Woman hears father’s voice for first time on vintage broadcast

All Things Considered | The Baltimore Sun

In December, WYPR in Baltimore re-aired a show that first ran in 1943, and Margaret Ann Wolf Harris, now 71, heard her father’s voice for the first time.

NPR’s All Things Considered told the story Saturday. Paul McCardell, a librarian for The Baltimore Sun, found the original broadcast last year, stored in a wrapped-up box, according to a Dec. 19 story by Frederick Rasmussen for the Sun. McCardell and Steve Sullivan, the paper’s multimedia editor, approached columnist Dan Rodricks, who also hosts a show on the Baltimore station, about re-airing the broadcast.

The two records, each 30 minutes long, were copies of a Dec. 25, 1943, Christmas broadcast that was sponsored by The Sunpapers.

It featured soldiers from the 29th Infantry Division and Army Air Forces as well as women from the Red Cross sending messages to loved ones at home. It was broadcast from two bases “somewhere in England,” through arrangements with the Army Special Services and the British Broadcasting Corp.

One of those men was Sgt. Cody Wolf, NPR reports.

“I’ve been thinking a lot about Catonsville,” Wolf said on air.

“Do you have a family there?” the broadcaster asked.

“My parents, my wife, my 16-month-old daughter, Margaret Ann.”

A few weeks later, NPR reports, Wolf died in combat.

A friend who heard the rebroadcast on air called Harris, who found the recording online. On Dec. 27, the Sun’s Susan Reimer wrote about what hearing her father’s voice meant to Harris.

“I have all the pictures and all the mementos, but they were like a silent movie to me,” said the retired teacher, who still lives in her grandparents’ Prospect Avenue house, where she and her mother moved when her father was called up.

“Now I have his voice.”

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