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Memories of old time radio programs

There was a Protestant Easter Service at Fair Oaks Lodge as well as Easter lilies showing up in a number of places. Musical entertainment this week was by Bob and Linda on Tuesday evening and Joanne's sing-along on Wednesday afternoon. On Wednesday the Immanuel Lutheran Church was here with communion while on Friday there was Catholic communion.

This week I visited with new friend Grace Karlson. Grace was born in 1929, in Lewiston, Wis., to Wen and Elizabeth Chatman. She was the youngest of 10 children. Wen was a carpenter who built many houses along with other things in Wisconsin and Iowa.

Grace met Arthur (Art) Karlson during her last year of high school and they were married. Art spent part of the time in the military service in India, a hitch that cured him of wanting to travel for the rest of his life. They have five children.

Art worked in a machine shop in Minneapolis for the next 25 years, until the Karlsons retired and moved to Wadena. He died in 1988.

For the next few minutes Grace and I were silent, letting the quiet of evening repose after a busy day take over. The line of a favorite song comes to mind, "The cares of the day are over and gently steals in the night." It is a Jamaican slave chant.

Then Grace asked, "How would you like to be raising a couple of teenagers these days?"

We wondered what happened to the role models? Where have they gone? Or, were role models never as great as we thought they were in the first place? We decided that it might be better to choose a local person, who seemed to be getting it all together, rather than a big name in Hollywood.

Art was not about to want to take many trips, and Grace never liked to be away from home. There were too many other things she liked to do at home to spend much time packing a suitcase, so they didn't have to worry about making vacation plans.

Besides, what with television crews making the interesting and dangerous places in the world shrink to fit into our living rooms, Grace feels who needs to travel when the best seats in the house are at home?

We spoke of favorite radio programs, like Amos 'n Andy, Ma Perkins, the Yankton Rosebud Reservation singers on Saturday mornings. How about the Atwater Kent battery radios, with the picture of a dog listening to a big horn?

The early ones, in 1922, were called the Breadboard model, mounted on what looked like and was the size of a breadboard. Next came the table models, then a console in an attractive wooden cabinet with room for a battery below, that boasted shadow tuning, three short wave bands, and one AM band.

On our radio, if I set the dial on a Wadena station and flipped it to short wave, Quito, Equador, came in like it was on our front porch.

It is time to go and I've had a nice visit. Nurses are coming by with a snack, if one wants it, passing meds, ready to get Grace tucked in for the night.

With the promise to come back tomorrow for her picture, I tell Grace, "Don't let the bed bugs bite" and head down the hall to Fair Oaks Apartments. My bed will have to wait for me, until I get what I've written down in black and white, before my notes get cold.