Oak Park Arms

Radio Show: Allied Invasion

Oak Park Arms

Those Thrilling Days of YesteryearThose Thrilling Days of Yesteryear, an all volunteer radio reenactment group, will present a special D-Day performance titled, “Allied Invasion,” at 6 p.m. Sunday, June 8, at the Oak Park Arms retirement community, 408 S. Oak Park Ave.

The Normandy landings, also known as “D-Day,” were the largest seaborne invasion in history. The invasion was of German-occupied western Europe during World War II, which led to an Allied victory in the war.

Those listening to the radio at 12:41 a.m., June 6, 1944, heard the announcer say, “The Allied Invasion has begun.” Before 24-hour cable news channels, the internet or Twitter, all news came through the newspaper or over the airwaves.

That entire day was filled with updates, commentary and interviews from those overseas offering insight into what was happening. Stateside, everyone was riveted to their radios.

In honor of what has been called the “greatest crusade in American history,” the audience will hear highlights from that fateful day as they happened on CBS and NBC radio, along with music and commentary from around the world.

Those Thrilling Days of Yesteryear will transport the crowd back to the time where people sat in their living rooms in front of the old Philco radio during the day that changed the world.

The performers

Those Thrilling Days of Yesteryear is composed of Chicagoland actors who share a common interest – to perform old time radio programs for the community. Each actor and technician donates talent and time for free.

Group founders, Ben Dooley and Pam Turlow, husband and wife, established a connection with The Oak Park Arms in September of 2002, when Turlow’s father became a resident. They’ve been volunteering/performing at The Arms ever since.

Dooley and Turlow’s group performs only once every two months due to the considerable challenges involved in creating a show. They browse through thousands of old time radio episodes, select a favorite, listen and type out the script. Many shows are not available in print and have to be painstakingly transcribed. Then they gather sound effect, rehearse and mount the show.

Sound effects were an important part of live radio shows, and the group performs them live. They have a real door for slamming, buzzers, a sound board and shoes for footsteps, and doorbells.

The shows are very popular with residents and people from the community. Some even bring their children and grandchildren to show them what entertainment was like before television.

“Since the entire cast donates its time and energy, we can only do shows six times a year,” Dooley said, “but we strive to make sure that it’s well worth the wait.”

The Oak Park Arms is a rental retirement community which provides independent and assisted living apartments and a full schedule of activities and services. Furnished apartments are also available for a short-term stay – a weekend, a week, a month or longer.

The radio show is free and open to the public. For more information call 708-386-4040.