Classifieds Advertise Archive Subscriptions Family Announcements Photos Digital Editions/Apps
Connect with us

A Different View

Reliving radio days behind the wheel of your car

Published

on

There was a time – and it wasn’t that long ago – when a radio was an added extra in your new car. But then again so were seat belts, so we shouldn’t really wonder.

Now you wouldn’t even see them on a spec list because the assumption is that your new motor has a six-speaker sound system – and the seat belts are standard even for the middle passenger in the back.

But I can still recall the thrill of the first car I owned with a radio – one with buttons on it (not on the steering column) to move you from medium-wave to long-wave and two nobs to adjust the volume or change the station.

Not that there was much call for changing the stations, to be honest, because 2FM was still in its infancy and Radio Luxembourg’s range was never designed with the undulations of the west coast of Ireland in mind.

So you had a choice of about two and a half stations, which came in and out of coverage depending on your speed and height above sea level.

Half the time it sounded like someone trying to play music down a CB – Citizen Band radio or glorified walkie talkies if you’re too young to remember them – but it was the luxury of listening to music while driving that made it seem like the greatest thing since the wireless.

Next step up was a radio that had a cassette slot so that, if the two songs playing on the radio were rubbish, you could lash on a tape of the Buggles singing Video Killed the Radio Star and you were laughing all the way to your destination.

There had been a precursor to the cassette of course and the big old cars could accommodate the big old eight-track, even if it looked like you were trying to insert a book into your dashboard.

But the pre-recorded tape – or better still the C60 you copied from Larry Gogan’s Top 30 at the weekend – meant that you had the choice of what you wanted to listen to. I can still remember a brand new Mazda 323 that had a cassette facility and four speakers in the doors of the car; I sat for ages outside my house with the music on, until the neighbours thought I’d either locked myself out of the house or I had lost the power of my lower limbs.

The sound was superb, if only because the alternative was a record player with more scratches than a child dragged through a bush of thorns. We thought technology had reached its zenith.

Only it hadn’t, because the CD player was just a glimpse away over the horizon. And while initially the cost of these little silver slivers was prohibitive, they gradually came down in price to a point where the cassette was the Betamax of the audio tape world.

That said, your average car was still a distance from a CD player as standard – so improvisation was called for until technology had caught up with our insatiable demands.

They invented a set of wires – musical jump leads, if you like – that allowed you to put your portable CD player on the seat beside you, with a flex from the player attached to a fake tape that went into the cassette slot, and a charger that slipped effortlessly into the cigarette lighter.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune

No great rush to mend the error of your ways!

Published

on

Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

It was St Augustine who famously petitioned in prayer: ‘God, make me good – but just not yet’. It’s a sentiment that one Sister Mary Joseph took to whole new levels, because after spending her first 61 years as a high-living heiress, she spent the last three decades as a cloistered nun.

And she closed one chapter to open another one back in 1989 with a party for 800 of her closest friends at the Hilton Hotel in San Francisco – so many guests that the hostess carried a helium balloon all night, with the words “Here I Am” so that people could find her amid the throng.

The next day the former Ann Russell Miller flew to Chicago and joined the Sisters of Our Lady of Mount Carmel as a novitiate, spending the rest of her life as Sister Mary Joseph of the Trinity.

Or as one of her 28 grandchildren put it: “It was like The Great Gatsby turned into The Sound of Music.”

Her recent obituary in the Times painted quite the colourful picture of a lover of the high life turned Holy Roller.

“She smoked, drank champagne, played cards, spent five hours a day on the telephone and, as an expert scuba diver and enthusiastic skier, travelled around the world.

“She had a season ticket to the opera, was a high-society patron of many charitable causes and drove her sports car at such reckless speeds that, according to her son Mark, ‘people got out of her car with a sore foot from slamming on an imaginary brake’.”

Because if ever a life could be described as a tale of two-thirds of high living and one-third of contemplation, this was it; the mother of ten who enjoyed the casual company of celebrity friends like Nancy Reagan and Bob Hope opted for an order which allowed her one visitor a month – and even then no touching given the two rows of iron bars between them.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

Continue Reading

Connacht Tribune

Online games will always give way to world of pure imagination

Published

on

Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

When we were young and Wimbledon came on the telly for two weeks, we’d all rush out to hit a tennis ball off the wall and imagine for an hour that we were Jimmy Connors or Bjorn Borg.

On the odd occasion when we saw live football on TV – the World Cup, the FA Cup Final, or Jimmy Magee covering another false dawn for Ireland at Dalymount Park – we took to the footpath and pretended we were Johnny Giles or Georgie Best.

Jumpers for goalposts, games that went on for hours, fly-goalkeepers, next goal wins – a world of entertainment for the price of a plastic football.

Now when it’s half-time in Sky Sports’ fifth live match of the weekend, the kids still want to play their own version when it’s over. Except they do it on the PlayStation so they never have to leave the comfort of the couch.

Even if we re-enacted the World Cup indoors back in the day, we did it with Subbuteo – so we still got more action and exercise than today’s kids, even if it was just a flick of the fingers.

But in the absence of video games, we did all this with nothing more than our vivid imaginations on a field of dreams that was otherwise a concrete car park or a patch of grass.

We pretended we were Mick O’Connell or maybe Mikey Sheehy (but never Brian Mullins or Jimmy Keaveney) as we fielded balls majestically out of the clouds – even if reality would suggest we hardly left the ground.

It was a world of our imagination where we supplied our own running commentary; these days, FIFA 21 does it for you.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

Continue Reading

Connacht Tribune

We’re at our most sure-footed when we find common ground

Published

on

Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

When two Irish people meet, they have thirty seconds to find someone they have in common or both of them will die.

It was a Tweet that made me smile recently – but then, thinking a little more, it’s actually so, so true.

We seem lost if we can’t make a common connection, as if six degrees of separation is about three steps too far.

Of course, we’re spoilt in Galway because you’ll never ever meet someone who doesn’t know Michael D; they were either lectured by him, they canvassed for him, they sat beside him in Terryland Park, they chatted with him at the Arts Festival before it had a tent, or they’ve been to a garden party at the Áras.

And once the pressure is off because you’ve made one connection, the rest will flow like soup off Alan Dukes’ fork, as Johneen Donnellan once observed.

It’s a small county in the scheme of things so it shouldn’t be any wonder that we’re well connected – from school or college or work or extended family or geography, we’re a stone’s throw from everyone else.

Half of Mayo, of course, knows Joe Biden – and never has a man had so many fourth cousins once removed (if it gets much worse, he might have to have them forcibly removed) since he got the keys to the big White House.

We can’t claim to know Barack Obama, but half of Galway knows Billy Lawless, who hosted the former Chicago senator in his acclaimed restaurant – we knew Billy as a politician or a publican, in Trigger Martyn’s or the old Twelve in Barna. So that’s close enough.

We’re also familiar with Pat McDonagh, who doesn’t just own Supermac’s; he also owns the Barack Obama Plaza in Offaly. So that’s a second Presidential connection to someone we’ve never actually met.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App

Download the Connacht Tribune Digital Edition App to access to Galway’s best-selling newspaper.

Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

Or purchase the Digital Edition for PC, Mac or Laptop from Pagesuite  HERE.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app
The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

 

Continue Reading

Local Ads

Local Ads

Advertisement
Advertisement

Facebook

Advertisement

Trending