I think I would have been happy growing up in the 40s and 50s. I love old radio shows, I love the scenes in A Christmas Story with Ralphie listening to the Little Orphan Annie. That would have been me. And I’m sure, if I had been around at the time, I would have definitely been a dedicated listener to the Lux Radio Theatre.
Many many years ago I found this cassette of the Lux Radio Theatre broadcast of Miracle on 34th Street. Every Christmas I listen to this tape and the Lux recordings of It’s a Wonderful Life and A Christmas Carol. Listening to them just makes me so happy and nostalgic for something I never had. I love the language, I love the civility, I love the safety. When will you ever again hear a little girl say “shall I tell you what I did at school today”? When will it ever again be all right for a little girl to go visit at the home of her single male neighbor whom her mother has never met without her mother’s permission on Thanksgiving? Life just sounds so much simpler and so much safer.
Even more than all that, I love the commercials. Ads for Lux soap, of course, the wonder soap which apparently you could use to wash your face, your body, your hair, your clothes, your “delicates”, and then, if you had any left over, you could mix it with water and make realistic Christmas snow to decorate your Christmas tree. They give the recipe. I’ve even memorized it from listening so often. I wish I could find myself a large box of Lux Flakes so I could try making it myself.
There’s just something about the formal way that everyone talks. The male announcer speaking to the female actress – there’s something flirty but stiff in the whole exchange. You can just picture them (in black and white, of course). He’s in a suit, slick dark hair, confident air, a cigarette in his hand, most likely. She’s in a lovely dress with a tiny belt, her hair is in perfect waves as she talks about Paulette Goddard’s wardrobe in A Rogue’s Regimen and how each piece of it could be “Luxed”. I just love it!
Now I have the urge to go search on Ebay for a box of lux Flakes.