Vintage Pastime: Radio Plays

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.

Christmas Festivities

My Christmas was lovely. It started the evening before, with dinner at my grandparents’ home. Classic appetizers of summer sausage, cheese, crackers, and a platter of shrimp cocktail led into a lovely traditional dinner of roast beef, scalloped potatoes, and a homemade pie for dessert.



My grandmother had received a some lovely flowers and put them in her sun room, along with all her other flowers. The whole effect was lovely and reminded me of old British TV shows where there are always flowers.

/home/wpcom/public_html/wp-content/blogs.dir/9d0/80693568/files/2014/12/img_0132.jpgThe next morning, we rose late for us, though still early by many standards. Boyfriend and my mother made coffee while I made a cup of tea. Earl Grey with lemon, in a mug my mother was given by a friend who went for a trip on the Queen Elizabeth II.


We opened our gifts and enjoyed the displays of thoughtful generosity. I appreciate that my family does not offer excessive amounts of gifts. It’s just enough for each person to feel thought-of, without too much clutter. After opening gifts, I made scones while my mother cleaned fruit and cooked bacon.


We had a lovely breakfast of fruit, bacon, and scones with cream, jam, and lemon curd. By noon, we were ready to get cleaned up and go visiting. We stopped at a dear friend’s house, where she and her family were opening their gifts. After that stop, Boyfriend and I made the trip up to his family’s house in another city. On the trip, we had the chance to listen to two Christmas radio plays airing on the various local stations we passed along the drive. We arrived, tired but still feeling festive, and wrapped up our Christmas day with a pot roast dinner with his family.