I'm on my PC right now (obviously) and have an application downloaded that gives me access to just about any radio station in the world. I'm tuned into P2 Klassiskt - Stockholm; very few commercials if any - promotions for the arts and mainly introductions to the next selection. Very calm listening.
About a quarter century plus ten years ago, I had an apartment on Vahallavagen across from the Olympic Stadium. Swedish TV consisted of 5 channels at the time and was not inspiring and as I was just renting a room, kitchen use and a closet bathroom, well, I stayed put. My desk, though, had a radio; short wave of course. It was a miniature to the one in my dad's little basement workshop where he fixed things on a workbench and tied trout fishing flies in the winter. He taught me how and since he traveled a great deal for his work by car, he was also a radio fanatic. We spent hours in that labor, listening, hitting the buttons when we needed a change and in wonderment if there were fly fishermen in Oslo or Dublin (there were by the way).
I was intrigued as a kid that you could punch a button and listen to radio stations in all the great European capitals. It sent me to my geography books and our encyclopedia to learn all about Equador and Budapest, Cape Town and Moscow. Sitting at my desk in Sweden and so much closer to the European broadcasts....well it was childhood again.
There is something magic about radio and TV just doesn't have. Look, TV is image driven; you don't have to imagine anything as it is all right there and if you look away, the audio will tell you what you are seeing anyway. In short, it makes imagination un-needed; superfluous.
Radio is all sound with nothing to see except what your eyes see on the inside of your eyelids. In Stockholm, particularly in the dark winter days there is plenty of time for melancholy.
Next to my bed in Bay City, where our family moved when I was 12, I had one of these:
We had WBCM that, if you were trying to be "social" and not so square peg-ish, you listened to as at 9pm they had dedication time where you could in and dedicate a song anonymously to your girl or boy friend and the school, the next day, would be all abuzz over the mentioned name(s) and wonderment as to who called in for what.
Bay City is on Lake Huron and directly across from us, me, my radio, was the Canadian town of Owen Sound, population 20,000 freezing souls.
If you've noticed the lower end of the AM dial on most radios starts at some frequency just above 500...you really can't tell (its 540 if you aren't curious enough to look). Well, 560AM is Radio CFOS that started about the time of WWII. It had and still does have a pretty good signal and across open water with the right atmospherics I could tune it in. They carried curling on several nights during the week and if you were flipping through stations and started at the far left on the dial, it was the first one you came to.
|WCOS Studios in Owen Sound|
The curling was brought to you live from the Grey Granite Curling Rink and I have to tell you that a curling match on radio requires a very vivid imagination to figure out. I never did until I saw a match in Stockholm during my stay and those winter nights in Bay City suddenly became clear. You can listen to the station now if you have a mind to.....here.
My point is, and I do have one, that this little story is just one of a million chains of stories in my mind that spring from just listening and picturing in my mind without the aid of a video feed. My life is a little more memory laden as a result and I think those who don't put down that path of remembrances will grow old without that bag of nostalgia.