Roundabouts, AM Radio and Clowns

by Rex Keyes — There are a lot of strange and funny things going on in Monterey County. First of all, everyone is going crazy about roundabouts. There is one on the Highway 1 off ramp by CHOMP. Marina is way ahead of everyone with three roundabouts and more on the way.

Now the State of California is planning on putting roundabouts on Highway 68 between Monterey and Salinas. The present roundabouts have traffic usually going slow, but on Highway 68 the speed limit is 55 mph. So it will be very interesting to see if people navigate a roundabout at 55 mph. And if one has to make a left turn they will have to travel three quarters of the way around the roundabout before exiting and will they do it at 55 mph? It might be that everyone will go slowly when they approach the roundabout except probably those in sports cars and motorcycles.

And we have thousands of tourists during holidays and summer time. It will be entertaining to pull up a chair, sit back and get a view of the tourist traffic at these roundabouts between Monterey and Salinas. Oh, if there is an accident at one of these places, traffic will be backed up for miles and miles as it will probably block all traffic going both ways. Ah yes, a good idea, roundabouts on a highway or as the Russians would say, “nyet.” In other words, “no” in English. But there is no stopping progress; they will be here in the future.

Now how many people listen to AM radio nowadays? Just about everyone has some type of listening device in which music is downloaded. There is a local AM station that plays “old time” music with singers like Sinatra, Dean Martin, Astrud Gilberto, Elvis Presley, Peggy Lee and Barbara Streisand. Baby boomers used to listen to radio and they probably still do. These singers would be familiar to boomers even though they were into heavy 60s and 70s rock-and-roll and that is because their parents listened to these singers on radio.

The station that plays this music is 1240 KNRY in Monterey. The weird thing is that they have absolutely no advertising. How they operate with no ads is beyond me. Imagine not having to listen to advertising!! It takes some getting used to. This is good soothing music for the older baby boomers to listen to and to go to sleep at night, except for the song about the buzzard taking the monkey for a ride, “Straighten Up and Fly Right.”

Being a fan, I requested them to play songs from a very famous singer called “Sade” (pronounced Shar-day). Well, we will see if this non-advertising station will take requests like other stations that advertise. It will probably take a couple of weeks since everything is pre-recorded ahead of time. Since they can play a song about a buzzard taking a monkey for a ride they should be able to play Sade’s songs.

Finally Halloween is coming up and so are the clowns. “Bring in the Clowns,” a popular song, is making everyone dress up as clowns. There is even a new horror movie about a person dressing up as a clown. So watch out for the clowns and Happy Halloween.

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