Today we asked listeners: What sounds from your childhood are going extinct? Rotary phones? Dial-up connections? Tetris? We compiled the responses into an audio essay.
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As a very small girl in the early to mid-‘40s and living three blocks from the Capitol Square in Madison, Wisconsin, I can never forget hearing the bands starting to march and play on Memorial day and various other holidays. My brother and I ran up to the Square to be awed spectators One sound I remember most—with no music to accompany it—was a few well-rehearsed groups of soldiers in their 80’s, probably veterans of the Spanish-American War. They were dressed in their old uniforms and boots, with rifles on their shoulders—not marching but mostly shuffling along, barely able to lift their feet but with faces held high and proud. From time to time, they stopped and were commanded to do simple movements with their rifles which gave off a clickety-click almost scraping sound of old rusty instruments. Complete silence and deep respect surrounded their passing—leaving a chill in the otherwise warm summer air. Of course there were other sounds from squeals of children at passing clowns throwing candy, but the sounds of these men made with their faces determined but tired, are the ones I most remember.
Edit as you wish,Jan Cole
The sound made by a reel mower pushed by hand, the sound of the elevator cage door opened and closed by the elevator operator, the sound of the plastic index on a metal slide rule as it is slammed into the end stop of the slide rule, the hollow metallic clunk of a door slammed on a 1950's era car, the metallic click of a Zippo lighter opening, the key sound of a mechanical typewriter.
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