The StoriesThis WeekPast StoriesQuest for Sound.Audio ArtifactsCollaboratorsScrapbookYour TurnResourcesTalk OnNPRLost and Found Sound
Scrapbook
Letters

WHER
The Lost & Found Sound piece on radio station WHER was one of the most moving, powerful, and well produced bit of radio journalism I have ever heard. I arrived home ten minutes before it ended, but remained in my car you:

Thank you for making the LOST AND FOUND SOUND program. It is exceptionally entertaining, in the driveway, riveted to the story.

Keep it up.

Gordon Currin

Wow, I've been loving this series for months, sometimes lingering in the office after "quittin' time" because I can't bear to leave the radio. Today's piece on WHER really struck a chord because although I'm a lifelong Yankee from NY's Hudson Valley, my mother (also l-l-Y-f-NY-H-V) was with Welcome Wagon International from before I was born (even before she met & married my dad) till I was in college.

If you're not familiar with that company, it was started in the '20's or '30's by Thomas Briggs (of Memphis) and aside from him and literally a handful of males, was an all-woman company. Like WHER, the "ladies" (and they were and dressed the part in dresses, hats [you should have seen the hats!], gloves, coordinated shoes and handbags) were very much a part of the culture of the time BUT (also like WHER) they were doing something different and doing it well in a male world.

I'm proud to have been raised in my mom's office (at home and in the car) and think it gave me a leg up on the liberated times to come. What struck me about the "girl DJs" was, like my mom, they weren't doing it as part of a movement but because they liked it and were good at it, a situation which was all too rare 40 years ago. A detail that was reinforced as I listened today and remembered one local radio station, which had at least one woman in a position of authority in the early '60's because she was one of the ones Mom dealt with regularly in business.

So hats off to Memphis (bastion of southern rectitude and tradition?) and Sam Phillips and Thomas Briggs for founding companies which gave the "girls" a chance to show what they were really made of. I don't suppose any sound bites of early Welcome Wagon stuff exist but I would love to hear any that do. {It was a public relations business, using "hostesses" to sign up civic minded sponsors to supply "gifts" to the baskets which the hostesses then took to welcome new residents (or newlyweds or new mothers) to the community. However, it wasn't just a PR business but also community service oriented, including material from the town which would also be useful to the new resident.)

Name Omitted

Transistor on the School Bus
Your recent story struck a memory nerve as vivid as any I can recall. I too was8 years old in the fall of 1960, growing up in Pittsburgh, surreptitiously listening to the World Series on my new Japanese wonder-an AM radio with that tiny little earpiece cleverly concealed up my shirt sleeve. When Bill Mazaeroski, known fondly as: "MAZ" to locals dramatically ended the series and beat the hated Yankees I too was catapulted into a fit of euphoria.

Thanks for taking me back to my youth and reliving such a memorable event. I have not listened to nor watched a baseball game since that day in 1960, but will always remember the Pirate roster, full of true gentleman, people like Roberto " The Great One" Clemente, Smoky Burgess, Dick Groat, Bill Verdon and our star relief pitcher, Elroy Face who threw the unique and un-copied "fork ball".

How I wish baseball could turn back the clock of time, like your show did, back to a time of honesty, innocence and sportsmanship!

Thanks for the memory revival.

Chuck Hayes

Dear All Things Considered:
These segments are enjoyable not just for the content, but for the eras they represent. In particular, hearing the segment about hearing the World Series on the school bus and the portrait of Detroit Top 40 powerhouse CKLW were especially memorable to me in this regard. They took me back to my grade school and high school years, respectively. I'm sure that hearing the topics of any segment in this series takes many listeners back to their pre-adult years.

Regardless of how difficult it may have been for us then, what we're faced with in childhood is far less difficult than what we're faced with as adults. If nothing else, they bring back the memories of those carefree days. I'm sure many ATC listeners would join me in saying "Thanks for the memories!"

Stephen V. Gilmore

Dear ATC,
Listening to Jonathan Cuneo tale's of the 7th game of the 1960 World Series brought back memories of an almost identical incident: different place, same source, same game.

I was 18 years old, in the Navy, and stationed in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. At the time I was part of a base defense team called NEGDF, Naval Emergency Ground Defense Forces. That day we were scheduled for BAR (Browning Automatic Rifle) practice. Being a New Yorker and a baseball fan, though not really a Yankee fan, I brought my Zenith transistor radio to the BAR range. In between firing rounds I would get as far back from the range as I could and press the transistor to my ear to hear the play by play, which I would then relate to those around me. It was very hard to hear as the signal was weak and there was the constant noise of BAR's being fired. At one point I remember crawling under a bench to try and drown out the noise. When Mazerowski hit the home run to win the game there was a mixture of disappointment, astonishment and joy. They actually stopped the firing for a moment to find out what my friends and I were jumping up and down about. I was glad that the Pirates had won as my grandfather was a big Pirates fan and finally had something to celebrate.

David Ripley

The transistor-radio story brought back an equally sharp memory. After suffering through the 1950s as a Pirate fan, I was doing graduate work in Reykjavik, Iceland, listening to the Series on Armed Forces Radio. When Mazerowski hit it out, I ran out of my rooming house, shouting exultantly, looking for someone who would understand how cosmic this achievement was.

I tried the Israeli exchange student, who'd spent his first eight years in Brooklyn. When I blurted out the glad news, he asked: "The Pirates-- let's see, are they from Boston?"

Mike Bell

Dear Sirs,
The Friday afternoon (October 22) commentary about transistor radios and the 1960 World Series brought back memories. At the time the narrator was on the school bus in New York, I was in 8th grade gym class in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida listening with my friends to the game on an "illegal" transistor radio. I felt the same sense of disbelief when Mazerowski hit the home run to win the Series for Pittsburgh. Thank you, it brought back youthful memories.

Sam Smith

I had the pleasure of being captivated by the Lost & Found Sound segment this Friday evening after leaving my office located in downtown Pittsburgh. As a lifelong resident of Western Pennsylvania, I have heard countless stories about the Bill Mazerowski home run in the 1960 World Series. Having been born just a few months after this event, however, meant that I was not around to actually witness or be a part of such a special moment in our city's sports history. However, Jonathan Cuneo's piece about his experience listening to this exciting game on his transistor radio made me feel like I was actually at the ballpark that day. I turned up the volume on my car radio as I listened to the announcers give their play-by-play account, and the crowd noise was deafening; it gave me chills.

Thanks Mr. Cuneo and NPR for such a great story.

Denise Dyni


On The Road
Memphis pt. 2
Scrapbook Page Listing Inspired Links

Copyright 1999 The Kitchen Sisters