Cate’s Column #12

AM Radio Fun

Remember the movie “American Graffiti” about life – and hot rods – in a small California town? I grew up in that one-horse town. We had exactly one local radio station, KFIV “K-5” AM and it formed the soundtrack of our lives. I remember as a teenybopper lugging around a tape recorder and radio and recording songs from the radio. We teenaged girls huddled around the radio and called the disc jockeys to request our favorite songs – over and over. When the DJs had call-in contests we hovered near the telephone, rotary-dial spinning fingers at the ready. I remember the elation we felt when we actually got through instead of hearing the endless busy signal bawp bawp bawps.

I won a little transistor radio for high points at a horse show and tied it to my saddle. Hoo-whee, was that fancy – a radio along for a ride. One of my long trail rides took me past the K-5 radio station building, way out in the boonies. I felt sure I would find Wolfman Jack hunched over the turntable if I went inside the studio. Alas, I was too shy.

Thirty-five years later I find myself again living in a rural, remote area with exactly one AM radio station, KLPZ AM, with live, local DJs (or is it CD-Js now?). Quite refreshing from the bodiless and boring classic rock stations dotting the FM band.

Flash back and flash forward to August 2011: KLPZ station owners Keith and Juanita Learn are having a contest to give away an Apple iPhone. When the DJs play Jimmy Buffett’s “Everybody’s On The Phone,” it’s time to make a mad dash for the telephone and call the radio station as quickly as possible to register an entry for the iPhone drawing. Telephones dial much quicker nowadays, but the thrill of connecting to a live DJ is exactly the same. Suddenly I’m that giddy teenager again!

My name is among the thousands in the big box quickly filling in anticipation for the August 25 drawing. My friends are teasing me about being a techno-saur and wondering what the heck I would do with an iPhone. Gee whiz, an old dog can learn new tricks.

Oh! Jimmy Buffett’s on the radio! Quick, where’s the phone?!

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Cate Mueller is a web designer, editor, reporter and photographer in Bouse, Arizona. To visit her website, click here.


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