When I was a girl my parents used to go to sleep very early, often their lights were out by 9pm. Truth is they still go to bed at that time but it doesn’t ruin my social life the way it did when I was a girl and a teenager. We also were not allowed to watch television during the week so before the time of cell phones and computers, I spent hours each night listening to the radio. That disembodied voice came out of my clock radio, often 95.5 WPLJ. I listened to rock and to the DJs and even tried to call in, though I was never successful. Those voices kept me company in a dark house when everyone else was sleeping.
The house rule was no phone calls after 9pm unless it was an emergency which was pretty tough for a teenage girl. I’ll be forever grateful to my parents’ friends, the Seplowitzes who told my parents they were ruining my life and should get a second phone line that didn’t ring in their bedroom. So that white princess phone with the second phone line and the radio were my two ways to connect with the outside world and not feel quite so alone.
Perhaps because of that early experience, I harbored a secret desire to be on the radio and be that voice myself. I asked my local radio station Mix 106.5 if I could be a guest DJ for my 50th birthday but I never heard back from them, they probably thought I was a crank. On Friday night when I first nervously live streamed Shabbat services I felt like my childhood wish was coming true somewhat. I was able to be the voice and image of the outside world to help others connect and not feel quite so alone.
I’d still like to be on the radio someday, but for now I’m happy to livestream.