The kitchen table at camp boasts a Sony radio/CD/cassette player that brings in CBC Radio One clearly if a piece of ballast wire is run from outside the cabin, through the roof, and attached to the antenna – and if the main light in the cabin is switched off. If we wanted all-encompassing light in the cabin, we had to contend with incredible static.
Radio isn’t something I’ve paid much attention over the last several years. The majority of the news I consume comes from a computer or smartphone screen, and music comes to me in much the same way. But with little else for electronic entertainment – a movie on the computer once a week and a small selection of four CDs and one fantastic mix tape from the 80s featuring the likes of Gordon Lightfoot and Neil Young – the radio was on a lot in the cabin. And boy, have I been missing out.
In the mornings, if I wasn’t already out of bed, you can bet I was awoken by the cheerful tones of Marcy Markusa’s voice at approximately 7:24 am. Then it was the ‘Laugh of the Day’, which inevitably made me laugh, revealing my wakeful state to Ingi, who was never far away in the 20 x 20 cabin, making it impossible to feign continued sleep for an extra half hour.
Then, the news. Ingi tuned in during breakfast, lunch and supper – local news followed by World Report. If I’m being honest, I was often up in my head during the news (I was determined to maintain some sense of removal from the world while I was on the trapline), until Ingi brought me back down to Earth with a short, loud “Shh!” when the weather came on. I would stare out the window and wonder how in October it could be 17 degrees and sunny in Winnipeg and blustery and dark grey on our little lake. I noted that the traffic reporter had a remarkably good sense of humour for a traffic reporter (no offence meant to traffic reporters – you do noble work).
But it was the programs in between breakfast, lunch and supper that really got me. This is That? Hilarious. The Debaters? I couldn’t eat lunch or drink anything until it was over, lest I choke or water come out my nose in laughter. Unreserved? Fascinating, enlightening (and ‘your favourite cousin’ is the best sign-off line out there). Cross Country Checkup? Sometimes I forget how diverse the minds of our nation are. It always reminds me. As It Happens gripped me. Vinyl Cafe unfailingly drew me in and made me giggle, and Randy Bachman’s Vinyl Tap took Ingi and I through the majority of our whiskey-propelled Saturday night crib tournaments.
It was somewhat comforting to press a power button when the quiet started to become a bit too much at camp, and be greeted with new knowledge and interesting discussion – a connection to an entirely different world than the one we were in. Thanks for two months of good company in the middle of nowhere, CBC.