Thursday, April 9, 2009

Hubert Krack’s Radio Days

These days, parents worry about their children spending too much time in front of the television and the computer. But did parents have the same concerns in the 1930s about the radio?

Going through Scout Leader Dan Rile’s collection of Cub Scout records for the 1930s, we came across a questionnaire that Dan had used for a paper he was writing in 1938 for a sociology class at New York University. The questionnaire collected information about his scouts and charted their activities hour by hour on a typical Saturday, Sunday, and Monday.

The only questionnaire Dan preserved was that of Hubert Krack, aged 9 years and 11 months. Hubert had one brother, and his favorite subject in school was arithmetic. His favorite activity was football, and his favorite games were Monopoly, Parcheesi, and what he called the “Boxing Game.” His favorite books were King Arthur and His Knights, Peter Pan, and The King of the Mountains, an adventure story about three Brits captured by a Greek brigand. He read the funnies from the Daily News and the Sunday Times, and he claims to have read both the scouting magazine Boy’s Life and the Ladies Home Journal.

Hubert’s parents gave him 15 cents a week spending money. He generally went to the movies once a month and preferred war pictures. His three favorite actors were Dick Powell, Sonja Henie, and Shirley Temple, in that order. Yes, he went to Sunday School, and yes, he liked it.

Hubert’s favorite radio programs were The Joe Penner Show, The Jack Benny Program, Philip Morris Playhouse, and One Man’s Family. And he certainly seems to have spent a good deal of time listening to them, as you can see from the following chart under the heading “Describe What You Did.”
And by the way, Dan noted on the back of Hubert’s questionnaire that he got an “A” on that sociology paper.
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1 comment:

  1. Wow! Hubert slept from 9 p.m. until 7 a.m.? Betcha Hubert's grandchildren sleep half that much. I am filled with awe that his parents could get him into bed that early ... but of course, he did a lot of playing.