“Where’s the video guys?” I asked.
“They’re in finals week. They’ll be here late,” Ryan said.
So we improvised. Instead of using the whole three-robotic-camera setup, I took a smartphone into the parking lot and did the first half hour on Facebook Live. Trucks roared by and it rained like hell. Somehow, it worked.
Then I came inside and started doing the in-studio portion of the morning show. Outside, I talk about national stuff. Inside, I mostly talk local.
It's not a crime
to lie to friends, or boast.
But if you try it in
public, you're toast.
It poured like hell outside, just feet from where I sit at the main table in the studio. Dark, gray and wet. It’s a pretty cool backdrop for a morning show.
I was rolling along pretty well. Caller Walt went on a tirade:
“Democrats are racists toward white middle-class and working white men. They put us down and we’re tired of it…”
Other people called in with reports of traffic. I told stories about going to fundraisers over the weekend. Sonny Santana showed up to produce video. All was well in the Calumet Region, despite the heavy rain.
At 7am, Ron Ware of the Ironworkers came in. He brought me a pin to wear in honor of the two Ironworkers who died over the weekend in the Seattle crane collapse. We talked about the 328 steelworkers at Local 1010 who have died over the years.
And then I got the text from Ryan.
“We lost connection with the tower. We are off radio but still on video.”
This was not unexpected. As the three or four of you may know, we connect from our new studio at the Purdue Center to our transmitter and tower via a high-speed Comcast hookup. This works swimmingly… until it doesn’t.
We lose Comcast a lot. It is my theory that the infrastructure is quite old in Hammond and Comcast doesn’t want to pay to upgrade. This is especially unnerving in that Tom Dakich and friends are building a massive new data center along Lake Michigan. If we were to play our cards right, Hammond could be a hub for moving data and creating new businesses.
Or not. How can we make ourselves an innovation cluster when our main mode of internet goes out when it rains?
I don’t know the answer to this. I do know that during Ron Ware’s interview, radio went out but video rolled on.
“What the hell happened? The iron worker was getting ready to say something interesting,” one texter said.
This whole life has
added up to
one big moment of MASH
reruns and a bowl of
You can guess how the next half hour went. I was trying to keep up a show on the video… while texting like hell with Ryan and others to fix things. It was incredibly frustrating. I can’t imagine how bad it sounded on the radio.
Oh wait. I can imagine what it sounded like. Look at the memes above. One's by the incredibly-talented and warped MX. I found the other on the Facebook feed of Dave Hekkel.
By 7:45am, we were back on radio and video. I goofed around with Billy Baker. Then I hosted a political show with Gary mayoral candidate Jerome Prince. And then I hosted with Greg Chona, a financial adviser. By 9:30, I was done with a four-hour morning show, ready to run a media company.
Fighting to hold
a smile only
for it to fade. I'd do
her frown, but that grin will
never get laid.
On days like yesterday, I am reminded of Pat Hobby. He’s the F. Scott Fitzgerald character who, according to Wikipedia, is:
a down-and-out screenwriter in Hollywood, once successful as "a good man for structure" during the silent age of cinema, but now reduced to an alcoholic hack hanging around the studio lot.
In high school, you may have read “The Great Gatsby” or “Tender is the Night." You didn’t read “The Pat Hobby Stories," which are often considered low brow stuff by a high brow writer.
That’s too bad. Hobby gets into all sorts of messes. I laugh out loud reading about them. Here’s the Wikipedia summary about “Pat Hobby does his bit.”
While attempting to borrow money from an actor, Hobby accidentally walks in front of the rolling camera and spoils a shot. The leading actress, finished with her final scene for the picture, dashes off to catch a plane to New York and go home to England. The next day, Hobby is confronted by Mr. Berners who scolds him for the trouble he caused but then informs him that he will be forced to act in the film to explain his appearance in yesterday's shot.
You can’t make this stuff up… unless, of course, you’re in radio. See you in a couple hours on Amazon, Apple, Roku and Facebook video and, if it’s not raining, on AM and FM radio.