Dreams Of Mom

Last night/this morning was very full of dreams. All of them have been lost to dreamland except one. I dreamt I saw my mother. We hugged and she talked to me. When I have a dream about one or both of my parents, they never speak; well, until now. Oh, both of my parents are long gone.

I have a theory why I dreamt about my mother and why she spoke to me, The Odd Couple. No, that’s not a description of my wonderful wife and me; only I’m odd. Yesterday I discovered that Hulu offers a number of episodes of The Odd Couple TV show that starred Jack Klugman and Tony Randall.

The second one I watched is one of my favorites and I think is Dr. Zal’s absolute favorite. It’s the one where Felix and Oscar end up on the game show Password.

Betty White, widow of the late Allen Ludden who was the host of Password, appeared in the episode (as did Ludden, of course). I have always thought that my mother bore a physical resemblance to her. In addition, they were born in the same year. I am fairly certain that seeing an “analogue” for my mother speak is what triggered the dream.

Besides Dr. Zal, are any of you fans of The Odd Couple?

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Believe it or not, today is World Radio Day. Although this proportion varies by age, the majority of people (about 54%) only listen to radio while in their vehicle. Even in this day and age of satellite radio and radio “streaming,” most people–about 65%–still listen to AM/FM while in their cars/trucks.

I worked in radio, both as a host and “behind” the microphone, and I loved it. For a long time, I thought that would be my career and the way I could be involved in sports. Of course, I have a face made for radio.

While working as an Economist/Data Analyst for a small business that provided assistance to companies in arbitration/litigation, I was still looking for full-time radio jobs. A small radio station in Georgia offered me the position as their Sports Director without ever meeting me. When they told me the starting salary–which was less than half of what I was earning–even given the difference in cost of living, there was just no way I could take the job. That’s when I realized that radio would probably not be a way to really make a living.

It is not possible to state with certainty which company produced the first car radio. The first “mass-market” car radio was probably produced by Galvin Manufacturing Corporation–which was later re-named Motorola–in 1930. Given the first commercial radio broadcasts happened in the US in 1920, I think that’s actually fairly late to the game.

FM radio units for cars were invented by a German company, Blaupunkt, in 1952. Fully transistorized radios did not appear en masse until the early 1960s. Before transistors, car radios (like all radios) were powered by vacuum tubes. While all such tubes grow hot with use, the radio in your house was not subject to additional heat from a car engine or to road vibrations. Those older car radios failed often.

 

See the source image

 

That’s a Motorola car radio from the 1960s. Note how “All Transistor” is prominently displayed.

What are your listening habits while driving? We have satellite radio in all three vehicles, but when I’m in the Z06 by myself almost all of my “entertainment” is from listening to the songs on my iPhone via Bluetooth.

 

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Sunday Sunday

I was going to call this post Sunday Silence and then not actually write a post. That would have been too “cute.”

Sunday was the only day my father didn’t work from 7 AM to 10 PM so we would often have dinner as a family and go for a drive either before or after dinner. I have fond memories of those Sundays, often spent in the back seat of the 1956 Buick Century that I have mentioned before.

I loved listening to the car radio, which I thought was an amazing bit of engineering. Surprisingly, it is not that easy to ascertain when the first car radio that found widespread use was actually developed. In History of the American Auto by Consumer Guide, one of their factoids for 1923 reads, “The first car radios available for factory installation are built by the Springfield Body Corporation.” An Internet search yields conflicting results.

This article from radiomuseum.org mentions the difficulty in determining when the first radios made specifically for cars were built and which company built them first. One of the sub-headings of the article is titled, “Confusion – no reliable statement of facts at this time.” From the same article (which was written in 2007), “The year and date for the first production run of a ‘real car radio’ remains still a bit of a mystery considering what’s known about the subject at this time.”

In case you don’t know (or even if you do), commercial radio broadcasts began in the US in 1920. KDKA in Pittsburgh was the first radio station to receive a “limited commercial” license although other stations had also been conducting experimental broadcasts.

Back to the radiomuseum.org article…a picture of a Crosley Roamio 91, a car radio from around 1930:

Don’t ask me how it worked because I don’t know and honestly don’t care. We take for granted the ability to have entertainment and information whenever we want in our car or anywhere else. It wasn’t that long ago that such access was not the norm.

OK, here’s another picture of a 1956 Buick Century, this one from momentcar.com:

See the source image

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