Both make you think
and sometimes weep
On the bright side of things, if you hear a story on the radio about a teenage girl fighting cancer and throwing up all the time between classes, and a couple tears start forming behind your eyes, at least you're driving around alone so no one sees. Same thing goes for when you dream about your mom who's been dead for a really long time. In the gloaming before you wake, you pour her coffee. You smile from ear to ear that after all these years you're talking over coffee at the kitchen table with your mom...
And then there's a beep in the faroff. The beep gets closer, louder. You look at the kitchen chair in your head and your mom's starting to become a silhouette. She's fading. You swipe your phone to stop the beeping... and you look back in your head and your mom's gone. You're angry at your phone - why did you chase my mom away? In both cases, driving around listening to the girl who has cancer on the radio... and in the dream where your mom still exists... you sometimes weep inside. It might not be tears, but it's behind your cheekbones and that's where the real sorrow festers anyhows.
Look, there's Superman
Today I did nearly five hours of radio. Let's add up how many people I interacted with during that time. You can help me from the notes in the last blog entry that the three or four of you ignored.
Ryan, producer of the morning show.
Sam, the new video producer of the morning show.
Verlie, the new co-host of the Tuesday morning radio show.
Dan Carden, a reporter for the Times who covers the state legislature in Indy.
Gerry Scheub, commissioner of Lake County
Ed Dabrowski, IT consultant for the town of Highland (and also my cousin)
Dustin Anderson, Munster town manager
Dave Nellans, Munster town councilman
Harvey Jackson, Teamster Local 142 Treasurer
Larry Regan, Teamster Local 142 living labor legend
And then there were about 18 callers, some of whom I reference in my notes below. (Granola) Bob, Frank, Sue, Lefty, Walt, Mad Mac, Dave, Longtime Listener, etc.
So the three or four of you may be thinking - "Big deal. Sounds like an average radio show, JED."
Maybe so. But doesn't it ever come to your mind that this is a lot of interaction in one morning? And today wasn't really even that many callers. Sometimes it's like 30 or more, especially if there's bad traffic.
By the way, I don't remember one traffic call this morning. I did take texts about a stalled car on the Bishop Ford and a two-car accident on 294 - but those were texts and emails and not spoken interactions. As a matter of fact, if you think about all of the interactions on the text line and emails and even Facebook, it can get to over 100 interactions each morning.
It's a lot to digest, I suppose. And I'm not afraid to admit to the three or four of you that sometimes it wears me down. A lotta times I'll walk out of the studio between nine and 10 and I'll sit at my desk to scan my notes or fill out a form for our accountant or even make a plane reservation for my daughter to come back from New York...
And I got nothing. I can't think. It's not really a lack of focus. It's more like a lack of thinking. The computer screen gives me information, but I give nothing back. Because I don't have it to give. That's why after the show I've taken to working out. I get on the treadmill at Planet Fitness and I let Mike and Mike or Wendy or Fox 32 News tell me what my mind should be thinking for a half hour. And then I fake like I'm lifting weights to strengthen my core and by the time it's all over the neurons start firing again and I can do something productive in the afternoon.
Bad breath, cottonmouth, you
For tomorrow, I want to talk about this story that I saw on the news tonight about Barrington, IL, residents coming out in droves to convince the school board to dial back the start time for high school students. It turns out after all these years there's a bunch of studies that show high school age students need more sleep than they're getting. Channel 2 News showed a middle-aged woman about to weep - "Our students are sleep deprived. We must do something."
In that order, or
If it's good enough for Channel 2 News, then it's good enough for the three or four of you, along with the five or six who listen to my morning radio show. I miss Kate, by the way. I'll Google her last name - Kate Sullivan. She sat alongside Rob Johnson for a long time on the 10 o'clock news, and then one day - poof, she was gone. What happened? I wonder if Jeff Kiernan, the CBS exec who grew up a few blocks from where I'm typing this had anything to do with it.
I also want to talk about the guy who got arrested by the US Marshals for not paying the last $1500 on his student loans. And President Obama saying that Donald Trump shouldn't be president - "It's a serious job, not a reality show." And I'll also preview the wrestling semi-state and we'll talk about tonight's basketball game between Griffith and Bishop Noll. Al Hamnik of the NWI Times will come in and we'll compare notes on the world. Hope that's enough for the three or four of you, and the five or six of you who will turn on WJOB in the morning. Here's a four-liner I wrote on Valentine's Day. It was for my wife of 24 years, not the three or four of you.
My heart is yours
Here and above.