The first weeks of the North Country Notebook found me driving 20 miles to WWJC in Duluth’s far west. I recorded five shows, four minutes thirty seconds each. That was untenable in the long haul so I bought a broadcast quality microphone, shoulder-harness recorder, and stopwatch. I could record anywhere and mail cassettes to the station.
Over the years I talked with camp leaders, camping families, and outdoors-type men and women. I told snatches of my current and past outdoor adventures. I recorded from canoes, mountain trails, and small planes over Alaska.
I began a Backyard Anthology, recording from my chopping block. One year I tracked wildflowers in my yard beginning with the first spring dandelions, over 60 species. (Weeds, Elsie called them) I told about my small backyard wetlands and rowboat garden, reading Robert Frost’s Flower Boat poem.
I hiked me up the hill to record from Hawk Ridge, the site of my first boyhood sleep out. I biked to the Deeps in Lester Park, where bad boys swam naked.
I was recording in my backyard one day and two young neighbor girls came to show me their pet toad, the General. I recorded our chat. We talked about critters that live in our backyards, dozens of them from bugs to worms to toads. I asked the General what he thought about that. The girl squeezed him and he obligingly gurgled.
I never ran out of material. How I wish I had saved some of the cassettes!
More next time.
Old Grandpa Lloyd.