Press-Republican

Columns

April 14, 2013

Not as many whistlers these days

The late Chester O. “Chet” Bosworth was a dear and wonderful man. He was the reason thousands of people in this area turned their radios on each morning.

He called himself “Your Happy Whistler,” and he would prove it by whistling regularly each time his theme song played. Remember the title, “When You’re Smiling”? And when Chet smiled, the whole world smiled with him, just like in the song.

His alter ego was Miss Lonely Hearts, who allowed her wet dog to shake all over the control room. Her musical saw rendition of the “Anniversary Song” was “excruciatingly good,” to use Chet’s words. That’s why it was so adorable. To this day, many people insist that she was a real person with a real dog and a real saw. Chet made the sound of the saw with his lips, whistling with wonderful saw-like vibrato.

He’s been gone for many years but will never be forgotten. I still dream of radio at least five nights every week, and the Happy Whistler makes frequent appearances. Like the chicken and the egg, I don’t know if Chet began calling himself “The Happy Whistler” prior to 1956, when a guy named Don Robertson recorded a top 10 song entitled “The Happy Whistler.” It doesn’t really matter, but to my Little mind, one thing leads to another.

Whatever happened to whistling? Hardly anyone whistles either publicly or privately these days. I’ve read the most hateful blog entries from people who say things like, “Whenever I hear someone whistling, I have feelings of homicide.” To me, that’s a sad commentary.

I love to whistle, but with old lips and some teeth that aren’t original, my pucker just ain’t what it used to be. Kaye and I can’t wait until it’s warm enough to sit on our back deck and do our best whistling rendition of bird calls. Are they really answering us, or is it only wishful whistling?

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Columns
  • Tobias_Sue_012914.jpg World in palm of our hands

    A newsroom workshop made writer Susan Tobias realize how far technology has come since she started working at the Press-Republican.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mulholland_Jonathan.jpg Running tips to get you in top form

    Different limb lengths, tighter muscles, stiffer joints, prior injuries all play role in determining your running style, Jonathan Mulholland writes.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • clute_cropped.jpg When children are put at risk

    Adults who deal drugs, commit domestic violence and other crimes with kids present are guilty of yet another crime, writes columnist Penny Clute.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Walace_Jolene 7-12_cropped.jpg Let these tips on planting trees take root

    You may think that digging a hole and plopping the tree in will suffice, and it will if you only want the tree to live a short time, columnist Jolene Wallace writes.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • ouellette.jpg Web doctor always gets it right

    I have access to the collected medical knowledge of all recorded history at my fingertips, columnist Steve Ouellette writes.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • colin_read.jpg Airport projects can benefit local economy

    Using a local workforce keeps wages and spending in the community if it can be done in a cost-effective manner, according to columnist Colin Read.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Gast_Richard.jpg Producers can recycle tubing

    Project allows maple-syrup makers to conveniently dispose of their used tubing in an environmentally friendly way, according to columnist Richard Gast.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Terry_Mattingly.jpg Easter with doubters and the 'nones'

    Should more pastors ask this blunt question: "Do you really believe Jesus was raised from the dead?" wonders religion columnist Terry Mattingly.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Black_Peter_2014_cropped.jpg Canadiens are Canada's team

    The National Hockey League playoffs are underway, and for Canadiens fans, many of whom likely reside in the Montreal "suburb" of Plattsburgh, it is a time of hope and joy.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • amy_ivy.jpg Is it time to plant? Not yet

    All we can do is wait and see how things get through, columnist Amy Ivy writes.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

Peter Black: Canadian Dispatch

Lois Clermont, Editor

Cornell Cooperative Extension

Richard Gast: Cornell Ag Extension

Bob Grady

Guest Columns

Peter Hagar: Cornell Ag Connection

Health Advice

Ray Johnson: Climate Science
Gordie Little: Small Talk

Terry Mattingly: On Religion

Steve Ouellette: You Had To Ask

Colin Read: Everybody's Business

Pinch of Time