QUICK SEARCH
CATEGORIES
   Adventure
   All Shows
   Children
   Comedy
   Compilation
   Detective
   Drama
   Gossip
   Historical
   Holiday
   Music
   Mystery-Horror
   News
   Personality
   Quiz
   Rare
   Religious
   Sci Fi
   Serials
   Soap Operas
   South African
   Sports
   Westerns
   WWII
   On Sale
   Newest Additions
   Quick Order
BROWSE BY DECADE
   1910s
   1920s
   1930s
   1940s
   1950s
LISTENER FAVORITES
01.Sam Spade
02.Philip Marlowe
03.Have Gun Will Travel
04.Sherlock Holmes
05.Best of Suspense
06.Amos and Andy
07.I Love a Mystery
08.Gunsmoke
09.Johnny Dollar (Yours Truly Johnny Dollar)
10.Inner Sanctum Mysteries
SHOPPING CART
You have no items in your cart
Don Ostertag: Miss Fee the Dial-Changer
.
Old Time Radio Memory:
.
 

Growing up on a small farm, our one radio was the only source of outside entertainment available to me. I hurried with my chores so I could listen to "my programs" - Tom Mix, etc.. After supper, Mom controlled the dial (Dad worked nights in the packinghouse), and we listened to comedies like Fibber McGee, dramas like The First Nighter, and music like Your Hit Parade. Sometimes, when she was busy, I would lower the volume and find a crime show like Sam Spade, or a thriller like Suspense. A second radio would have been wonderful but was out of the question.

I went to the one-room schoolhouse across the field. Miss Fee, who lived on a farm with her four bachelor brothers, taught all eight grades as she had for years. She ruled with a stern scowl and a wood ruler.

One very cold early evening, she walked into our kitchen and announced she could not get her DeSoto started and was going to spend the night with us. And she added, that she hadn't eaten anything since breakfast. Mom, who also had Miss Fee as a teacher, would never had dared to offer any alternatives, and did everything that Miss Fee ordered, even letting her control the radio dial.

After that first night, the DeSoto seemed to fail every time the mercury dropped below zero, and we would have our very demanding guest. Mom told Dad that she didn't believe the "car won't start" story. "Those Fees are so tight with a buck," Mom explained, "It's her way of getting a good meal and a warm bed, having somebody else do the work." Dad just smiled. "And," Mom added, "She even has to listen to her radio programs! I go to listen to Kraft Music Hall. She turns on Sunset Valley Barn Dance!"

I saw an opening, "Well, if we had another radio…" Mom cut me off with her "Think-we're-made-of-money" look. Dad shook his head.

Then one night, a Monday night, Miss Fee walked in. Everything went as usual except when eight o'clock came, time for Mom's one must-listen-to program, Lux Radio Theater. She had hurried with her work and was sitting in her favorite chair, her crochet materials in her lap, listening to the words, "Lux Presents Hollywood," her favorite hour of the week, when…Miss Fee turned the dial to Doctor I.Q.!..."I have a woman in the balcony, Doctor. And for three silver dollars…"

Mom stood up, and without a word, went to bed.

The very next payday we got our second radio. From then on, Mom could listen to Jack Benny and Bing Crosby, and I could solve crimes with Johnny Dollar and get goose bumps from the squeaking door of Inner Sanctum except when Miss Fee's DeSoto wouldn't start.

- Donald Ostertag, born 1938

 

 
.   .

.
Other Select Old Time Radio Memories  
.
 
Don Ostertag
Don Ostertag:
Miss.Fee the Dial-Switcher
Joel Pawley
Bob Corder:
Remembers Edward Joel Pawley
Karl Johnson
Karl Johnson:
Satellite radio converts
nonbeliever to OTR fan
.George Pedicini
Richard George Pedicini:
Remembering writing for Jack Benny!
.Marv Sandhop
Marv Sandhop:
Memories of being on the radio
John Hayes
John Hayes:
New Zealand Flood Radio!
.James Goff
James Goff:
Remembering Sci-fi Radio
.Wally Cwick
Wally Cwick:
Remembering Radio's Heros
FJ Edmonds
RJ Edmonds:
Remembering UK's 1950s Radio
.Don Hutchison
Don Hutchison:
Remembering The Hermit's Cave
.Harold Ellison
Harold Ellison:
Remembering 1940-50s New York Radio
.Jonathan Boswell
Jonathan Boswell:
Old Time Radio in Iraq
.Lee
Lee:
Remembering D-Day
Wayne Field
Wayne Field:
"I Remember Radio..."
Alex Stoffel
Alex Stoffel:
Decoder Ring and Sunday Memories
Joe Graziano
Joe Graziano:
Giving a Christmas Radio Present
Giovanni Iuliani
Giovanni Iuliani: Into the 1950s
and the Radio Lure of the Circus
Devon Wilkins
Devon Wilkins: Memories
from a Canadian Dairy Farm
Sam Dog
"Sam Dog":
Gramps 'n Me
   

 

 
.   .

Current Parse Time: 0.139 s with 24 queries (0.004837)