Tuesday, 19 December 2006

"The King of Rock 'n' Roll" - Prefab Sprout, 1988

I don't know why it has happened today, in particular. I'm feeling nostalgic for the small town where I spent my formative growing-up years -- Salem, Illinois. I've written about Salem before, and I'm sure I will again. I have strong feelings about the town and my friends there.

While eating my sandwich at lunchtime, I surfed over to the website of Salem's local radio station, WJBD. According to my father, who was friendly with some of the folks who ran the station, the call letters stand for William Jennings Bryan Davidson.

William Jennings Bryan was a Salem native. Maybe someday I'll write a Lord Celery item just about him...but I'm not in the mood to do that today! And Bryan Davidson was, at least at that time, the radio station's owner. Clever naming, huh? (I found a website which mentions the Salem radio station's history, but I notice it doesn't verify my father's story about the origin of the WJBD call letters.)

One thing I vividly remember about first moving to Salem from the small city of Tulsa, Oklahoma was the difference in the quality of local radio. My father used to love to listen to the on-air news reports on WJBD. Because at that time the local paper didn't publish seven days a week, local radio took up the slack by broadcasting all sorts of sad, bizarre, funny, and trival reports on-air. Daddy and I used to laugh at the reports about somebody's "sore toe (that was getting better)", divorce petitions which had been filed, who'd had a traffic accident...and where...and exactly what any injuries were, school lunch menus for all the local schools, etc. Nope. This wasn't Tulsa anymore. This was small-town Midwest America!

(I've just noticed that the Salem school menus are now posted online at the "Salem Times-Commoner" website. Especially for my UK and non-US readers, take a look at a sample of American school menus here.)

OK...so what's the subject of this blog entry, then? Well, during my lunchtime reading today, I took a quick look at the obits on the WJBD website. The following excerpt of one of the death notices caught my eye and made me smile. Even though I didn't know the woman at all, I'll bet I would have liked her...and her son and fiancee, too, for caring enough to add such a touching comment to the usual perfunctory notice.

"Carolyn Foster, age 64, of Flora, formerly of Clay City, died Monday at the Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana. She was a homemaker and a big Elvis fan. Survivors include a son John Foster Jr and fiancee Minby Hill of Salem."



At 19 December, 2006 15:36 , Blogger Wendy said...

Loved this! Thanks... I think I'd have liked Carolyn Foster too :) That is great...

At 20 December, 2006 09:21 , Blogger Janet said...

Wendy, I'm glad you appreciated it as well.



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