My paternal grandfather was born and raised in Newfoundland, on the outskirts of St. John’s, its capital city. As a young man, he came to the United States in 1903 to find work. To his dying day he understood very little about radio or television beyond the simple mechanics of adjusting the volume control or changing the station. Yet he became directly responsible for my nearly lifelong love affair with “wireless” communications when he gave me an AM broadcast band clock radio for my thirteenth birthday. It was my very first radio receiver, and, although my grandfather thought I would prize the alarm on it, the “magical” feature I came to love instead was the Sleep knob. Now I could climb into bed and fall asleep to the sounds of faraway ...

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