Saturday, July 21, 2007


This morning I did something that I used to do as a child many years ago. After breakfast, I settled into my favorite comfortable chair and listened to an old-time radio episode of “Gunsmoke”. A few months ago I discovered a website that offers thousands of old programs, and I’ve been thoroughly enjoying them this summer. The “Gunsmoke” programs are some of the best – usually very well acted and filled with splendid sound effects. I’m astonished, actually, at how much artistry is obvious in each program: the plots are often subtle and inventive, and the dramatic performances are usually superb. This morning I leaned back with a cup of coffee and listened to a wistful episode about a good father and a bad son. I especially enjoyed the sound effects: the clip-clopping of horses, the singing of crickets, the opening and closing of doors, the sound of footsteps moving away in the distance. I was completely swept up into the atmosphere of the plot as I listened and sipped my coffee. Except for the coffee, I might have been ten years old and sitting spellbound once upon a time in the cozy house on back on Fairview Avenue.

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