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Most of us that are past the age of 25 grew up with "the kitchen radio". It was usually a plastic clock radio that ended up with a cracked face or missing knob. Somewhere else in the house was the real audio equipment, but the kitchen clock radio holds a place in our hearts. You know, the one your parents had tuned to their station and for the most part you weren't allowed to touch it. Every now and then you could sneak in and tune it to your station when they weren't home, but you had better gotten it tuned back just right before they returned. Static-y reception would be noticed!

My dad was a reel-to-reel guy. He loved his audio equipment and we always had some form of the newest, best, loudest type of equipment out there. Of course, as a boy he grew up nearly pre-radio, so the whole idea was fascinating. His music was anything you could dance to - 1940's style big band, swing, jazz, and anything by Sinatra. Cheek-to-cheek was good, but Swing dancing was better. And he could Polka like nobody's business!

Mom listened to what was termed MOR - middle of the road music. Contemporary hits - think the Associations "Windy" or the Supremes "You Keep Me Hanging On", mixed with Charlie Pride and Dolly Parton, with a little Sinatra thrown in for fun. This was the music that dominated the kitchen. Occassionally, I might even get the treat of a Beatles or Stones tune playing in the background while she cooked, canned or cleaned.

These loved and worn old am radios were replaced through the years with "hi-fi" stereo equipment, whole house systems, satellite, computers and MP3's. The equipment has come a long way - but these kitchen workhorses will always be held dear.

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