A number of readers recalled the short wave radio craze, and the weirdness of the Red Scare of the 1950s, as well.
James had this to say:
You capture the paranoia of the times well!
Very interesting. I remember when short wave was all the rage and being fascinated by it. Just the idea that you could talk to people throughout the world was incredible – and of course no one had any idea that that would be easy-peasy within a few decades. For some reason, though, I didn’t associate it with worries about the Russians, who knows why.
Yes, the Internet… globalization… The good it’s brought us and the bad as well. Safe to say, however, that no one in the 1950s could have imagined the beginning of the 21st century in their wildest dreams. And the same is surely true now. Isn’t that crazy – we have absolutely no idea what 2050 holds for us, or rather, our children.
Kathleen chimed in:
I remember. It was a time of paranoia. I remember the effect of Nikita Khrushchev pounding his shoe on the podium and threatening us.
Rita actually had a radio.
Ham Radio back in the day ~ I was WN2JSI ~ but I never got further than New Jersey.
The previous story about the anti-semitic substitute teacher brought his response from Will:
I do a little substitute teaching for the local high school, mostly for the woodshop teacher (my hobby) or science/math (my training). Out here in rural, 97%-white territory, I have to keep telling stories about black, Muslim or other strange-to-the-kids people I’ve known, mostly in journalism, who demonstrated just how smart and effective they were. Those who go off to college will learn anyway, but I fear for some who won’t.
Sharron was impressed with my mother:
What a powerful Mother you had. For anyone to influence a principal to decide differently was exceptional. Not only did your Mother do this, she also accomplished overcoming the stereotypes of the time with that principal.
You didn’t want to mess with my Mom when she was on a mission. She did have a temper.