Vox Populi

A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature

Bob Ziller: Radio

Over the years,

occasionally someone will ask

about my religious affiliation,

to which I reply:

“Well, my mother’s Catholic

and my father’s Jewish,

but I pretty much

just listened to the radio.”


As it turns out,

my home now is in the town of Wilkinsburg,

where Frank Conrad

began broadcasting music in 1919

from the transmitter he built

in his garage

on the corner of Penn & Peebles.

His children played music

over the newfound airwaves

and he spun records as well,

bartering with the Hamilton

Record Store in exchange for advertising

on the air.


Frank was among the world’s first DJ’s,

right here in Wilkinsburg.


So here I am a hundred years later,

listening to music on the radio

in one of the very first neighborhoods

to ever enjoy such a thing.

Pretty cool, I know.


Wilkinsburg a century ago

was known as the “Holy City”

or the “City of Churches”,

and Penn Avenue was earlier known

as The Great Road,

and earlier than that an Indian trail,

a buffalo path.

Some of the churches are empty now,

though some are still thriving …

and here I sit,

still listening to the radio:



Bee bop a lula

Sha doo be


Copyright 2016 Bob Ziller  



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This entry was posted on July 19, 2016 by in Humor and Satire, Poetry and tagged , , , .

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