The Seventeen Dollar Clock-Radio
I Just watched an episode of “Leave it to Beaver” (maybe the best sit-com ever) where Ward gave “The Beaver” a clock-radio.
“Oh man, I remember when I was seven, I got a clock-radio. It cost seventeen dollars.”
“How do you remember what it cost?”
“I don’t know, for some reason in those days you said the price for nice stuff. You wouldn’t say ‘I got a clock-radio for my birthday,’ you would say, ‘I got a seventeen-dollar clock-radio for my birthday.’ I guess it was a way to brag to your friends.”
Anyway, at the end of the show, Ward commented, “I think it was worth spending the $16.95 to make the Beaver happy.”
“See. I told you; seventeen dollars!”
I loved that radio. I grew up with an 11-inch TV in the living room and watching whatever my parents allowed me to watch up until maybe nine o’clock. With my radio I could listen and fall asleep to some of the old great radio that I missed out on because of growing up with TV.
I don’t think there were shows on every night, it was probably mostly on Saturday or Sunday, but on KFI Las Angeles I would listen to “The Lone Ranger,” “The Shadow,” or “The Jack Benny Show.”
These were shows that were now also on TV (Maybe not ‘The Shadow’) but were much more fun to listen to after 9 o’clock, under the covers and without parental consent, than they were to watch on TV.
Those old radio shows were a novelty to me, but old hat to the rest of the world. They stopped producing them around 1954 or 55.
There was something captivating about how they could paint a picture with words and sound effects on those shows.
I would have completely missed out on that special creativity if not for my Seventeen-Dollar Clock-Radio.