I grew up on a ranch and dairy. The ranch part may seem romantic, but the dairy part was everything but! However, milking cows morning and night tends to build character, and a piece of technology that got me through those days was our trusty RCA Victor 16T3 Radio. It sat on top of an old refrigerator where we kept medicine for the cattle during milking time and was often brought into the bulk tank room and placed on top of a cupboard so we could listen to music and programs while we washed the milking equipment. My Dad picked it up at a garage sale or pawn shop probably in the 1960s when I was a child.
I remember listening to pro football games on it and especially the playoff games and I would imagine a few Super Bowls (the cows had to be milked whether the Minnesota Vikings, Dallas Cowboys, Pittsburgh Steelers or the Oakland Raiders were playing or not). My saddest memory was a time when Pittsburgh beat Oakland in the playoffs. This was the infamous “Immaculate Reception” by Franco Harris of the Steelers. I didn’t see it, but I heard it. I went out to bottle feed some calves and cried like a baby because my Oakland Raiders had been defeated! Luckily the Steelers were defeated by the undefeated Miami Dolphins the next week! I still believe Jim Kiick of University of Wyoming fame and the Dolphin’s halfback brought me sweet revenge;-)!
This radio, that brings back a lot of memories, was retrieved from the milking barn and restored by a cousin. I have had it in working order again for the past 15+ years (it only needed new tubes and a lemon oil finish). Now I fire it up to listen to University of Wyoming football and basketball games, and the smell of the barn seeps through a bit when the old tubes get warmed up! This model was manufactured in 1940. People have listened to news about Pearl Harbor, the JFK assassination, man setting foot on the moon, and that fateful day on September 11th, 2001. I have learned wonderful and tragic things by listening to this machine. It is 57 years old and with one overhaul it keeps on ticking or broadcasting I should more properly say! How many electronic devices that we have today could we depend on for so long, and how many would we be able to use if they had to sit in a milking barn for so many years?