Museum of Broadcast Communication

A break from the Colorado trip.

Our family sometimes listened to Chuck Schaden on Saturday afternoons when he would dig out old radio shows and for four hours or so entertain Chicagoland on the program called Those Were the Days. He did this from the 70s right up until 2009. Now someone else hosts it ( haven’t heard it since it changed hosts and stations). Often listening, we would hear them advertise the Museum of Broadcast Communications a place dedicated “to collect, preserve, and present historic and contemporary radio and television content as well as educate, inform and entertain through our archives, public programs, screenings, exhibits, publications and online access to our resources.”

And then there was my father’s obsession with Fibber McGee and Molly. He collected their shows and I think had tapes/cds of every single episode and often would listen to them. So I’m familiar with Fibber McGee and his closet and of the commercials for Johnson Wax Glo-coat – a product of S.C. Johnson. Being that we lived in Racine, I’ve been to the Johnson complex numerous times

So when I was talking to Ashley Alston, a friend from work, and discovered she enjoyed old-time mysteries, we decided to go.

Part of the museum is the Radio Hall of Fame. If you ever listen to the radio, at least some of the names will be familiar to you. Even Dave Ramsey is featured.

One of the people honored is Bob Collins and what WGN listener doesn’t remember the afternoon (2000) he was killed in a plane crash and his friends back at the station had to deliver the news.

The most interesting aspect of the museum is some of the exhibits they have: Meet the Press set, the security plan for the Nixon/Kennedy debates, an original Fibber McGee and Molly script and an original I Love Lucy script. They also have the gongs for the NBC sign-off.

One of the most fun things Ashley and I did, was each take a part in the I Love Lucy script and read a couple pages.

Is it worth the visit?  Yes, we enjoyed ourselves, but it is rather expensive ($12.00 for two floors of exhibits and a gift shop that is only open on Saturdays), so probably not a place you’d want to go more than once or twice.

Kid Factor: Even though there are some displays of kid shows such a Bozo, I’m not sure they would keep a child’s interest. Most of the unique displays would be of shows before a child’s time.

Oh – we didn’t see this being done, but you can call and make an appointment and they set you up as if Larry King is interviewing you. He asks the questions and then they edit the show so it looks as if you were really there answering. Sounds fun.

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