It’s 4:30am on the day after Halloween, so I have about 25 minutes to pump out a thousand words. That’s 50 words a minute. Let’s see if it happens.
Radio passes at the speed of electromagnetic radiation. Yesterday, Verlie and I did the show. We took some calls, disagreed on some stuff, and then she left and I went and worked out. Electromagnetic radiation holds us all together.
One of the things that happened during the show was that Verlie stopped things.
“Listen everyone. I just have to tell you something that you might already know. Jim Dedelow loves what he does. I sit here every Tuesday as his cohost and I can tell you from short-range that this man loves every minute of what he shares with all of you. It’s a beautiful thing.”
Those aren’t her exact words. But since I gotta do a radio show in less than an hour, I don’t have time to go back and listen to the tape and transcribe what exactly she said. What’s important here is that:
I wound up deflecting from the revelation that I enjoy my work. I felt, in the moment, that Verlie was revealing something about me. It made me uncomfortable. I don’t mind bringing attention to my shortcomings and to make fun of myself. But, like the three or four of you and the rest of mankind, I have a little trouble when someone says something that is so true and close to the heart.
Here I am sitting on the bed – Alexis fell asleep on the couch as we watched the Dodgers beat Houston in the sixth game of the World Series – and I’m typing to you and then I’ll get up and eat a couple of eggs. Then I’ll get dressed and drive down to the ultra-modern radio stations on a college campus. And then I’ll talk. MX will call in and want to talk about the Trans Pacific Trade partnership, which no one cares about these days, and Mad Mac will tell us all that there’s a conservative movement afoot.
“I’m telling you, Jimmy, it’s happening. We’re taking over.”
Mad Mac is not a Steve Bannon lookalike. Bannon has hair. But they kinda think the same, which isn’t all that good if you’re a woman or a minority. I’m a white guy in the 21st century. Their line of thinking ain’t so bad for me.
Anyways, after Verlie revealed my secret – that I love what I do – I said so.
“You just revealed my secret.” And then I said a smart aleck thing like I always do. It was a moment that I could let get real, but instead I deflected to humor and something else. I really should have shared with Verlie and all of you the debt of gratitude that that I have. You let me talk on WJOB every morning. That’s where I go. In the words currently being used by a lot of people, I am blessed. Thanks. I shoulda said that yesterday, but instead only the three or four of you who read my blog get to hear it.
Since this is a mad dash to get to the station on time to put on the wireless microphone and walk outside onto Indianapolis Boulevard, I’ll just throw things at you in a stream of consciousness that’s not altogether different from the stream of consciousness that I’ll soon throw at the vehicles on the road.
By the way, if you get the time, go watch the Halloween video that Shamari Walker starred in yesterday. I gotta give it to these kids. Tony Panek and Jimmy Mullaney, the recent Purdue grads, filmed it and produced it.
Here’s a text I got from Shamari at about 4pm yesterday.
“Are you coming to the studio. I want you to see my costume.”
Who is Shamari Walker, the three or four of you might ask? He’s the junior at Gavit High School who is helping me to develop the app that is gonna change radio. As soon as we get the Apple store to approve the app, I’ll tell you about it.
Anyways, Shamari dressed up as me. Check out the pictures above. And, believe me, I felt bad that I had to text back:
“Sorry dude. Just waking up and gotta go somewhere. Will you send me a picture?
And then, in the shower, I had a another idea. So I sent it to Ron Harlow, the afternoon host and to Tony Panek and Jimmy Mullaney, just a few of many amazing creative talents hanging around the WJOB studios these days.
“Do a really short Facebook Live video of Shamari standing on Indianapolis Boulevard yelling ‘big truck, big truck’ with a microphone in his hand. So sorry I can’t get over there right now.”
So why was it so important for Shamari the 17-year-old software developer extraordinaire to stand out on Indianapolis Boulevard and yell “Big Truck” at the big trucks that roll by?
Because that’s what I’ll be doing in 41 minutes and it’s what I do every morning. And, yesterday for Halloween, Shamari went to Gavit High School yesterday dressed as me.
That’s way too creative for little old WJOB. Tony and Jimmy Mullaney must have coached Shamari on some of the content… because Shamari stood out on Indianapolis Boulevard, with big trucks rolling by, saying things like…
“Chocka boom boom. Chocka boom boom…”
“What great day it is to be alive in the Region”
“Big truck. Big truck.”
Alexis watched it and laughed her ass off.
“What is it they say – ‘flattery means a lot more when there’s imitation involved?’”
Now you have to forgive my wife for having trouble with, as she says it, “white people sayings.” It’s a vestige from her upbringing. She grew up speaking Spanish only until she was six years old. She doesn’t really have a Spanish accent, but once in a while she’ll mess up things that you and I don’t mess up. Like sayings.
“Do you mean – ‘imitation is the best form of flattery.’?
“Yes, that’s it. I knew there was a ‘flattery’ and an ‘imitation’ in there somewhere.”
… On other matters, it’s now 4:55 and I did, if you can believe it, already make it to 1000 words. That should be enough for now. But I do have to tell you that I got to meet Pulitzer prizewinning author Jon Meachem the other day at Purdue Northwest. I told him I was the local radio guy.
“Well good luck with that,” Meachem said as he signed his book that I had just bought. It’s called. “Andrew Jackson in the White House: An American Lion.”
Also, I lied.
“Jon, I’m a huge fan. Huge fan.” I sounded like Trump saying it. Repeat it twice and it won’t seem like such a lie.
“Thank you very much, Jim. Now let’s see how the local crowd treats a member of the media.”
Meachem, as you would expect, gave a charming speech. He talked about little tidbits of George H. W. Bush, whom Meachem wrote another award-winning biography about, and about Clinton and Nancy Reagan and so forth. The three or four of you, with your Region Rat moniker on your sleeve, might thought of it as namedropping. But is it really namedropping when you know these people and wrote books about them?
The speech worked great. I got to sit in the front row between PNW chancellor Tom Keon and former PNW-Westville chancellor James Dworkin. How’s that for namedropping?
And speaking of names… I asked Mr. Dworkin’s wife, Nancy – “How’s it feel to walk into a huge building with your husband’s name on the front of it?”
“It’s actually pretty cool,” she said.
The moral of this rambling is that Meachem told anecdotes about George H. W. being in the hospital and about other things that I can’t remember right now because I’m under the gun of writing about 50 words a minute so that I can make it to my radio show to yell, “Big truck, big truck.”
The thing that sticks out about Meachem’s question and answer period after his speech was that no one wanted to ask about how he came to write about Andrew Jackson or what Barbara Bush is like. The five or so questions centered on criticizing the media.
Meachem had anticipated this. He said so to me as he signed my book. And he said so in the speech when he quoted some numbers.
That’s how it is these days in a pre-apocalypse world. And thank you for rushing through my homework this morning with me. I’m not even gonna bore the crap out of you with all of the stuff on my calendar today. What it really means is that you and I won’t get to talk much. By noon (I guess I will bore you with it), I have:
Somewhere in there I have to work with station manager Debbie Wargo and pump out three proposals to people who have been waiting patiently for them. We’re oversubscribed at times, which is a good thing, but we’re also losing face in some circles because we can’t get to everything. I’ll be speaking to you live on Indianapolis Boulevard in about 15 minutes.
Big truck. Big truck.