As I sit here listening to radio broadcasts from around the world on Free-to-Air Satellite I am reminded again of the great gift that is Radio. If you will forgive a little bit of personal nostalgia, radio has been for me a true gift, ever since I was a boy. I will not go into my past too much (we all have our stories), but when I was 8 years old I got my first radio on Christmas. It was a General Electric clock radio with a big AM dial, circa. the late 1960s. I spent many, many hours seeking out those weak distant AM stations at night, always wanting to see how far I could receive signals from other parts of the country. I was fascinated by it from the start.
I had that radio for years until I went off to college, when I gave it to my step sister for her listening pleasure. I am sure it is long gone by now, but I ran across the same model on eBay some years ago and purchased one in relatively good condition. It needs some work to get it working properly again, and I hope this year to finally get around to doing just that. It was the start of my love of all things radio.
Because of my childhood situation radio was my trusted companion. It was always there, reminding me of a world which existed outside of my circumstances, with an implied promise of one day being able to experience that world. Radio was safe, and it allowed me hours and hours of peace.
Unlike most children I was allowed to watch very little TV when I was young, and by the time of high school when my life changed for the better, I was not used to spending hours in front of the “boob” tube, as we used to call it, so there was no real temptation to do so. Radio, whether DXing for broadcast stations, shortwave, or police/fire scanning was far more interesting to me. It still is.
This morning I have been listening to radio broadcasts from around the world in multiple languages, most of which I know little or nothing of, but enjoying truly wonderful music. I never cease to be amazed at the beauty of life expressed in music regardless of the culture from which it comes. No matter what their day-to-day existence, even music from the most oppressed or depressed corners of the world has in it hope for a better world, an expression of the better angels of our nature.
What a magnificent gift these radio waves are which can bounce along the atmosphere to travel around the world with a power so weak we cannot even feel them as they pass through us. How truly incredible! And my sincerest thanks go back through the centuries to those incredible pioneers of radio who realized just what was possible in the creation of a world governed by the laws of physics! 73, Robert