Nostalgic Rumblings
The Ramblings of an Old Man




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12/25/2007


The world waits…

Filed under: General, Old-Time Radio — Charlie Summers @ 1:44 am

It’s Christmas Eve. There’s always something…expectant about this one night. Every year I spend a little time outside…it’s the quietest night of the year, as if the entire world is waiting, almost in frightened anticipation, for the magic and wonder that is Christmas.

But I’m thinking now about a quieter, more gentle Christmas magic. Earlier this evening, Judy and Jimmy woke from their dream to find the Silver Star atop their Christmas tree, and a small four-inch-high bear softly singing a song only they could hear. Now I look in on my daughter, and I watch her sleep with a half-smile on her face, next to the Crazy Quilt Dragon, and I wonder…is she, in her dreams, soaring astride the colorful rascal, laughing at her reflection in the Looking Glass Mountains, or touching off the Root Bear Ocean? Is she protected from the Inkaboos by a mighty, “Grrrr-AH!” Might she visit the Singing Tree to be lulled back to sleep, only to awake tomorrow morning excited to see what’s waiting for her under the tree?

Seventy years on, and a simple story with silly characters still has the power to make a child laugh, and tremble, and see the world with a new sense of wonder. Even after all this time, the story can become what will be a treasured memory of childhood, something that lasts long after youth is gone, a warm place to hold on to as the world grows cold. All this time, and it still holds the most powerful magic in the universe - the magic to excite and expand a child’s imagination.

And maybe…just a little…her father’s, too.

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12/24/2007


The Campbell Playhouse - A Christmas Carol, 1939

Filed under: Old-Time Radio — Charlie Summers @ 11:04 am

I wanted to quickly let you know how this show came to your humble servant’s podcast. A while back I received an early Christmas present from Jerry Haendiges of The Vintage Radio Place at www.otrsite.com; he sent me a large package of programs, suggesting I run some here on the podcast…thing is, many of the programs he sent I’d never heard, and a few I’ve never heard _of,_ even as long as I’ve been in the hobby. So over the next several months I’m going to run some of the shows he sent in low-bandwidth MP3 format - even at 32kbps mono, these shows are some of the best-sounding shows around. But remember for even better quality, these shows along with a few bazillion others may be purchased directly from Jerry in either audio CD format, or ultra-high-quality MP3 format.

This version of “A Christmas Carol” is considered by many in the hobby to be the finest production of the story ever; after missing the previous year, Lionel Barrymore returns to his traditional role of Scrooge in this Mercury Theater production of the timeless Christmas tale. With wishes for a happy and prosperous holiday season, The Nostalgia Pages is proud to present Mr. Barrymore, Orson Welles, announcer Ernest Chappell, and the Mercury Theater on the Air in the Campbell Playhouse production of “A Christmas Carol,” originally broadcast sixty-eight years ago today on Christmas Eve, 1939.

Remember, you may listen to a stream of the show through the built-in player, manually download a copy, or add our RSS feed to your podcasting client (Juice, find a link on the sidebar, iTunes, or any other podcast client) and automatically receive all future programs directly to your computer or MP3 player!

icon for podpress  The Campbell Playhouse - A Christmas Carol, 1939 [58:18m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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We take pleasure in answering at once and thus prominently…

Filed under: General — Charlie Summers @ 12:01 am

 
…the communication below, expressing at the same time our great gratification that its faithful author is numbered among the friends of The Sun:

Dear Editor, I am 8 years old.
Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus.
Papa says “If you see it in The Sun it’s so.”
Please tell me the truth. Is there a Santa Claus?
Virginia O’Hanlon
115 West Ninety-fifth St.

VIRGINIA, Your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men’s or children’s, are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if they did not see Santa Claus coming down what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that’s no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You tear apart the baby’s rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, not even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.

— Editorial page of the New York Sun, September 21, 1897

From our entire family to yours - Annie, Katie (who knows perfectly well there is a Santa Claus), and yours truly; no matter what you are celebrating at this truly amazing time of the year, Happy Holidays!

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12/23/2007


The Campbell Playhouse - A Christmas Carol, 1938

Filed under: Old-Time Radio — Charlie Summers @ 9:43 pm

I wanted to quickly let you know how this show came to your humble servant’s podcast. A while back I received an early Christmas present from Jerry Haendiges of The Vintage Radio Place at www.otrsite.com; he sent me a large package of programs, suggesting I run some here on the podcast…thing is, many of the programs he sent I’d never heard, and a few I’ve never heard _of,_ even as long as I’ve been in the hobby. So over the next several months I’m going to run some of the shows he sent in low-bandwidth MP3 format - even at 32kbps mono, these shows are some of the best-sounding shows around. But remember for even better quality, these shows along with a few bazillion others may be purchased directly from Jerry in either audio CD format, or ultra-high-quality MP3 format.

This is the first of two versions of “A Christmas Carol” we’ll be running here on the podcast this holiday season…I’ve selected this particular performance of the story, the 1938 broadcast without Lionel Barrymore for purely selfish reasons…our friend Arthur Anderson has a featured role as the Ghost of Christmas Past. The 1939 broadcast of the story, with Mr. Barrymore and considered by some one of the finest presentations of the story ever, will run tomorrow here on the podcast. But for now, with wishes for a happy and prosperous holiday season, The Nostalgia Pages is proud to present Orson Welles, announcer Ernest Chappell, and the Mercury Theater on the Air in the Campbell Playhouse production of “A Christmas Carol,” originally broadcast sixty-nine years ago on the Night Before the Night Before Christmas, 1938.

Remember, you may listen to a stream of the show through the built-in player, manually download a copy, or add our RSS feed to your podcasting client (Juice, find a link on the sidebar, iTunes, or any other podcast client) and automatically receive all future programs directly to your computer or MP3 player!

icon for podpress  The Campbell Playhouse - A Christmas Carol, 1938 [63:08m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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12/22/2007


Quicksilver Radio Theater Presents A CHRISTMAS CAROL

Filed under: Radio Today — Charlie Summers @ 3:38 am

Quicksilver Radio Theater A CHRISTMAS CAROL
(A Ghost Story for Christmas)
by Charles Dickens

Directed by Jay Stern (THE CHANGELING), and adapted by Producer Craig Wichman (THE DEVIL YOU KNOW). Featuring Mr. Wichman, Anthony Cinelli, John Prave, Ghislai ne Nichols, Deborah Barta, Jodi Botelho, Elizabeth Stull, Joseph Franchini, and Tony Scheinman. Music by Tony-winner Mark Hollmann; Sound Effects by Clyde Baldo and The Cast; Engineering by David Nolan.
“…A Scrooge for all seasons…” - Paul Davis, author of THE LIFE AND TIMES OF EBENEZER SCROOGE

(NOTE: All times LOCAL)

KPR (Kansas) STREAMING
Sunday, December 23rd, 8pm CT

KMUN-KTCB (Oregon) STREAMING
Sund ay, December 23, 7pm PT

KUHF (Texas) STREAMING
Christmas Eve, 3pm CT

KUOW (Washington) STREAMING
Christmas Eve, 8pm PT

KDUR (Colorado) STREAMING
Christmas Eve, 8pm MST

WVRU (Virginia) STREAMING
Christmas Eve, 8pm ET

WMNF (Florida) STREAMING
Christ mas Eve, 10:30pm ET (Part 2)

KUND (North Dakota) STREAMING
Christmas Day, 3pm and 7pm CT

KZYX-KYZZ (California) STREAMING
???

KWSO (Oregon)
Christmas Eve, 10pm and Christmas Day, 7pm PT

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12/17/2007


Second Verse, Same as the First

Filed under: General — Charlie Summers @ 11:47 am

Still out of power, latest word is it will be restored on Wednesday (yipe!).

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12/16/2007


“D*mn…no power.”

Filed under: General — Charlie Summers @ 8:26 pm

The subject of this post is a quote from 24: The Game, in Mission 49 - Searching Radford’s Office. When Tony Almeida (Carlos Bernard) approaches the elevator wherein one of the civilians that needs to be rescued is trapped (or the door where he needs to break in to continue traversing the building), he delivers the line.

But in my case, it’s literally true. Since early this morning, there’s been no power to a large section of my area, including the neighborhood where I live. To say it’s a little cold in my house is an understatement, and with the winds kicking up I don’t expect to have power before tomorrow at the earliest, and it could be even later.

So even though the holidays are coming, all of the material I planed on posting is trapped on computers that have no electricity (including an excellent copy of The Campbell Theater’s A Christmas Carol with our friend Arthur Anderson in a featured role, provided by another friend, Jerry Haendiges). I’ll try to get everything out once power is restored, but for now, please understand I’m doing the best I can, keeping pipes from freezing and running to a local cafe to occasionally connect to the Net and get some work done. (In a future post, I’ll tell you how I’m using PortableApps, an open-source, freeware, and completely safe version of the dangerous U3 flash drive software, to manage this crisis and maintain some bit of sanity no matter what computer I’m using where.)

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12/14/2007


CompUSA to Close After Holidays

Filed under: News — Charlie Summers @ 2:38 pm

From TV Week: Rounding Up HD News: CompUSA to Close Doors After Holidays

Ok, I admit it, I’m really sad. Not that CompUSA was any great shakes as an electronics store, but it’s the only electronics store left that has a store close-by in Maryland that doesn’t have one in York, since Best Buy (not one of my favorites, BTW, and one I like a whole lot less than CompUSA) opened one here. It was the last excuse I had to drive down, then stop at Hunt Valley on the way back for a stop at Noodles and Co. or Chipotle Grill. Heck, even the Krispy Kreem on Old York Road closed down. (*sigh*)

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12/13/2007


Finally, DVD Rentals I Like!

Filed under: General — Charlie Summers @ 3:16 am

I’ve always hated renting movies or television; back in the days of Beta vs. VHS, some national chains grew up knocking all the local stores out of the market, and I stopped renting. Invasive required questionnaires, rude and demanding store employees (heck, I’m not a customer of Blockbuster, but still had to deal with the rudeness of the manager at the South Queen Street, York, PA store - I’m a neighbor who had problems with their parking lot lights, and was told by the manager there it wasn’t her problem and basically to buzz off), it just isn’t worth it. And to spend four dollars a night for a DVD I can buy for $12 seems pretty stupid, too. So I bought what I really wanted to see, borrowed from friends discs that they wanted to loan me, and ignored anything else until it showed up on a UHF station at four in the morning.

But no more, baby. I’ve found Redbox.

Ok, there’s this website at www.redbox.com where people with a sense of humor programmed an amazing example of useful technology. Create an account (no invasive information; an email address and a password is all that’s required), tell it your ZIP code, and start browsing. When you find a movie you want to rent, select it and it’ll tell you at which Redbox kiosk in your area the disc is available. I happen to have one within walking distance, and another at the Giant grocery store up the road although in many areas these are sitting at the ubiquitous McDonalds, so almost anything they have available is close to my house. Rent the disc by giving the website your credit/debit card number, and hooray and huzzah - the disc is reserved for you! Wander by the kiosk, swipe the card you used to rent the disc, and the machine spits it out. When you’re ready to return the disc, stop by a kiosk, tell it a disc is being returned, drop it in the slot, and you’re done.

Oh, did I mention all this is available for $1.00/night, with no late fees?
(more…)

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12/11/2007


Finally - a Podcast for Bob Edwards Weekend!

Filed under: Radio Today — Charlie Summers @ 7:55 pm

Ok, ok, so you still have to subscribe to XM Satellite Radio to start off your weekday mornings with Bob, but if you don’t have a station near you running Bob Edwards Weekend, fret no longer! Simply sign up to the podcast of Bob Edwards Weekend by copying and pasting the following URL::

http://rss.streamos.com/streamos/rss/genfeed.php?feedid=591&groupname=xmsatelliteradio

…into your favorite podcasting client (ahem, the same one you use to pull the Old-Time Radio shows on the podcast here, of course), and you’ll be able to at least spend a few hours every week with Bob.

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12/5/2007


Can You Top This? - First Topic, Hats

Filed under: Old-Time Radio — Charlie Summers @ 9:24 am

Recently on the Internet OTR Digest there was a discussion about the show Can You Top This?, an audience-participation program where the listeners could send in jokes to tell; the panelists would then try to top the laughter level as measured on the meter, which would determine how much money the joke-sender would receive.

Our friend Jim Widner, he of the Radio Days website, provided a collection of episodes he’s acquired from the Net for running on this podcast. This episode is labeled from May 14, 1948 and has as its first topic “Hats.”

You may stream the show using the player below, or download it with the link. Remember, by subscribing to this blog with any podcasting client (Juice, iTunes, etc.) the shows will be automatically downloaded to your computer or MP3 player!

icon for podpress  Can You Top This? - First Topic, Hats [29:30m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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12/4/2007


Empire Builders - Girl Leaves Boy for Singing Job

Filed under: Old-Time Radio — Charlie Summers @ 7:22 pm

As recently discussed on the Internet OTR Digest, here is one of the nine surviving episodes of Empire Builders, sponsored by the Great Northern Railroad and according to Elizabeth McLeod’s Documenting Early Radio page, discovered in the mid-1980s in their corporate archives. This episode, “Girl Leaves Boy for Singing Job,” aired December 29, 1930.

Our thanks to both Ken Stockinger and Jim Widner for providing the copies of these historical programs for the podcast!

icon for podpress  Empire Builders - Girl Leaves Boy for Singing Job [29:32m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download

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