posted 02-21-2012 05:49 PM
I just finished listening to the tape of the Friendship 7 Air to Ground and Flight loops.
Beyond the information records such as these preserve, they also preserve elements of the controllers’ character from the qualities in their voices. This goes beyond mere inflection, diction, and accent - they were all pleasant as well. If I had an emergency these are the voices I would want to hear
Here are some of the words that came to mind: clarity, calmness, intelligence, confidence, optimism, humility, teamwork, honesty, diligence, respect, and warmth. Nobody was condescending or made snide remarks. There were no militant sounding brash orders. They talked each other as equals. When something wasn't heard they would just diligently break in and use a slightly more assertive tone to underline the importance of the message.
What went into building these characters? Many would have been products of the "Great Generation" and the "Silent Generation" as they are called. Many had military backgrounds and came from small to medium sized towns. There is an invisible and intangible factor to them. Was it the analog recordings that added this factor? Was it the spirit of the nation itself in better times reflected in their tones?
Even non-controllers like Ed Herlihy delivered the news in a way that he could tell you that the Martians had invaded and the next years model of cars were in with the same smooth style.
We need voices like these back, in our homes, workplaces, on the radio, even Youtube. Where did they go? Can we bring them back? What are your thoughts on the voices of this age?