Sounds of Summer

In the house where I grew up, television was something you watched after school, work, recreation, etc. Except for baseball. Baseball was appropriate at any time of the day. I am still the same way. There are TV’s all through my house, but they don’t get turned on during the day (except for the weather channel) … and baseball.

I grew up in a small town in the South in the 1960’s and ‘70’s. One of the structured after-school activities for girls was Brownies and, later, Girl Scouts. Our Troop started in 2nd grade and many of us continued through high school … and are still in touch with each other today. Our Troop met at church basements or community centers close to our schools. As both of my parents worked, I had to be picked up from Girl Scouts after the meetings. The person I remember most fondly was Robert Rankin who worked for my dad at the car dealership. Robert and another man named Henry had what were all-too-typical jobs for Black men at that time: they drove cars to and fro, did car detailing, etc.

Robert would pick me up on Wednesday afternoons and would have the Cincinnati Reds baseball games on during the season. I loved hearing those games on radio. Our ride from Girl Scouts to the dealership was at most 15–20 minutes, but the time riding with Robert and listening to baseball was magical.

As I got older, I could drive myself to afternoon activities and no longer rode with Robert. Unfortunately, after my dad retired, my parents lost touch with him and his family.

Baseball on TV may show a lot more action. But, for me, baseball on radio is still magic.

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