The Kid with the Radio

I was in second grade in 1972. I walked home for lunch every day and was able to catch the games from Russia being broadcast on TV. On the day of the last game, I pleaded with my mom to late me stay home from school after lunch to finish watching. She wouldn’t let me and sent me off to school saying ‘you know, they’ll all be talking about it at school.’

So I walked up to the school grounds all disappointed. I noticed an older kid walking around with a transistor radio against his ear. He was followed by an entourage of about 20 others who were strung along chatting among themselves. The kid with the radio occasionally called back stuff like ‘quiet – I can’t hear!’. He kept on the move, keeping a slight distance from the group so he could hear better. Occasionally he’d provide a little sparse commentary about what was happening but I was dissatisfied with the lack of detail.

As the first bell for class rang the principal of the school spotted the kid with the radio and walked in to school beside him listening along.

Shortly after settling in to class as the teacher began her lesson, the sound of the play by play for the game started, unannounced, on the school intercom. Quiet at first, then louder as the sound was adjusted. The principal had borrowed the kid’s radio and was piping it over the intercom! It was so great to hear that! He played it right on through to the end of the game and the whole school in all our different classes sat in our chairs and listened. I think it must have been something like 15 minutes.

Of course it was great when Canada scored and we all cheered and celebrated. It was a special time we spent together in such a spontaneous way, all fixed in our interest in that game together. It really was something else and I’ll never forget that.

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