Saturday, September 27, 2008

There Be Treasures Out There





In my `other life', I write a very serious blog (Avian Flu Diary) about emerging infectious diseases, pandemic preparedness, and public health.  As you might imagine - given the  subject matter - there's not a lot of laughs involved.



I learned long ago as a paramedic: you can't live, eat, and breathe disaster 24 hours a day.  You have to have something to distract you from the bad stuff in life, at least part of the time.



For me, born into the Babyboomer generation - revisiting the golden age of Television I grew up with, and discovering the Old Time Radio shows of my parents generation -  has become a form of therapy. 



The Internet has become the world's best repository of freely available, public domain, old time radio and classic movies and television.    Anyone with a halfway decent Internet connection can build their own collection - just as I have.



Now of course, you may not feel the need to collect 12,000 hours of old radio  or to compile 500 DVD's of old movies and TV shows, as I have.  



But you could, if you wanted to



I'm doing it partially for my own pleasure, of course,  but also so I can pass along this rich heritage to my daughter, and my grand nieces.   I have a 16-year-old grand niece who thinks Red Skelton is the funniest man she's ever seen.



Who say's today's generation has no taste?



While most of the world today is too young to remember them,  I've found that a lot of the radio shows of the 1930's, 1940's, and 1950's are  superior to what we consider `entertainment' today.    And early television?   



Well of course a lot of it was dreadful.



But some of it was . . . and still is . . . enchanting.


Even the bad shows of our collective youth have a certain appeal.  Perhaps not as regular viewing fodder, but at least for a brief nostalgic interlude.



And behind every show, and every `star', is a story.  



While this blog will lead you to these Internet treasures, I will also attempt to relay the lore behind these shows.    I'll try to let you know what happened to these long forgotten performers.  



And I'll also show they reflected, and sometimes affected, society.


I'll concentrate on public domain,  FREELY AVAILABLE, shows you can download.  It's all legal, and you can burn these shows to CD's or DVD's and share them with family and friends.  



So if you like old movies, old television shows, and old radio programs . . . or just think you like to be introduced to them . . .  fasten your seatbelt.   



We've a lot of ground to cover. 

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