A Story About Radio

Author: Team RAB

As we kick off the July 4th holiday weekend, today’s blog is a little bit different. A celebration of collaboration, creativity, the joy that summer brings and, of course, the power of radio.

Radio is all about storytelling. As a tribute to one of radio’s greatest benefits, RAB staff recently held our monthly staff meeting via video call, where we set out to create an improvised story, in real time, about radio during the summer. Each of RAB’s participating staff members were given words (bolded) that are often considered to be synonymous with summer. They did not know why they were given these words or the theme of the improvisation until we got started. We took turns using our assigned words to build off one another to create a fun, light-hearted story about radio and our fondest memories or wishes of summer. Team RAB had so much fun, shared a lot of laughs and we thought we’d share that joy with you as we share our light-hearted attempt at improv.  (Note: The story has been edited for length and clarity as we got carried away.) 

Radio is the soundtrack of our lives, and during the summer, when the sun is shining bright, it’s by my side in the garden on my patio and when I’m on the road. And here I am on my fifth hour on the road, behind the wheel wearing my designer sunglasses and headed to a music festival. I gotta tell you, the only thing keeping me sane is listening to my favorite tunes on the radio.

Speaking of summer plans, I remember that summer at my brother’s barbecue. Everybody had their radios tuned in to the same station. So, we had surround sound in the park. We sang along to “Boys of Summer” as it played on the boombox while we grilled hot dogs on the beach. We also tried playing tennis, but it was way too hot for that. The music blasting was the only thing that made us stay out there.

All this talk about beaches reminds me of the vacation I took to Montego Bay a few years ago. I sat and relaxed on the beach with a cold drink and a transistor radio. I had to make sure and reapply sunscreen since I kept swimming in the ocean, and I tend to burn quickly. I zoned out wading in the water, listening to Harry Styles’ “Watermelon Sugar” and Beyonce’s “Texas Hold ’Em,” wondering which ones would become the summer song of the year on the charts!

There was another summer during my youth, when I remember riding in my friend’s convertible on the way to a carnival. We would listen to this crazy and funny on-air personality on the way there. And for some reason, he was always talking about burgers. It sounded like he made a mess in the studio once. We think we even heard someone else in the studio yell at him!

The following week, I remember riding bicycles with my brother and his best friend. We threw beach towels over our shoulders, and we rode the one mile to our local pool, where our favorite radio station was blasting all summer long. As we danced to the music, we would kick off our flip flops and dive right in.

We left the pool and rode back to our house, where we picked cucumbers in our garden so we could make pickles. As I was helping prepare the pickles, I ran back inside. But I didn’t realize the fan’s power cable was laying across the front door and I tripped over it and landed on my face. Good thing I had help getting up, because I bumped my head and was seeing fireworks while I was listening to my favorite song on the radio. As the on-air personality’s voice filled the airwaves after that song, I realized I had to adjust my swimsuit because of all that pickle juice and the crazy fireworks!

Fast forward to this summer, my friends and I headed to a local lake passing all these strange people along the way but I remembered I had my favorite beach towel with me that had flowers on it alongside my radio that made me feel like I was not in a surreal world. We finally found a parking spot near the lake, but the radio was playing Prince’s Purple Rain, so we waited to get out.

Unfortunately, we were parked right under the sun and it was getting really hot because our air conditioning was broken in the car. We saw a beautiful tree that was literally 300 feet away! We got out, sat in the shade under this tree, and thankfully, I brought my boom box with me so that we could listen to the rest of the song!

While I was sitting in the shade, I remembered that the Summer Olympics were happening, and I needed to catch up on the gymnasts. Just then, I heard on the radio station that they were  giving away tickets to the Olympics, so my friends and I incessantly called in to be the 100th caller to ultimately win the trip! Only four of us were able to go, so the rest of our friend group enjoyed the play-by-play on the radio while relaxing on the shore. While sitting on the beach, one of our friends was buried in the sand by his kids, to the point where he couldn’t move so he simply decided to just lay there and listen to the radio! He told us that it was the perfect afternoon.

The four of us headed to Paris for the Olympics. We traveled via plane, and of course, we all paid for wi-fi to stream our favorite stations. Here we are in Paris, and since all the hotels were sold out, we went camping. There’s really nothing like camping in Paris, but the summer heat was excruciating, so we sat out on the grounds with radio station-branded pitchers of lemonade and iced tea that we combined to make the most delicious Arnold Palmers that kept us cool and hydrated.

In the meantime, back on the home front, our friends finally left the beach and were on their way home when they heard on the radio that there was a local “Olympics” competition going on just around the corner. They went over there, and would you believe they ended up winning gold for lawn darts?! After winning gold, they celebrated by jumping into the pool and then relaxed in all their glory in their hammocks. But all of a sudden, the hammock flipped! Good thing the entire family was there to help them back up. Would you believe that one of them was listening to radio on their phone when they heard an announcement that lawn darts has been added to the official Paris Olympics summer games?

So now the Olympics are over, we are back together with all of our friends and there are still a few last licks of summer available to us. I’m so happy my radio is always with us, filling the quiet with great music, sports coverage and just overall great banter from my favorite on-air hosts who I consider to be my extended family.

And by the way, I’ll learn French in no time!

Team RAB hopes you enjoyed the story about radio and wishes you and your teams a safe and happy July 4th!


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