The theme for January 2022 is “In with the New.” We’d love to hear your radio origin stories, as listeners, broadcasters, or technophiles. Tell us who got you involved or how are you getting others involved. What new technologies are you using? Or new-to-you tech? What new broadcasters or shows are you listening to? How has radio changed for you since you began listening?
Here are stories sent in by listeners:
“In 1968, I was 7 years old and my next door neighbor invited my mother over for coffee one evening. I tagged along and was immediately impressed by a beautiful Philco floor model radio. My neighbor was a retired Merchant Marine Captain. He fired up the radio and we were listening to ship traffic from…it didn’t matter, I was hooked ever since. I had countless 49 mHz walkie-talkies, too many 11 meter and out and radios, I talked with stations world wide, but nothing compared to shortwave listening. I’ve had some gems too. A Helicrafters S-120, a Realistic DX 160, a DX 150, a DX-398, DX-302, Zenith TransOceanic Royal 1000, a Tecsun PL-660 and my newest, a TecsPL-398BT.
I am now 61, and listen daily.
Some say shortwave radio is dead. I disagree. The end of the Cold War brought the end to some stations, however with today’s political climate, new stations are emerging monthly.
Happy DXing” — Alex
“Got into shortwave and qsl verifications as a young teenager in the late 60’s. In fall of 1971, living in New York City, I was listening to Voice of Vietnam , from NORTH Vietnam. I sent a reception report to Hanoi address. Months later I received a note from my local post office. I had international mail but I needed to sign papers and have a legal parent/guardian along with me. My father, then supportive of the war, was none too pleased. My US post office made me sign papers, which my father told me not to ask for copies, and though I have filed FOIA requests, the US government says that they cannot locate anything. The QSL shows a Viet Cong soldier with a US POW, along with the confirmation of my tech details of reception. Definitely a young mind, involved in a hobby, with no thoughts of current events, history, government keeping tabs on it’s people, or making a parent very angry. I will say that at least the US did not censor, censure, or retaliate at me, which is more than I can say for most other countries. Stupid war. Too many youngsters lost their lives, for what? I was lucky…draft ended before my card showed up.” — Lars S., Arizona
“My radio story began in early 90’s. I was about eight or nine years old, on a day when school was canceled due to a heavy snow storm, I was at home playing with the toy electronics set my parents got me for my birthday. The set was a little advanced for my age, but I still enjoyed tinkering around with wires and building simple gadgets just by following the instruction booklet. On this snowy day I built a simple radio and was immediately fascinated by how well it worked. I scanned the bands all day long until the evening when the sky turned pink (as it always did during snow storms). I was amazed by how information “flew” through the sky and the simple toy that I built let me receive it. This is still a very vivid memory after thirty years later. After that day, I listened to the radio mostly with my dad who enjoyed scanning the shortwave bands in the evenings. In summer holidays when we went on family trips, he always brought our radio and it was great joy finding new stations wherever we went. My interest in radio waned over the years. As an adult, I mostly listened to public radio for news and classic rock stations while driving. Given we live in the internet era, I paid no attention to stations far away. During the COVID pandemic, my radio hobby has experienced a revival. I have been homesick and daydreaming about happy childhood memories. That snowy day reminded me of a long lost interest. I got myself a world band radio and have been spending late nights signal hunting. It has been an escape from the chaotic times we are living to the cherished memories of my youth.” — Burak, CA
Special guest is Roseanna from Radio Northern Europe International. Find out more about RNEI at https://rnei.org/
Links to the poems and articles read and mentioned on the show:
- Poems by C.R. Harper:
- “The Year” by Ella Wheeler Wilcox (at the Academy of American Poets website)
- “The Year’s Awakening” by Thomas Hardy (at the Academy of American Poets website)
- “In Tenebris” by Ford Madox Ford (at the Academy of American Poets website)
- BBC Remembrance of writer Joan Didion
Music is “If you were here…” by Julie Maxwell.