9:37pm on a Monday
It's almost always a lot of stuff in one radio day. This morning I did the 3.5 hour radio show. It flew by pretty quickly and I'm not sure why. I was by myself for the first two and a half hours and if you have good callers then it's fun and light and by 7:30am you look up and can't believe it's been two hours.
Our paper carrier Wayne called in to say that he won't be our paper carrier anymore. We receive the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Chicago Tribune, The Post-Tribune and the NWI Times, and I believe that Wayne delivers the gamut. He said that the Trib oversees deliver of all of it now, but as of Monday, Oct. 18, the Times will take over. His pay will go from 17 cents a throw to 9 cents a throw. Wayne actually told a very sad early morning story. He's a veteran of two tours in Iraq. He works from 12:30am to 6:30am throwing papers. He takes a shower, and then works somewhere from 7:30 to 5:30. Then he goes home to care for his wife, who survived breast cancer and just had a heart attack. He pays $600 a month in diabetes meds for her. It's a touching call. You should listen to the podcast somewhere on this web page.
Ramon also called in and said back in the day at the Griffith and Gary basketball courts he used to be able to dunk. I've met Ramon. He's all of 5'9." I don't believe that he ever dunked but he swears he did. As far as Wayne's predicament, Ramon suggested that we should tip him wildly - "If you're on his route, give him a shout." Or something like that.
If you listen to people... if you really listen to people and actually care about what they have to say... then they'll pick up on it and they'll call you and, dare I say it, trust you. It's a matter of trust. They trust that you care, and sometimes that's all that matters.
Later in the day Christina Cortez and I wired what we're gonna call the "truth booth." It's this rolling closet that Rob Ellis built from scratch and inside it's a perfect sound chamber but there's little light. You can go in there to record a spot or an ID or anything else you want to record while we're using the studio for live broadcasting. There's been a lot of times that Debbie or Ryan or Wes Lukoshus wanted to record something while I was doing my show or Harlow was doing his in the afternoon. Now, with the truth booth, they can record even better sound than in the main studio and they can do it anytime they want.
I also want to use the truth booth for intense one-on-one interviews. "You think you can handle the truth booth?" And then we'll go on in there mano-a-mano for a live or taped interview. Why not. Gotta try stuff.
Tonight I hosted the Purdue Calumet Coaches Caravan at Bridges Scoreboard in Griffith. It was a little tough in that the Cubs were playing the Cardinals in game three of the NLDS. The Caravan was scheduled to start at 7pm but the Cubs game, which started at 5pm, was running way late. By 7pm, the Cubs were in the 5th inning. Purdue athletic director Rick Costello toyed with the idea of waiting until the Cubs game was over. So I met with owner Jeff Bridges and we estimated that the game could end as late at 9pm (it ended at 8:47).
So in-between innings I interviewed a coach, and then sat back down while the Cubs or Cards batted. It wasn't perfect but the Caravan was accomplished. Ten coaches got to speak. We gave away a bunch of sweatshirts and hats and stuff, and everyone left by 9pm.
Every once in a while a listener stops you in public to give you a complement for trying to be reasonably trustworthy radio guy, and you say "thank you." And then someone gives you a complement and says those most dangerous of words - "I'm really proud of you." That came tonight from my high school Health and Science teacher, Jack King... he of north Hammond fame. He said he wakes up at 4am every day and waits until I come on. His wife will come out into the kitchen - "you listening to Jimmy?" she'll ask. That makes me smile. I told Jack... er, Mr. King... that it meant a lot to me that he would listen daily and would say such kind words.
Enough mush. It's another day of local radio. Tomorrow will be another one, a good 10 to 12 hours, and then Wednesday will be pretty much the same. It's a lot of work but I'll tell you something personal since nobody else reads this blog - I'm grateful for this radio life. There's no other way to put it.