Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Post 2303 - A Cool Evening

I am back home after a pretty interesting evening in Dartmouth.

Yes. I wrote "Dartmouth" and "interesting" in the same sentence.  Keep reading.

Before Easter, I was contacted by a student of the radio television program at the Nova Scotia Community College, Waterfront campus.  We scheduled it to happen this evening after my work.

After work, we drove to Dartmouth.  We ate at John's Lunch, a Dartmouth mainstay.  We go there every 5 years or so.  The food was good, but like the Chicken Burger and so many other places, it coasts on its reputation.  People associate such nostalgia with these places that they overlook that the food isn't that good.  It's good, but not that good.  But I digress.

Andrew Chiasson had invited me and Patricia to drop by.  He wanted to interview me about the idea of DX'ing, of the art of listening to far away radio stations.  In this day of internet streaming, the fact that I continue to listen to New York AM stations all the time on my car radio is not noteworthy to most people.  But it's important to me and to others.

I likened DX'ing to buying a book.  You may have coveted a particular book for a long time.  There is nothing to beat the thrill of walking into a used bookstore and finding this tome.  Yes, you can download it to your kindle.  You can go to this website  and order it.  But nothing can beat finding it on your own.

Listening to a far away station is like that.  It is visceral.  It is fascinating.  And it is more satisfying to hear a broadcast in this way.

I also mentioned that DX'ing existed almost since the dawn of radio broadcasting.  There is a Harold Lloyd film called "The Freshman" from around 1925 in which Harold is admitted to college, back in the day when it was very unusual for a middle class family to be able to send a child to college.  At any rate, one of the title cards mentions the term "radio liar".  In the audio commentary, Leonard Maltin explains that a radio liar was a person who would prevaricate about what far away radio stations he could pick up.  So, 90 years ago, people were DX'ing!  Here is a brief wikipedia article about "The Freshman".  It is a very good movie, and you should see it, even if you don't like silent movies.  And, by the way, you should like silent movies.

Andrew asked some fine questions, and I tried to provide some fine answers.  Before and after, he took us on a tour of the place.  Patricia lots of pictures of me being interviewed in studio, and as time permits I will put up some of those pics on the blog.  I haven't seen them myself.  I'm sure they look fine, because Patricia took the pictures, and because I am the subject of them.

Andrew, my friend, thank you for a wonderful evening.  I promise you, more interviews are in the offing!  And my very best to you as you start your professional radio career! 

See you tomorrow.


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