Eclectic, quirky, and sometimes edgy…this is how things look from my front porch.

Friday, August 15, 2014

On the Radio

Ed and Pegeen Fitzgerald were a fixture in my Grandmother Dunn's life. She listened to Breakfast with the Fitzgerald's every morning. Originally broadcast on ABC Radio, then on WOR Radio  (I don't know why the station didn't have four call letters), from their New York City apartment, they eventually left the City for a house in Connecticut. They did the show together for 44 years and then Pegeen broadcast alone after Ed died. Dig the uniformed maid pouring coffee in the picture from New York City.

Radio was a big deal to Nana.  I think she never got over the radio era.  She liked to do housework while listening to all news stations from New York City and early talk radio shows like the Fitzgeralds and another show called Rambling with Gambling.  Rambling with Gambling broadcast until very recently, for 84 years and three generations of John Gamblings.

Pegeen had an upper crust voice that was kind of unusual.  This link below has both audio and video.  Boy does this take me back!

Ed and Pegeen Fitzgerald

I think Nana liked listening to Pegeen  because she never got over being executive secretary to a Wilkes-Barre, PA big wig, Mr. Washburn.  She would answer the phone sort of singing like secretaries did back in the day trilling, "Hedd DOHHHH?"  It cracked my brother and sister up.  Sometimes we answer the phone like that when we know one of us is on the phone or say, "Laughter quickly turns to tears," another of Nana's aphorisms.

This is why I was so thrilled to find a radio like this:

I had to go headquarters in Richmond to get a new cell phone.  There's an antique mall a few doors down.  I stopped by on my lunch and found this radio marked very reasonably in the last stall marked, "FM doesn't work."  Check out the ridiculous E-Bay prices for such an item.

I kept a straight face.  The FM doesn't work because there is no FM. There's only the AM dial because it is an old AM radio from the late 1940's early 1950's.  I had a further mark down with the cashier said that the whole radio didn't work.  It is a tube radio which must warm up for about a minute before it starts working. It worked when I was patient back at home.

I think of Nana in the house at 15 Maynard Drive, Farmingdale,  New York, which smelled of Fels Naptha soap. listening to WOR or the rush hour reports on a radio like this, waiting for my Pop to come home. A load of T-shirts flaps on the clothesline of an autumn Long Island late afternoon.  She stands in a vintage kitchen with knotty pine cabinets cooking a hockey puck hamburger for my Pop.  She was a great baker, but a terrible cook.
Nana's engagement picture. She and my Pop adored each other.

No comments: