What sounds and smells immediately transport you to childhood? The clang of the trolley as it rattled down 44th Street? The smell of peat burning in what is now Weber Park? The unmistakable scent of the purple mimeograph paper at school? Chlorine from the swimming pool?
I want to include items that engage the five senses in our upcoming exhibit "Growing Up in Edina" exhibit. Scents might be a tough thing for our little museum to pull off. (Anyone got a mimeograph machine?) But there's a whole sound library out there, thanks to the internet.
When I came across the video below of WCCO radio hosts Boone and Erickson, I immediately thought of my childhood.
Every morning as I ate my bowl of cereal at the kitchen table, I listened to WCCO radio. I'm sure I would have rather tuned into Top 40 music, but my mom controlled the radio dial and she loved Boone and Erickson.
She would sing the radio duo's "Good Morning Song" to get me out of bed in the morning, and I would hear it from the radio again at breakfast. (The song kicks off the video below.) The real-life longer version had the announcers adding, "Good morning, Chaska! Good morning, Minneapolis!" or other names of towns in their listening area.
I was not (am still not) a morning person. I hated that song. The unwavering cheeriness made me even crabbier. Still, I felt like I was ten years old when I listened to the Boone and Erickson song again.
The rest of the video highlights Boone and Erickson's 50 years on WCCO. Even if you don't watch the whole thing, tune in at the 6:56 mark to listen to the weather and part of a school closings announcement.
Again, the short video doesn't portray the agonizingly long list of schools you had to sit through to get to your school. If you lived in Edina, you may have tuned in just as the announcer was reading Fridley or Glencoe -- which meant you had to sit through the rest of the alphabetical listing of school districts until he got back to the Es.
Now school districts send out an email or a pre-recorded phone message. Tsk. Today's students get instant gratification. I have one small consolation: my kids have experienced just one snow day in their entire elementary school career. Living in the suburbs, they don't get to experience the open countryside where blowing and drifting snow makes travel unsafe.
But I still sing the "Good Morning Song." And they love it as much as I did. (Hey, I have to have some compensation for getting up at 6:15 every morning.)
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