If our life were made into a movie, the soundtrack would be CBC radio. From our earliest days on the farm, the radio has provided us with company, entertainment, information, and a link to the rest of the world.
I think of the long days we spent in the bottom of the barn, cutting seed potatoes. Without the radio, the job would have been painfully monotonous. Instead, it’s one of my warmest memories. Thanks to the CBC, the air was filled with voices and stories from across the country. We would cut and chop, chatting about whatever show happened to be on, and before we knew it, the job was done.
In the early days, before the children were born, I often found myself alone on the farm. Ted, a plumber by trade, would spend his days in Edmonton throughout the winter, while I stayed home and did chores. I never felt isolated, though. With the radio playing all day, I knew what was going on in the world.
As the boys grew up, I liked the idea that they were so well informed. They were always eager to discuss current events, and they formed strong political opinions long before they were old enough to vote. Of course, if they were working alone, they’d usually switch over to a rock n’ roll station if the program didn’t interest them. But over time, they’ve come to appreciate the CBC as much as we do.
We relied on the CBC for vital information, like weather forecasts and farm reports, but its presence was far more pervasive than that. At the breakfast table, we’d hear the national anthem right before the day’s first newscast at 5:30am. On most Saturday afternoons, you could find the boys laughing uproariously at some comedy show. In bed, before drifting off to sleep, we could listen to classical music.
When an important news story broke, we always heard it first on the CBC. Even though we lived on a farm, we felt connected to events around the globe. I’ll never forget the day we were working in the barn and the announcer cut in to say that President Kennedy had been shot. For the rest of the day, we followed that awful story, glued to the radio.
The CBC remains a huge part of our lives. If I give a gardening talk out of town, I do my best to be finished and back in my car by 9:00pm. That way, I can drive home listening to Ideas with Lister Sinclair. In the kitchen, as I prepare the noon meal, This Morning keeps me company (although I must admit I miss Peter Gzowski). I believe in learning something new every day, and the CBC makes that not only possible but inevitable.
You can imagine the excitement I felt the first time I appeared on a CBC show! Without the CBC, my life would have been much poorer in so many ways. It’s truly worth celebrating.
-Lois Hole I'll Never Marry A Farmer