Columns 29.5.2018 03:05 pm

The magical world of radio

A transistor radio. Picture: Facebook

A transistor radio. Picture: Facebook

I remember listening to radio shows way back even before I started attending school. It was a magical world which unleashed my imagination.

Did I have a flashback yesterday morning? Driving to work, I channel-hopped between different radio stations. It’s astounding what one can learn from breakfast radio.

For one, who knew that yesterday was Centurion resident Oom Gerrie Swanepoel’s birthday? Gerrie is not well. His children sent him such a poignant message. I’m sure the young woman in the car next to me was listening to the same station, because the tears were streaming down her face. Even now, recalling the moment, there’s a lump in my throat.

With a click, I was lucky enough to get Tom Jones to intervene. By golly, when he sings She’s A Lady, not even the staunchest of feminists can stop themselves from humming along.

I also learnt that Kakamas would reach a high of 23°C yesterday. That’s a lot warmer compared to the maximum of 19°C predicted for Johannesburg. Come to think of it, I’ve never been to Kakamas. But then again, there are so many places I’ve never visited, like Hondeklip Bay, Lepelsfontein, Soebatsfontein. Not that those tiny little faraway towns are on the weather forecast list. That got me wondering: how do the people of Gamoep, for example, know what the weather will be? I suppose they just open a curtain. Oooh. Sunny. Wonderful.

Another click and I had sunshine on my shoulders. Can you believe the coincidence? And that while the sun was dragging itself out of bed, slowly lifting its head above the horizon. That John Denver classic – If I had a tale that I could tell you, I’d tell a tale sure to make you smile – really does light up a day.

The big news – and the topic that got the most reaction from the listeners – was that we are being ruled with distinction. After Cyril Ramaphosa rated himself as an eight-out-of-10 president, some listeners were highly irate. He deserves at least full marks, was the general consensus.

I remember listening to radio shows way back even before I started attending school. It was a magical world which unleashed my imagination. And yesterday morning I realised, after all the decades, the world of radio is still a magical wonderland.

Danie Toerien.

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