I had a poem in my head but it took me a while to fire up my computer, so I lost it. There is no poem that shall be written today. It is lost forever.
You gotta write it down as soon as you think of it.
5:30am – Started talking on the radio outside along Indianapolis Boulevard. The steel mills must be picking up because there are more and more trucks barreling down Indianapolis Boulevard. Big trucks. Tankers, flatbeds carrying steel, garbage trucks, box trucks, cranes on Low-boys, and more. It’s theater of the truck to stand on Indianapolis Boulevard and talk on the radio.
There is of course plenty of machine noise that the Lav microphone picks up. I’m not sure if the noise of trucks on Indianapolis Boulevard adds or detracts from the radio show that is also on Facebook Live video. I don’t know anymore if it’s a radio show that happens to be on Facebook Live video… or if it’s a video show that is on the radio. And I’m not sure that it matters.
I am fairly certain, however, that way more people listen on the radio than watch on their phones. That must make the radio more important. Good. I hope it stays that way.
6am – I come out of the rain and into the studio. I rip the Lav mike from my chest and put on a headset. You’re not supposed to wear a headset microphone to do a radio show in a studio. I know this and most likely so do the three or four of you who read this blog. You like, or love, radio at least to some extent. I too love radio, and I should probably respect the craft enough to talk on a standing microphone for the better sound. A headset microphone is made for announcing basketball games, which is how I started a ton of years ago. The habit was formed. I need my hands free.
6:15am – Andy Qunell sits with me. He’s the head of the Munster Republicans and the treasurer for the Lake County Republican party. We talk about the number of precincts in Lake County and in the state of Indiana as a whole. Legislators, mostly Republican legislators, are trying to get rid of a bunch of precincts in Gary… and only Gary. Republicans hate Democrats and vice versa. There’s no way around it.
6:45am – Edo Sindicich calls in from Florida. He grew up in East Chicago and used to own a bar called “Edo’s” on Indianapolis Boulevard in Highland. Edo owned the bar for only ten years, but it was a huge force in many people’s lives, including mine and including Alexis’s.
Alexis, the attorney, used to tend bar for Edo in the 1980s. She was a single mom with not a lot of job prospects. Edo gave her a job. She wore white shorts and stood behind the bar and served people drinks. My cousin Doreen was one of the most regular customers of Edo’s. Alexis and Doreen became good friends.
My cousin Doug, now the doctor who has delivered thousands of babies, also tended bar with Alexis. I didn’t come along until Alexis had met and drank with a lot of my extended family. That was my in. Otherwise, Alexis would have never opened the door at three in the morning. Life is funny that way.
Anyways, Edo rode out Hurricane Irma in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. It was a bold move that I’m pretty sure Edo didn’t want to make. He wanted to evacuate, like most people ultimately did. But there were members of Edo’s family that may not have wanted to.
“It was all or nothing for me. We were all going or we were all staying,” Edo told us on the air.
Edo also predicted that senior citizens were gonna start dying because they were trapped in their facilities without power. Here’s parts of a Facebook message he sent me.
“Just watched the news. 5 dead at one nursing home alone this morning… they are just realizing the problem…. I didn’t tell you that a block from me there was a dead body on the street.. the homeless have no support either… so that’s six I personally know of… the assisted living near me is 4 stories and these people are trapped on their floors because they can’t walk down. No air conditioning and no food.”
So this evening, Alexis and I watched Anderson Cooper as he told about people dying in nursing homes. It’s 90 degrees and there’s no air conditioning and they’re just stranded there. Edo says he walks around Fort Lauderdale and it’s like being on the moon – nobody on the streets and no businesses open.
7:15am – The Indiana attorney general Curtis Hill calls in from Indianapolis. We talk about the recent Equifax hack in which, he says, 3.8 million Hoosiers were compromised.
“It’s a lifetimes sentence,” Hill said, which means whoever has it can use it on you years later.
We also talk about working together as Americans, a familiar theme recently. And we talk about the hurricane. Hill warned about scammers coming in after the hurricane.
8:15am – I eat breakfast at the counter at The Wheel. A couple of old-timers talk about the Florida Keys being cut off from the world because Route 1 is broken.
“They’re looking for bodies in the rubble. I used to own a trailer in one of the parks. It’s completely flattened. I don’t see how anyone could have survived there.”
I ate a Mexican omelette with no meat. There’s a lot of jalapenos in it. Little known fact about Greek restaurants these days – order the Mexican food. That’s because it’s all Mexican short order cooks and they really know how to jazz up scrambled eggs.
9:15am – I host “1 Million Cups” in the WJOB studios. It’s live on AM and FM radio and live on Facebook and Twitter video. That makes it a “JEDcast.”
A woman named Nassim is presenting her company, Docademia. She opened her presentation with this –
“All media has an agenda. So I came up with a way for students to get some media outside of the agendas.”
Nassim is from Iran. She says that when she came to this country she found that much of what was being reported around the world just wasn’t true. She set up a website for independent films to make their way to the classrooms of American colleges. It’s quite the project. I hope she finds funding.
10:30am - Dave Ryan and I meet. He's the executive director of the Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce. Dave's holding his annual Lakeshore Business Expo next month and he wants the topic of the main luncheon to be - "the effect of local media on economic development." I don't know how this will turn out, but I agree to moderate the discussion.
11am – We hold a WJOB staff meeting with
Rick Kubic, Ryan Walsh, Ron Harlow, Tony Panek, Geno Sferruzza, Christina Cortez, Jimmy Mullaney, Sam Michel, Debbie Wargo and myself. I may have forgotten someone and if I did, please forgive me.
Ryan Walsh, who produces the morning show and is the sports director, called the meeting to tell people how to set the lights and cameras and some other stuff. I also talked about the app that I am developing with the high schooler, Shamari Walker. He couldn’t be there. He had Alegebra.
Noon – I meet with a patent attorney. I probably shouldn’t even write that in my blog, but the three or four of who read this blog regularly understand that this blog is about My Radio Life. I know and you know that I am a dying breed, a true radio man.
But I’m also a radio man in transition. Facebook Live has changed everything… and I believe that there are other changes that are out there that could possibly save radio. I don’t want radio to die, but left to its own devices, it probably will. At least as we know it. There has to be some rescues, not unlike the ones that are going on all over Florida right now after Hurricane Irma.
My invention isn’t gonna save radio… but it might at least add to my show in the morning. That’s a start. It’s just a start. I’ll tell you more about it when I can.
1:30pm – At home, I get a 20-minute nap. It was delicious.
3:15pm – I arrive at the Global Research and Development headquarters for Arcelor Mittal in East Chicago. I am greeted at the door by David White, one of the directors. He looks surprised to see me… or is that he is surprised to see me in a sport-coat?
It’s the 50th anniversary of the research center in East Chicago. It’s a huge facility, with labs in six buildings. It reminds me of Google, which I visited in Silicon Valley a few years ago. Arcelor Mittal has a real campus. There’s little furnaces in some of the buildings for testing. There’s also a line in which they take a block of steel, heat it up, and then smash it into a plate.
I took one of the tours of the whole place. I walked alongside the president of Superior Construction, Dan Sopczak. It turns out that he has a son who is the same age as one of my cousin Cindy Delich’s kids in Crown Point. The two kids play baseball and basketball for the same teams, which Cindy’s husband Brian coaches. It’s a small world. But when we should have been talking about the positive effects that the Arcelor research center has had on the Region, we were instead talking high school football. Dan has a son who plays for Crown Point.
In the end, steel mills and oil refineries are among the most interesting places on Earth. It’s too bad in the age of terrorism that they can’t open up the mills to tours. The three or four of you would be amazed.
They wouldn’t let me take any pictures, by the way, not even of the electron microscope, which can blow up a human hair 400x or more. I want to do that one day with one of my back hairs.
5pm – I whisper to Jerry Yothment, who is head of IT for Arcelor and is on the tour with us –
“Hey, I gotta leave. Can you escort me out of here?”
I have known Jerry for a long time, mostly through coaching girls softball. I didn’t know that he worked at Arcelor and I didn’t know he held such an important position.
5:22pm – After driving like hell across the Region, I arrive at Flat Rock Tap in Hammond. I meet with Jake Giles and Fred Berger, two instructors at Purdue Northwest. We talk about sports broadcasting. It was quite refreshing to talk with two guys who get it when it comes to sports broadcasting. Expect some more on this in the future.
…. There’s more to my radio day. In the evening, I answered emails and texted with Shamari and recorded a few things on my computer. And then went to bed. But for some reason it’s the middle of the night – 3:33 am – and I’ve been up for a couple of hours. I’m reading stuff about Kurt Vonnegut. I don’t know why. I just thought of him and next thing you know I’ve watched an interview that Vonnegut did with Jon Stewart and I’ve read several print interviews with Vonnegut. He used to be my favorite writer. That is until I discovered Bukowski. Good night. I could use another hour of sleep.