There's a lotta ways to skin a cat, peel an onion, wipe your own a... whatever. And there's a lotta ways to tell the story of My Radio Life.
There's photos, recordings of my morning radio show, the My Radio Life podcast... there's Facebook Live videos, there's this blog. I even write a poem here and there about living radio. This morning, I tell you the story in a podcast. There it is above.
The main theme is that I may have discovered something. And it has to do with Jean Shepherd, author of A Christmas Story. Shep, as the three or four of you know, grew up in Hammond and worked in radio at WJOB before going on to fame in New York City as a radio guy. As the three or four of you also know, I like to listen to Jean Shepherd shows from the 60s. It keeps me grounded. I also like to hear about how radio was then and how America was then.
So it got me to thinking... which is always dangerous... what the hell am I even doing a podcast for? There has to be a reason, a purpose, a direction... something that ties it all together.
I've explained to the three or four of you before that I traded for 18 years in the pits and then left. And then a few years later the pits closed and almost all trading went to a computer. I've also explained that while I was screaming and yelling for dollars daily, I also thought once in a while that the computer was taking over and that the pits were gonna go away.
"Maybe I should chronicle how it is to be a pit trader - for historical purposes."
I never did it. I just traded until I couldn't trade any longer, and then Alexis and I bought a couple radio stations (and a newspaper) and then that was that. No chronicling of what it was like to be a trader,, about what trading in a pit was all about. What the life in Chicago was like, the restaurants, the partying, the debauchery, etc. I just traded. Trading died. And that was that.
Same thing's happening with radio. I just do radio. Radio's probably gonna die.... But this time I'm doing my darnedest to tell the story of what I perceive to be a slow death... and then a transformation to something else. I'm trying to capture the transition.
What does this have to do with Jean Shepherd and something that I discovered this morning, a Sunday, another gray day in the Midwest. It's been gray for the whole month of January. Little snow, some rain, but relentless cloudiness. And with the moist, cold, damp air, there's people sick everywhere. You go into a restaurant, and the person at the next tabley may cough out loud. It's a deep, guttural cough that sounds echoes loudly from his or her ailing chest.
I discovered that in doing the podcast that I'm really not talking to the three or four you in the here and now. Rather, I feel as if I'm talking to three or four of people 50 YEARS FROM NOW. I don't know why I think of it that way, but I do. Just like I listen every night to Jean Shepherd from 50 years ago tell stories about growing up in Hammond, Indiana, 30 or 40 years before that... I really feel when I'm talking into the end of my phone doing the podcast that I'm talking to people in the future. I want to tell the three or four of you in the future that radio was cool, it was everything. It is beautiful. See ya.