Radio on the Farm in Winter

Our radio sat on a low wooden stand in the corner of the living room.  Dad’s rocking chair was placed in front of the radio.  The heat register was nearby, bringing warm dry air from the basement furnace. 

We did not have television or newspapers or magazines on the Scheckel farm outside of Seneca, Wisconsin in the heart of Crawford County during the 1940s and 1950s.  We had the Weekly Reader at our one-room school.  We saw the Movietone News ahead of the movies we occasionally saw in Gays Mills or Prairie du Chien. I recall the ringing authoritative voice of Lowell Thomas describing the battles occurring in the Korean War. That radio was our window to the outside world.

The all-time favorite of us three Scheckel boys had to be the Lone Ranger program. It was broadcast on Monday, Wednesday and Friday nights at 6 PM.  In the winter, we tried to get our chores done, supper eaten, rosary said, and cows milked by 6 PM.  We usually made it just in time.

One of us would turn on the radio.  We’d lie on the floor of the living room, or sit in a chair by the table, reading or doing homework and listen to the soft soothing voice of the Masked Man “Bringing law and order to the Old West”.  The Lone Ranger’s trademark was the Silver Bullet and he rode on a big white stallion by the name of Silver.

His faithful companion was the Indian Tonto. Tonto’s broken English would be totally politically incorrect today. He would say “Me thinks you right, Ke-mo sah-bee.” An outlaw would be referred to as “Him heap big bad man”.  Tonto’s mount was the sorrel paint named Scout.  At the end of the program The Long Ranger would be heard to yell, “Hi-yo, Silver! Away!”.  A voice would ask “Who was that masked man?”  Another knowing character would response with “Well, that’s the Lone Ranger!” and then a portion of the William Tell Overture would be heard.


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