I'm writing this day of radio from the safety of my bed and a laptop not entirely unlike Carey Bradshaw in "Sex and the City."
5:30-9am. I did a radio show. Alexis my wife came in to the studio and we talked about the Munster schools being eight million dollars in debt and then, of course, immigration. Some guy named Mike about 40 said he had never called a radio show but he had to get something off of his chest. He was upset about President Obama giving "amnesty" to five million illegals last night in a nationally-televised speech. He called it a Mexican "invasion."
I let Mike ramble on way past what would be acceptable by any network in America. Even my wife gave me the sign to cut him off but by the time he was done with his diatribe even she accepted the merits of a raw, well-reasoned rant.
Andrean coach Phil Mason called in to preview tomorrow's semi state football game. Defending state champ Andrean has won 28 in a row but their best player, Notre Dame-bound Josh Barajas, has a busted finger. No word if he'll play. I announced last week's drubbing of Jimtown but Fort Wayne Luers is three hours away. If it were tonight, a Friday, I would have driven it and announced the game myself, as I did last year when East Chicago Central lost to Fort Wayne Dwenger. But the IHSAA moved this year's semi state to Saturday and that would get in the way of 5:30pm mass at St. Thomas More. So sports director Ryan Walsh jumped at the opportunity to do a semi state.
8:30am - Dr. Mary Tilak came in and told the story of how she came to America from India. Normally, we talk about obesity and diabetes and the need for "portion control." But today instead of workout clothes on her way to the gym Dr. Tilak wore dress-up clothes and was in a mood to tell her story. When she was 21, her parents lined up 10 dudes to choose from. Young Tilak passed on the really rich one because her mom saw him ordering the servants around in a bad manner. She chose the guy with no money but big ambitions. He, too, had ten babes to choose from and he decided on her. It was a match made in India but it played out this morning in radio heaven. If you know how to find the podcast of this, do it.
9am - I left the new studio to work with a guy named Matt who's cleaning up our old studios. There's so much radio history there and I don't want to lose it as we slowly move to the amazing new studios on the campus of the Purdue Calumet Commercialization Center. In radio, as we've painfully learned, stuff just gets lost. I don't want that to happen any more. It's stuff going back to the 1920s. Old Jean Shepherd and Frank Reynolds and Jan Gabriel stuff. It's all so cool if you actually care about local radio and what it has meant to America. If you don't, then the stuff I'm trying to save is a bunch of junk.
9:45 - Back at the new studio to cut a couple of commercials. I'm not bad live but I've always stumbled while taping stuff. I can't trick myself enough into believing that I'm recording live what is not live and is really taped and then will be live. It's too confusing. Just as with college baseball and futures trading and local radio - I am decent at doing the real thing but bad at practice.
Just ask my college baseball coach. At the season-ending banquet my sophomore year at Occidental, coach Grant Dunlap handed me some award and then turned to the audience - In the 50 years that I've been coaching baseball, this shortstop from Indiana is the worst practice player I have ever seen.
I'm not sure what that means other than voiceovers as a vocation is out of the question.
10:15 - At the lawyers. If you're in local radio then you know that people are always putting you in the middle of their shit and even though you don't want to, you have to deal with them trying to put you in the middle of their shit.
11am - Back home on this bed answering emails. I was exhausted. By Friday morning I had given 60 hours to local radio and I just didn't have it anymore. Debbie at the office kept texting and calling that for whatever reason we didn't have a phone line for the semi state football game tomorrow at Fort Wayne. After half a dozen calls back and forth I texted her to just fix it and turned off my phone and fell into a coma.
3pm - I woke and turned on my Pandora to The Grateful Dead Channel. It's amazing how the software can give you just the right mix of Neil, Bob, Jerry and Bob, Pink Floyd, Tom, Eric. The masters. They calmed me enough to figure out what the name of this blog should be even though I don't really know why - The Final Days of Radio.
So there. Hope that's enough.