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"Oh, yes, we had a battery-powered radio. As soon as I can remember we had a radio. [Laughs.] One thing I can remember, back when Joe Louis was the heavyweight champion of the world, we'd listen to the Joe Louis boxing matches. One of the fights he got right down to the end, and the battery went dead on the radio. [Laughs.] And we didn't know how it ended until the paper came out the next day."
     Question: "And how did it end?"
     "Oh, he won. But that was one thing that happened during those cold winters in 1936 when we were there isolated for so long. We lost the radio because the battery went dead, and we didn't have a way to charge it. We didn't have electricity then. We didn't have a newspaper for like 10 days at a time because the mail carrier brought the newspaper and he couldn't get through."
     Question: "How did that feel?"
     "Oh, very much isolated. I hated winters for a long time. I just dreaded to see winter come because I was afraid that was going to happen again. In those winter months, when we were so isolated, we read about everything that was in the house. We played games. We played dominos, and crockino – are you familiar with crockino? – a board game where you shoot caroms across. We spent a lot of time with that game. But anyway, the electricity, of course, you could light enough to read at night. When I think of those lights that we had at that time, you couldn't hardly read anything at night. You'd have had to do that during the daylight hours."
     Question: "With a kerosene lamp, you're saying."
     "Kerosene lamps. They weren't very bright. You almost had to use a flashlight to see if they were still on. [Laughs.]"

Stan Jensen on Radio, Isolation and Entertainment

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Other Excerpts from Stanley Jensen's Interview:

Killing Grasshoppers
Pests Thrive In Dry Climate
Hybrid Corn
Crop Yeilds
All in the Same Boat
Working for the WPA
Growing Up Poor
Getting Electricity
The Amenities of Home
Ethnic Communities
Keeping the Dust Out