Radio on the Farm

Sergeant Preston of the Yukon was another favorite radio program of the Scheckel boys on the Oak Grove Ridge farm in the 1940s and 1950s. Sergeant Preston was a Canadian Mountie. Preston rode his horse, Rex, and a canine companion, Yukon King, was always by his side.

I can’t recall what breed of horse Rex was.  Remember, this was radio, not television. But the Scheckel boys knew that Yukon King was a Huskie, the strongest and swiftest lead dog breaking the trail. Every Thursday night at 6 o’clock, Sergeant Preston was in a relentless pursuit of lawbreakers in the 1890’s desolate western Canadian frontier. He went after gold crazed miners, murderers, claim jumpers and cutthroats.  There seemed to be a winter snow storm or blizzard in every episode.

We also, loved the Cisco Kid radio series. We knew Cisco and Pancho were Mexican or at minimum, half Mexican. It seemed this pair of happy-go-lucky gun-toting caballeros was part outlaw. But they always seemed to help citizens in distress. At the end of each half hour program, one of them would tell a corny joke about the adventure they had just gone through.  They would both laugh, drawing out a long  ”Oooooooh Pancho! “Oooooooh Ceeesco!” and ride off into an imaginary sunset.

Other radio programs were Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy. Edgar Bergen was the ventriloquist and Charlie McCarthy was his wooden dummy. He would interview famous guests such as Jimmy Steward and Mae West. Edgar Bergen had another wooden dummy named Mortimer Snerd. Whereas, Charlie McCarty was intelligent and sophisticated, Moritmer Snerd was a rube, a country bumpkin. Oh, yes we boys could identify with Snerd. We awaited to the end of every program for “Snerd’s Words for the Birds”, such as “Always be sincere, even if you don’t mean it”. Snerd was always amazed and awed by the marvels of the modern world, none of which he could understand. So “Who’d a thunk it?” are Snerd’s words.

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