening tastes ranged from the smooth voices on NPR to the energetic Irish fiddle music that so few stations play anymore. There was something homey about hearing those sounds as I rode my bike in the back yard or launched military operations with tiny plastic soldiers in the sandbox.
On occasion, I would find my way into the garage and pick up a ratchet of my own, helping Dad as best as I could. We would work side by side without talking, trying to avoid busting a knuckle on the wheel-well of the bug, while listening to the radio. Car Talk and A Prairie Home Companion were my favorites.
Now that I own a house and spend Saturdays working on projects of my own in the back yard, I figured it was time to get my own ancient radio; to create new memories backed by a soundtrack of public radio drifting through the screened door while I cut wood in the side yard, or wrap new tape on the handlebars of my fixie bicycle.