Tuesday, May 1, 2007

'radio was here'

While patronising a trophy and sign shop today I saw a bronze-lettered-on-black plaque leaning on a shelf with those 3 wonderful enigmatic words! Radio Was Here.  I couldn't take my quizzical brown eyes off of it for some time.  What did it mean?  And who was it for?  I wanted it for my very own.

I imagined different scenarios after leaving the shop.  Perhaps it was made-to-order for a radio-lover like me to defiantly plaster onto a historic old broadcasting building in fond remembrance of the Golden Age of radio.  Or, maybe it was custom-made to be bolted onto a brick "Welcome To...." wall on the outskirts of a town boasting a proud heritage of sweet radio days gone by.  Perhaps just to lean against the wall on my nightstand where the ancient Philco tube radio once glowed.

I pictured a hunched-over elderly gentleman slowly entering the trophy shop, the door chimes ding-a-linging, removing his hat and enquiring if his sign was ready from the lady with coke-bottle eyeglasses behind the glass-topped front counter.  She would nod and smile, then carefully wrap the plaque in glossy lemon-yellow paper and tie it snugly with white string.

He would turn to me and I would see for the first time the outlined resemblance of Jack Benny's face, and he would kindly ask in a low raspy voice if I would be so kind to carry it out to his black 1923 Maxwell convertible, and before making it half-way to the door, it would slip from my trembling hands and crash to the floor (in slow-motion of course!), shattering into unrepairable metal crumbs.
And he would say, flabbergasted: "Well!"

If it's there tomorrow I'm going to swipe it.


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