I sometimes whimsically imagine my ten-year-old future father on an Oklahoma evening in 1938 in the living room of his family’s house, hanging back when his parents and sister drift out of the living room after “Ozzie and Harriet,” leaving him alone with the Philco radio, which he expertly tunes to “Ellery Queen” or “The $64,000 Question,” keeping the volume down in order to maximize his time before being discovered, listening to the resonant voices of newsmen, entertainers and emcees, learning what it sounded like to speak “radio.”

And I sometimes imagine him in May of 1953, when he was twenty-five, traveling…