Hurricanes, power loss, transistors, and Lou Powsner • Brooklyn Paper

Hurricanes, power loss, transistors, and Lou Powsner

So much disaster has befallen us, it has, with the ocean breaching our beloved beach, leaving sand and destruction in its path. And trees and lampposts snapped like toothpicks, they have, the result of Sandy’s wrath.

Sitting without power many have, with only the a transistor radio to keep them company, and tell them of the things going on around them.

Reminds me, it does, of my Uncle Morty who first introduced my family to the radio.

It came in a big tan carton that he lifted onto the table in our kitchen. Carried it all the way from Washington D.C., he did, in his big old Packard with the huge white tires.

That radio became the drive of my boyhood. Most excited I was to listen to it — even more excited than when Uncle Morty took out the nickels from behind my ear, which says something.

Each subsequent visit from Uncle Morty brought more and more wonders to our little apartment above my dad’s store in old Coney. I would proudly show him my view from my new bedroom window and he would show us how to play records on a Victrola.

When Uncle Morty was at his job in the nations’ capital, he learned new tricks about the radio that he would generously share with us on his visits.

We learned that some stations had only Italian or Hebrew and Jewish programs, WOR was almost always hosted by John Gambling, (seniro of the senior, that is). Now 60 years later there is still a John Gambling at the helm (only very junior).

Initially, WOR broadcast from the Bamberger’s department store in Newark N.J., its home for many years until moving to Broadway in New York City.

WOR’s new home is at the foot of Broadway just across from the World Trade Center site. Through the years WOR has had great competition from WABC, and WJZ. WABC has taken on fiery conservative talk shows, led by the Rush Limbaugh, who preaches war for all and has taken up no guns himself. Just below WOR another station has switched to all sports, WFAN.

Those were all AM radio stations while new FM stations were created. And those are almost all music and very little audio controversy. So relaxing and now we can say more radio to come, as long as we avoid the static.

This is Lou Powsner.

Read Lou Powsner's collumn twice a month on BroolynDaily.com

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