One of the earliest memories that I have when I met my husband was the two of us driving in his dads car. It was a Chrysler I think, grey, late 80's. When you turned the key to start it up, the first thing you heard after the engine was the sound of a man's voice coming from the speakers. It wasn't your typical radio announcer. This was something that I would eventually come accustomed to, as my father-in-law didn't listen to music on the radio of his car, he listened to AM Talk Radio.
For some reason this habit seems to have been passed down a generation to my husband. Some of the best broadcasts of the Husker games are on AM radio. You can almost feel like you are there just from listening the the excitement in the announcers voice. I remember the drive so many times on our way home from a Big Red game, my husband, almost before totally seated behind the wheel, jumping into the car, quickly turning the radio to the post-game talks with comments from Coach Osborne. Even now, if you visit my in-laws on a Saturday during football season, chances are that all of the t.v.'s are turned to the game and my father-in-law has his little black radio sitting next to him with the game on. He watches it on t.v., with the volume down, and then listens to the broadcast on the radio.
At first I thought AM radio was just a football thing. I didn't realize that it was ALL THE TIME. Over the years I have gotten used to it. If my husband borrows my car, when I get in and start it up I instantly hear the sound of a talk show. On the other hand, when going somewhere together, I am often finding myself telling my husband not to change the station because I wanted to hear the end of the story that is being told or problem that is being solved.
AM radio can also be a great conversation starter. There is "Pet Talk Radio" and of course "Car Talk" with brothers Tom and Ray Magliozzi, a.k.a. "Click and Clack". I don't know much about cars, and honestly don't care to, but I sure do enjoy listening to two brothers go back and forth with a Jersey accent about car mishaps, laughing at themselves and having a good time.
To put a different spin on the subject of AM radio, I was quickly reminded the other day just how much kids listen even though we don't think they do. So many times I think that my kids just don't listen or aren't aware of all that is going on around them. Silly Mandy! You know that one of the things kids love to do best is to prove their parents wrong. My boys, well, most of them, love listening to the radio whenever we go somewhere. There is always that one that wants it "turned down" when everyone else wants it turned up. The other day while we were out running errands my three years old quickly escalated into a full blown screaming temper tantrum and the only thing I could understand that he was saying was, "Daddy Radio!" Apparently his brothers understood him perfectly because the next thing I know, Peter and Pearson are chanting "Car Talk! Car Talk!". I was flustered with all the chaos in the car and for some reason I felt the urge to turn on AM radio. There was instantaneous silence from the seats behind me. It occurred to me, all those times that my husband has taken the boys on special outings, it is almost guaranteed they were listening to AM radio, and now have developed an ear for it, even though they may not always understand what is being discussed.From the number of sacs a player makes to the solution for a broken water hose, they don't care. I'm sure that with the start of the season just a few days away, we'll be digging out our radio so the boys can enjoy it just like Daddy and Grandpa. And perhaps one day, one of my boys will have a girlfriend that when they are out on a date, will wonder just why on earth she is being coaxed into listening to this thing called AM radio.