A Man Of Renown

010107_Face The Nation_Senator Tom Daschle
My kids always laughed when I told them that in the days before television, people used to watch the radio. But that's what we did.

I remembered that yesterday when I read that Les Brown had died. He was the bandleader on Bob Hope's radio show, one of our favorites.

When the announcer said "starring Bob Hope with Les Brown and his Band of Renown," that was our signal to finish our homework or the dishes or whatever we doing and get in front of the radio.

In those days, the radios were usually in the living room, large pieces of furniture the size of a small chest of drawers. My mother often set a bowl of fruit or flowers on ours, on a doily, of course.

We didn't just listen. We stared at the radio. We didn't need pictures because the scenes we conjured up in our imaginations were far better than anything we would ever see on television which leaves so little to the imagination that it sometimes dulls it.

Looking back, the best trips our family ever took were on those nights when they let me go along to the imaginary places we found ourselves as we sat around and looked at the radio. We imagined things together - and I later came to understand that it was in those times that I began to see all the possibilities before me.

Les Brown's biggest hit was Sentimental Journey. He took me on another one this week.