We had discovered the radio shows on Sunday after the big band broadcast called THE GOLDEN YEARS, broadcast from the local station KELA, which was only half an hour(only one show!!!). We had also found the incredible treasure trove from noon to midnight both Saturday and Sunday on a station from San Francisco called KFBK(a primarily news station, which back in the 50's was the home to Billy Jack Wills, the Country Boogie brother of western swing legend Bob Wills). What an incredible feast.
After that, the foraging was comparatively rare; why scrabble amongst the rocks for fungus when the larder is packed to the top with prime rib? But I was conditioned to the practice, and sometimes sat in the dark with my little plug-in radio on my lap, craning to hear if that monotone voice(ect.) was a radio drama or something less captivating, such as the local farm report.
It was on one of these nights that I discovered Bertie Wooster and his incredible gentleman's gentleman, Jeeves.
For them (rare oddballs) that aren't in-the-know, Jeeves and Wooster are the creations of british comic genius, Sir Pelham Grenville "P. G." Wodehouse, a madman with a sentence, and perhaps the most insanely funny writer in the English language. The scenarios that he puts poor Bertram Wooster in are complex and silly, maddening and charming...but he always makes sure the super-genius Jeeves is always there to steer the ship away from the rocks in to safe harbour.
To make a long story, one evening I heard them on the radio!!! The actors, Sir Michael Hordern (as Jeeves), and the skilled Richard Briers(as Bertie), mad me laugh out loud, which is next to impossible, and as rare as truth from an American politician! I told Jeff immediately, but sadly heard only the last few episodes before it finished, and in those pre-internet days (!!!), we just had to suffer in our isolations. It wasn't until Jeff spent a university term in the UK that we were able to hear a full broadcast, blissfully unaware that there were actually many full-cast dramatisations of these incredible shows. Mr. Jeff may remember the history differently, but old men must be forgiven their failings in memory.
I now own FIVE of the blessed dramas, and I'm in a kind of Brit-geek heaven!!! They are exactly as charming and funny as I remember. I've been listening to them on the bus to and from work, and I haven't yet managed to put the stifle to the occasional public guffaw.
Life does get better than that, but not by much.