1:29 pm. Thursday.
Radio life rolls on. We're getting closer to moving in to our ultimate home in the northeast corner of the Purdue Commercialization and Manufacturing Excellence Center. We'll be about 20 feet from semis roaring by. I've designed the studio so that you can look right in while you drive down the Boulevard. I've also designed the studio to transform my show from just a radio show to a radio and tv show. The main camera angle will catch:
2. the windows behind me
3. the Purdue sign in the parking lot
4. the WJOB sign in the parking lot
5. the semis, flatbeds, tankers and automobiles barreling down the Boulevard
6. the 400-foot WJOB tower in the background.
It's quite the feat. Eric Hornbeck of Superior Engineering and I spent a lot of time trying to get it just right, and you know what? We may just have succeeded. Every once in a while even a blind squirrel finds a nut, or something like that. Eric and I walked around the new studios yesterday, taking in the the acoustics, the lighting, the the glass walls, the glass doors, the carpet, the area for student seating, and, of course, the floor-to-ceiling windows.
How'd we do? Eric the engineer asked me.
Hmmm... how do you think we did?
I think we nailed it.
It's something that WJOB and Purdue can be proud of, use as a recruiting tool, use as a selling tool. We're expecting an occupancy permit next week sometime. Then the real fun starts.
Our plan for now is to move the broadcasting part of our operation from our temporary studios in the training room at the Commercialization Center back to our old studios underneath the tower behind Smith Chevrolet. At first, I was kinda looking forward to never broadcasting from there again... but truth be told I kinda miss it. There is a lot of history - 60 years of it - underneath that tower and it seeps into your blood and reminds you to respect the craft.
Respect the craft. Sometimes in all of the noise of design, raising money, entertaining clients, writing this blog, taking pictures and posting them, cutting up podcasts, videos and the sort... sometimes I lose sight of what's really the most important part of doing local radio, which is...
Doing local radio. I did the show this morning and at the end of the only three hour show I looked at Ryan and said -
You know what. That was a good show.
He agreed. Why was it a good show? Part of it was that it wasn't so bogged down with murder, rape, poverty, corruption and child molestation. You've heard me say that metatarsals hurt your feet after a few generations. So does murder, rape, poverty, underperforming schools, political corruptions... and child molestation. I'm only human, said the guy in the news today who killed his whole family, eight total. What the hell does that mean? I don't know and to some extent I don't care.
The Northlake Patriots kids came in to the studio this morning. It's a youth football team from the northwestern tip of Indiana, which is one of the poorest tips of our fine state. The three kids - Zane Rayson, Dwain Johnson and DeJuan something - not only won the state championship but got designated academic All-Americans. Congratulations.
That was in May. The problem was that the five kids who got the honor... they're all from Hammond, East Chicago and Whiting. There's not a lotta extra cash laying around the house to send the kids to San Diego to accept the honor. So coach John Rayson and the other coaches and the academic winners all came into the studio in May and we just told it like it is.
If you in the local business community don't pony up, then these kids can't go to San Diego. We at WJOB started it off with a little pony up and next thing you know, Zane, Dwain and DeJuan were hobnobbing with Cubs players at Petco Park against the Padres. Then they went to a military museum and the beach and out to dinner a bunch of times. Most had never flown on an airplane. Everybody wins with this one.
Karen Lauermann called in with news that a forklift maker is bringing 500 jobs averaging 55-grand a year to the old Blaw Knox facility in East Chicago. This is great news, not only for the jobs, but how they got here. Karen and Don Koliboski head the Lake County Economic Alliance, which is the entry point for any company thinking about coming to good old industrial Gary, Hammond, E. Chicago and their environs. Prior to this, if you were thinking of coming to this area you had to call each community. That sucked. Now you've got real professionals spearheading the recruitment and location of high-level manufacturers. That doesn't suck.
What did suck today was what LC Sheriff John Buncich and I had to talk about, along with several callers. And that is the murder situation in Gary. Eight murders in eight days. Then a couple days' break. And then two more on Monday. You freaking tell me what's going. Buncich got 200-grand from the county council for overtime to put more officers in Gary... but that's like pissing on a forest fire. The shooting continues.
"No respect for life," Buncich said.
We ended up the show with a farewell to Lis Lanman, who heads to IU Bloomington after interning all summer. She really gets it as a producer, and she takes a lot of the after-show busy work off my hands. For most of the summer, instead of sitting around editing the morning's photos and posting them, and scanning my notes and posting those, and doing any of a half dozen other tasks... I could go work out right after the show. I'm getting stronger. I can feel that. But still because my back's so shitty I can't really run too much and that spare tire's hanging around.
Anyways, I had Debbie call Pete and Dawn Lanman yesterday to surprise their daughter Lis on her final day. You can listen to that podcast above, if you'd like. It's a little bit touching, as far as radio goes. We will miss you, Lis. Stay with radio. It is as beautiful as it is confusing and pure, if that makes any sense.
That'll do it for now. Lots to do to move broadcasting back to the old studio and then in to the final new studio. That'll take a month or two. In the meantime, I'm supposed to play in the Salzeider golf outing tomorrow to help raise money for children's charities... but I just can't do it and feel kinda bad about that. I'm rehabbing my back on all sorts of machines and swinging a club 100 times would just rip that progress all to shreds. Instead, I'll just drive around in the passenger side of a cart and I may or may not get kinda drunk. You okay with that?