"The high level corruption in Lake County depreciates what can get done in Lake County.... When you have a government that's corrupt, it erodes the quality of a community."
I was bumbling along through an interview with Mr. Hill… we were talking about his past as a thespian, his five kids, the latest legislative session…. when all of the sudden he went off on Lake County. He said the same things from different angles – Lake County is corrupt. That’s the reputation. It’s an extension of the corruption in Chicago, and it’s gotta stop.
Hill is a Republican. Most the corruption in Lake County has been profligated by Democrats. It’s gonna make for some good radio in the next four years.
It’s 4:30 on a Thursday morning and if the three or four of you and I don’t talk now, then we probably won’t talk at all. I’m in one of those periods of My Radio Life when it’s not my life at all.
This was made clear to me by a Purdue Northwest student yesterday. He came into the studios to ask me some questions about being an entrepreneur. He’s working on his degree in entrepreneurial studies. I forget his name and pretty much everything about him other than he has been serving our country as part of the Army National Guard for several years. I thanked him for that.
This student asked me why I started my own business, what inspires me, what the work load is like. I’ve done several of these interviews with students before. I try to be direct and tell them that it has been very important to me to strike a balance between what I want to do and what I have to do.
Quality of life vs. the struggle for the legal tender.
Passion vs. duty
What inspires you vs. what puts meat on the table.
The three or four of you may get the picture, but I get the feeling that the youth who come through don’t always understand what I’m talking about. It seems that they only understand trying to make as much money as possible. Anything more touchy feely like personal satisfaction and helping your community is difficult for them to understand.
This soldier did, however, wake me up to something.
“One last question. An entrepreneur will often say, as you have done, that you own your own business. Can it also be said that your business owns you?”
I scratched my balding head for a second.
“You know, you’re right. For all of my malarkey about choosing to do things that bring me personal satisfaction and have an impact on the community, I really don’t have any choice but to pedal as fast as a I can to avoid the next danger.”
Or something like that. The soldier sauntered into the WJOB studios about 1:30 in the afternoon yesterday. Debbie Wargo, Tony Panek, Rick Kubic, Caren DeCeris and I were moving around the office furniture to make room for more desks. We’re starting a “Digital media and marketing” department, by the way. I’ll bet that the three or four of you think I’m lying about that.
Anyways, this soldier comes along at a time when even I marvel at the pace of My Radio Life. It’s a current that flows quickly.
5:30am – start a radio show
6:30am – Five Munster High students and theater director Mr. Palacz come into talk about the upcoming Spring musical, “The Pirates of Palance.” A couple of the kids sing. At the end of their interviews, US Senator Donnelly is on the phone.
“All right, I know this might make you kids late for school, but why don’t we use this as a learning moment? You guys sit here while I interview the senator, and then at the end one of you asks a question.”
This actually worked out. I did my thing with the senator, and then at the end, student Elliot Fuss asked a really good question about the role of the arts in education. The affable senator from South Bend answered it swimmingly. Local radio wins again.
7:20am – Curtis Hill calls in. It’s a coincidence that he’s from the South Bend area also – Elkhart. Hill rips on Lake County for our corruption, and for the rest of the day everywhere I went people came up to me to comment on Hill’s diatribe. I’ll have to have him on more often if he’s going to give me good radio. That’s all that matters, by the way, as the three or four of you already know.
8:05am – I sit at the counter at Petros for my breakfast. Remember yesterday I told you about a waitress at The Wheel who said she had reached 47 years as a waitress? A similar thing happened again. I sat down, ordered my eggs, and a waitress who used to date my cousin said:
“45 years. I’ve been doing this for 45 years. I started waiting tables when I was 13. If my granddaughter does this, I’ll kill her. She’s doing it part time while going to college. I tried to stop her but it didn’t work.”
This gives me an idea, since I am, ultimately, a content whore – why not have both of these long-time waitresses into the studio and interview them together? We’ll call it:
“92 years of waiting tables.”
That’s how long it’s been if you add up both of their time on the their feet serving omelettes and cheeseburgers. I’ll have to work on this one.
9am – I return to the Purdue Northwest Commercialization Center, where our studios are located, for this thing called “1 Million Cups.” It’s a gathering of local people interested in building a community of entrepreneurs in NWIndiana. One of the presenters yesterday was Caren DeCeris. She graduates from PNW in a couple weeks. She works for us at WJOB part time in marketing.
Caren, as she is open about during her presentation, has suffered from deep digestive disorders for a long time. So she came up with this app in which you input everything you eat either by taking a picture of it or swiping the code or typing it in… and after a while the app figures out the foods that have caused you digestive difficulties in the past. It’s a pretty ingenious idea. I, too, have digestive difficulties (I’m sitting on my bed right now writing to the three or four of you just hoping, praying that I can do a morning constitutional before heading to work)… and it would be really cool to know what foods cause my issues.
11am – lunch with a business associate. Shoosh.
1pm – I meet the WJOB team to rearrange our offices. It really is time to start up a marketing department. We need room for more desks. No more PMS.
The Passive Marketing System.
2:30pm – Quick shower at home, put on a sportcoat.
3:20pm – Alexis and I meet in front of the federal courthouse for Dave Capp’s retirement party. Mr. Capp was one of the 47 federal prosecutors fired by president Donald Trump last month. He was about to retire in July anyhows. He just got an early notice of what was already gonna happen.
I talk to a bunch of federal people and a bunch of law enforcement guys with short haircuts and slightly ill-fitting suits. At one point, I remember Berkeley and wonder – how in the hell did I get here?
5:15pm – I rush over to Purdue Northwest and interview on Facebook Live a guy named Herb Stepherson. He is there to tell his story about living as a heroin addict in flophouses on the west side of Chicago. He was homeless, addicted to heroin, roaming around in the middle of winter. Tough stuff. Good interview. I’ll have him on the show again. I am, after all, a content whore.
6pm – Meet another business associate for dinner. Shoosh.
That should do it for this morning about My Radio Life. It’s a Thursday at 5am and I’d really like to go work out, get some breakfast, clean the house, then maybe go see a movie. That’s what my radio psyche needs right now.
But it’s not an option… because, as the unidentified soldier so aptly remarked, I don’t own my radio stations. They own me.