When I was a girl, I would occasionally spend days with my grandparents while my parents were away or when I was sick and had to come home from school. One of my favorite things was when my grandmother would bring out her recordings of old episodes of The Green Hornet radio show. There was something so different about listening to a story rather than watching it on TV.
These days, radio shows are mostly podcasts, about non-fictional topics, but they can become massively popular. Boyfriend and I just started listening to Serial while driving home from his family’s home several hours from where we live. It’s so absorbing to listen to these people, but also fun to imagine what they actually look like. I’ve definitely been sucked in and we’ll have to set aside some time to finish it rather than watching TV at night.
But I love a good fictional radio play. On Christmas Day, we listened to two special Christmas radio plays on two separate public radio stations. They were both really silly, and not the best written, but they were fun. And listening to the actors try to differentiate characters through voice alone leads to some fun variation.
On Sunday nights, my NPR station airs The Big Broadcast. I used to only hear it when we drove to a Sunday night swing dance years ago, but it’s a lot of the same old radio shows that my grandmother used to share with me. Listening to it reminded me not only of a bygone era, but also of sharing time with her.