August 07, 2007

the magic of radio

Being my age, I can remember our family's first VCR, first DVD player, first CD player (for my birthday and it was exciting!). We had tons of records, the black vinyl kind that would get scratched and catch on the same part over and over. We wore out many a cassette tape. But my favorite of all of these was "Adventures in Odyssey."
Odyssey was created by Focus on the Family. It was a radio drama which now has hundreds of episodes, is celebrating it's 20th anniversary this year. My parents bought us our first set of "adventures" for Christmas one year. There is still a photo of us crowded around that plastic box of cassette tapes with our eyes gleaming. That set was followed by many more. Of course, now, they are only available on CD's. But there was something about sticking that tape into the tape deck and hearing it snap shut and pressing the play button with a big clunk. The rest of the world faded away and I was whisked away to Odyssey where I could go to Whit's End and get a soda, visit the Imagination Station, go to the Bible room or the Little Theater. It was magical.
We wore those tapes out on family vacations. All 5 of us, staring blankly (except my dad who was driving) out the windows as we listened to the newest adventure. When I read the stories of Esther and Ruth and Elijah in the Bible now, I picture them in the way that Odyssey helped me imagine them. My mom even bought me a new set of the CD's a not too long ago for Christmas, and I've listened to them over and over.

A couple years ago, I went to Colorado with a big group of friends. One of the things we did when we were in Colorado Springs was go to Focus on the Family. We did a tour of the facility and sat in Dr. Dobson's recording chair in the audio studio. Then we went to Whit's End. So cool! They had set everything up for parents to be able to come and let their kids wander around the Odyssey they heard about. There was a real Whit's End with sodas and ice cream. There was a little theater where you could put on a show. There was Kid's Radio where you can record your own little show. I LOVED it! I ran around and played and enjoyed every minute of it. And I was about 27 years old....

The great thing about Odyssey is you don't have to be a kid to love them. So, if you haven't ever heard an episode of Adventures in Odyssey....

Listen here for free
Find a radio station in your area that plays it
Buy one of the series sets
Learn about how the whole thing came about.

1 comment:

jessica said...

Thanks for the links. It's pretty nostalgic for me, too. We used to listen to them in school sometimes. I can still hear their voices when I remember it.