Tuesday, March 13, 2012


I've become fond of one of those local indoor flea markets here in our area.  I don't visit often, and I rarely buy anything.  So why do I go?  It's like a museum of my childhood.  I often see books I read as a kid, toys and games I had, records, old radios and tv's, appliances, etc.  So many memories...

During a visit last week, I spent some time looking at a couple old Coke vending machines.  The one on the left looks like the one we had in my junior high school.  Yes, we were allowed to drink soda in school back then.  Imagine the horror!  Are schools that much better now because kids can't have a Coke between classes?

I apologize for the quality of the photos.  They are from my camera phone.

It was the machine on the right that really caught my eye, and not for the Coke.

Take a look at the bumper sticker on the side.  As you know, I'm a sucker for old radio stuff.
Someone slapped a WBQW bumper sticker on the side.  It has to be at least 30 years old.  It was a sticker promoting the station's Notre Dame football games.  It was a nice move.  I'm not sure if WARM or WILK had the Penn State games back in those days.  Notre Dame was the consolation prize-- the games you carried if you couldn't get Penn State.

WBQW is the old WSCR-AM 1320, a station licensed to Scranton.  The studios and towers were on North Keyser Avenue.  Both are long gone.  AM 1320 is off the air, never to return.  The call letters now belong to an all sports station in Chicago.  WSCR was a top 40 type station for a long time.  It had a string of different owners and formats before going off the air, for good.

WSCR was a nice little station for a long time, and it had a loyal audience in the Scranton area.  It was hampered by a less than stellar signal-- 1,000 watts during the day, dropping to 250 at night.  The great Tim Karlson worked there before moving to WARM, WBRE, and WNEP.  My good friend and Mid Valley classmate Jerry Padden is also an alumnus.

Management dropped the heritage WSCR call letters in an attempt to reach out beyond Scranton-- a more regional approach.  It wasn't a bad idea, at least on paper.  Unfortunately, the station didn't have the signal strength to be a regional powerhouse.  It didn't work.

I guess that's why there are so many flea markets locally.  It's the adventure.  You never know what you're going to find.