Once upon a time—not all that long ago—there was no television. There were no phones, either, in the countryside outside of Westlake’s town limits, but that’s another story. Back then, no one had television, in or out of town.
“But…but…what did you do?” a Gen-Xer might ask.
Well, we played outside long after the sun went down, chasing fireflies, chasing each other, playing Hide and Seek and Red Rover. And then there were the books. I had gone through the whole set of Zane Grey westerns by the time I got to high school.
Let’s not forget the radio. When we finally came inside from playing or when the weather was bad, we listened to our regular radio programs in our grandparents’ bedroom with Granddaddy. “The Lone Ranger,” where we got our weekly dose of culture listening to the William Tell Overture at the beginning of the broadcast. Who can forget “Hi-yo Silver, away” or “Get-um up, Scout?”
Two of our favorites gave us our weekly dose of the creeps. “The Shadow”—a disembodied voice intoned “Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows.” Eerie laughter followed those lines. “The Inner Sanctum” opened and closed its broadcast with the sound of a creaking door and a story guaranteed to keep us awake or give us nightmares, especially when I slept in a room next to an attic that creaked and moaned all night.Continue Reading