Friday, May 27, 2011

NOON-TIME MELODY; part 1; by Myar Hansen; 1937

Tall young Paul Keith finished broadcasting the few brief news items he uses as "teasers" to start each noontime program over the Hoskins Daily News local station, WACX.

John Bilger was instantly killed when the automobile he was driving caromed off a tree near Sunderland Hollow.

No traces of the two masked men who held up the Lamoille Valley Bank last week have yet been found.

Three hundred employees of the marble quarry here are out on strike today...

You have just heard the latest news dispatches brought to you through the courtesy of the Daily News through arrangement with the Associated Press. Look for further details in this afternoon's edition of the Daily News.

The first recording on today's program of noontime melodies is "Isn't It a Lovely Day" by Don Bestor and his orchestra.

Music flooded out over the air waves. Paul Keith ran a smoothing hand over dark hair and settled back to wait until the end of the record, when he would read an advertisement and then play another recording.

Susie Carey would know that he would be out tonight at about six. His playing one of Don Bestor's recordings first on the program meant just that in their own secret understanding. If he started the program with one of Bing Crosby's, Susie would expect him at about eight. One of Rudy Vallee's records played at the beginning meant that he could get away right after the program was over at one-thirty.

The music stopped and he read the coal company's ad about how clean and efficient their coal was. Paul's speaking voice was soft and pleasant, and he had a natural gift of knowing how to modulate his tones, how to put feeling and depth even into announcements.

Mr. Reynolds, the crusty old owner of the Daily News, had placed Paul in direct charge of the small station when he had first installed it about a year ago, once he had heard Paul's voice over the air. Paul had been a cub reporter on the paper then; he was still a reporter, but with the handling of the radio station added to his duties.

Paul set the phonograph needle on another record of Don Bestor's orchestra. And while the music played and the crooner sang in his husky, throbbing voice, Paul kept thinking of Susie. Susie had honey-colored hair, a dimple in each smooth cheek. Susie was softly rounded all over and could cuddle up close, but say with a firmness that belied her rounded chin: "We'll have to wait, Paul, dear. Soon as the mortgage is paid and Mom and Pop'll have nothing to worry them, we'll be married. It won't be long."

To Paul it seemed as if that mortgage would never be paid. And the mortgage was his own fault, too. That's what got his goat.