The Radio



The Radio

A True Story 

By Bill Orkoskey 

     It all started on Friday, January 29, 2010. I had just come home from Morgantown, WV the previous evening after a four-day training session for a new job and was trying to rest and recuperate from my ordeal of the past four days.

     In the afternoon, I was watching a movie on TV and playing around on my PC. In the background I heard a faint sound of a radio playing some oldies music. I was on the PC trying to stay awake, so I wasn’t sure if I was imagining the music, if it was coming from my TV or PC, or if a radio had just come on.

     I checked all my radios on the first floor, and they were all off. I turned down the TV and the music got louder. I then turned to the basement and the music got really loud.

     I went down to the basement and found an old clock radio playing on the window-sill behind one of my dad’s work benches.

     The last time I remembered listening to this radio was November 22, 1963 when I heard the first reports that President Kennedy had been shot in Dallas, TX. I had graduated in 1963, tried one school that I didn’t like, and was waiting to start West Liberty State College in the 2nd semester of that school year. My dad had a business making front door mats out of worn out car tires and I was helping him make them in the basement factory we had set up. We were in the recycling business before it was fashionable. Of course, the number one station to listen to if you were a teenager in Wheeling, WV in 1963 was AM 1400 WKWK. After hearing of the assassination, we turned off the radio and were glued to the TV (an 11” black and white Zenith with 2 stations viewable through a TV antenna mounted on the roof of the house) for the next three days. (We had to use an antenna rotor to pull in the 2nd station.)

     Well, I picked up the radio and found that the switch had water on it and it would not turn off. The only position where the music did not play was the alarm position. So I left it on that and went back upstairs thinking the problem was solved.

     Now, most people would think that I could just unplug it and be done with it. In a normal, well-organized area, that may be true. But in my case, it’s impossible to discover where it’s plugged in due to the unkempt condition of my basement.

     My dad had died in January, 1973 and my mother did not do anything with the stuff piled up on the work-bench. After my mother died in May of 1992, I bought the house from her estate and have just been adding to the pile ever since.

     So, getting back to the radio, AM 1400 is now WBBD which plays the oldies from the 50’s and 60’s. That’s the main station that I listen to when I want some music. My generation is of the opinion that there has been very little worth-while music written and recorded since the late 60’s. Thus the songs that were playing on January 29, 2010 could have been some of the same songs that I heard on this radio back on November 21, 1963.

     Things were peaceful for a couple of days. Then on Sunday, January 31st, I heard the alarm buzzer going off for 5 seconds every half hour. I had never heard an alarm act quite like this. I trudged downstairs and found another position on a switch on the radio that may be safe. I thought it would change from AM to another band.

     But it seemed to have lasted for only a few days. On Friday, February 5th, I came home at 12:30 pm to finish up the paperwork I had to do with my new job. The house was deathly quiet, but not for long. At exactly 12:35 pm, the radio came back on playing the oldies again.

     Remember, I mentioned that my dad had died in January, 1973. The exact date was January 29th. Due to relatives coming from out-of-state, the funeral wasn’t until February 5th. Interment was approximately 12:35 pm.

     COINCIDENCE? You decide.


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Retired but still working at odd jobs such as a US Census worker, freelance writing, public relations, poll worker for elections. Also interested in WEB site processing (my site is, photography, writing, video and audio processing.

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