11:39am on a rainy (not snowy) late morning in February.
I just finished up with four hours and 17 minutes of live, local radio. Per usual, it leaves me a little burnt out.
I once listened to an interview with Chet Coppock, the famed Chicago sportscaster. He looked back to a time when he did three hours of radio straight in a row without a co-host or even that many breaks or call-ins.
"That was exhausting," Coppock said. I thought at the time - "what a pu--- (sissy). How could three hours straight of radio wear you out?"
I still kinda feel that way. Three hours is actually the optimal length for a good radio show. You stay fresh. It's long enough to find a rhythm. And afterwards you have enough energy to work out and maybe even go out.
But four and a half hours is too long. By the time you're finished, you really don't wanna do anything but eat a big fat meal and go to Wampum. "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose."
Oh yeah, and to listen to the Grateful Dead's version of "Me and Bobby McGee." That's not a bad trifecta - eggs with salsa, blogging to the three or four of you Wampumheads, and listening to the Grateful Dead. But if I didn't just do four and a half hours of live, local radio, I'm sure I could come up with something a little more productive.
Today is the day after the Iowa caucuses. And I gotta give it to WJOB producer Ryan Walsh. He set up Verlie Suggs and Andy Qunell to come on the show 6-7:30 and didn't tell either one that the other would be there also. For some reason, it worked.
Normally on the opposing ends of the political spectrum, Suggs and Qunell did unite in their opposition to me on the case of Robert Battle, the East Chicago councilman. He's in jail on charges of drug dealing and murder... yet he's still on the council getting paid. Hasn't gone to trial yet.
Suggs and Qunell say to pass a law or otherwise force Battle off the council. I say, fine, he sounds like a scoundrel, but this is America - innocent until proven guilty. I'm in the minority in standing up for "innocent until," but caller Pat called in to remind my two (dare I say it) co-hosts that theres' a lot of room for abuse if you just get someone out of office by accusing them.
Yikes. That led to some decent radio. Also, Anne Herbert of Hammond called in from Flint, Michigan, where she has been volunteering during the water contamination disaster. Lead in the water of Flint led to - who has better water, Chicago or Hammond?
Hammond, of course. It's just damn good tap water. Try it. Then Highland fire chief Bill Timmer came in and we reminisced about the time I very nearly got into a fistfight with Highland councilman Bernie Zemen - ON THE AIR. Munster councilman Leigh Anne Mellon talked about development along Calumet Avenue in Munster. And then labor legend Larry Regan and other Teamsters talked about income inequality in America and that's why Bernie Sanders is so popular. It's also leading to renewed interest in unions, according to some, and that's good for the three or four you reading this. Because if unions grow, no doubt WJOB and this blog are probably gonna grow, too.
Talk to the three or four of later. I just don't feel like writing anymore.