Friday, 16 March 2012

THE WILD AND WOOLY DAYS OF RADIO

Remember the days of top forty radio? Talking a mile a minute, disk jockeys with crazy nicknames played requests and dedications for their loyal fans. Their shows were fast-paced and fun to hear.

One radio station that kept my mind off of my homesickness was CKLG. When my parents sent me five hundred miles from home to Jericho Hill School for the Deaf and Blind, this Vancouver radio station's DJs helped make life a bit more bareable for me.

In Deliverance from Jericho (Six Years in a Blind School), I recounted a fair number of incidents when tuning into CKLG kept me entertained. In this particular excerpt, the stunts the DJs pulled were wild by today's standards.

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The DJs I listened to were extremely creative back then. One man threatened to blow up the station one afternoon. I listened intently as he counted down to zero and pressed the button. Of course, it was all done with sound effects. After the imaginary smoke cleared, I heard him say, "Oops! I hit another building. Ah well, I might as well play more boss music." The other boys and I enjoyed the joke immensely.

One announcer claimed that somebody set up a pirate radio station. At the appointed time, I waited outside the dorm with the radio tuned to the frequency which the announcer gave. I only heard static. After a half hour of hearing no broadcast, I switched off the set, deciding the pirate would never make his debut. I felt let down since I had never heard a brand new station come on the air.

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Deliverance from Jericho abounds with vignettes of what life was like in that government-run institution. These range from poignant experiences of homesickness to hilarious incidents of mischief. Please feel free to click on the link to my books or contact me directly for more information about them.