6:15-7:15am - Dave Kusiak came in. He took over the show, talking to callers and interjecting a ton of opinion. Verlie Suggs and Dave Kusiak are professional broadcasters. They make it easy to do a morning show.
7:40am-8:05am. Dr. Chandana Vavilala Zoomed in about the mask mandate in Lake County. She put out an edict on Monday that was in parts difficult to understand. "This is a mandate," she clarified today. "You are to wear a mask in enclosed public spaces in Lake County, Indiana." Businesses and schools need to know precisely what the rules are and how they can be enforced, so big viewership on this.
At 8:02 the radio went out and I had to switch to the backup system. When it rains around here, as it has for a couple days, our Comcast cable goes out. It is my opinion that we have aging infrastructure that Comcast refuses to upgrade. We are trying to build a digital media using inferior infrastructure.
8:10am - Hammond schools superintendent Scott Miller came on. It took a couple of minutes to switch to the backup system to do radio, so Miller had to wait outside in the parking lot. So did Verlie yesterday and Kusiak today and Will Glaros and Mark Chamberlain today.
Like Vavilala, Miller garnered big numbers on the video. Hammond students and parents and teachers and administrators all need to know what the superintendent is gonna do. The school city is set to make a final call on whether to return in school this year or go online. There's three levels.
Green - five days in school
Yellow - Two days on. Wednesday a cleaning day. Then the other half of students go on Thursday and Friday.
Red - total e-learning.
With all of the options, parents can choose to keep their kids home for e-learning. The virus is out there. It is light and strong... floats like a butterfly, stings like a bee. Parents have to choose if they want to mess with the bee.
8:55am. Will Glaros, the insurance guy, talked about how he started his show, "The Winners Circle," with Irv Lewin 30 years ago. Irv ran clothing stores and hosted a radio show. I worked with Irv in the mid 80s. He played violins to open his show, which I always found odd.
With all that is going on - 100 cases in a day in Lake County - it was good to talk about other happenings in other times. Mark Chamberlain wrote a book called "Why do I work here?" He was a broker in the 30-year treasury pit. I traded in the nearby 10-year and 5-year pits.
- We both got forced out when computers took over pit trading. Bye, dinosaur.
- We both shifted from the "Me First" attitude of the pits, as Chamberlain calls it, to trying to do something more meaningful.
- We both know a bunch of guys who didn't make it in "civilian life" outside of the Board of Trade. Divorces, lost fortunes, addictions, suicides. The Board of Trade and the Merc could chew you up and spit you out.
- We both worked the pits for 18 years.
9:40am - John Doherty, VP at Community Hospital, talked "grave doubts" that high school sports, especially soccer, volleyball and football, should play. Doherty said this three weeks ago when conditioning for high school sports was starting and everyone was hopeful. Doherty is one of the most respected sports med guys in Indiana. His words took the wind out of a lot of sails.
"If pro and division 1 college sports say the only way they can safely play is through testing, then how can we play high school sports without testing?" Enough said.
There is doubt about playing sports right now. Several school districts aren't starting up summer conditioning, including Hammond, EC, River Forest and others, according to John. More than 140,000 Americans have died from the virus. There is talk of a vaccine down the pike. If you get coronavirus, you'll probably get through. But if you pick a card that says "ventilator," you may develop permanent damage or die. It's a game of chance.
..... I finished up on the air at 10:40am. That's five hours of TV and radio. As the three or four of you who read my blog know, I have been doing the show myself since the lockdown started on March 17th. I turn on the computers, log in to streaming software, adjust the lights, switch between six cameras, play commercials, etc. While doing this, I think of things to say. During commercial breaks, I.bring in guests on Zoom or phone or even in studio.
I can broadcast by myself. For years, I drove across cornfields to set up solo in a press box to announce Regionals and semi-states. It's a lonely yet rewarding experience. You drive alone, not speaking for hours. Then the mic goes live and you talk three hours straight to Region Rats three hours away.
Now, I drive the car or ride my bike down the Boulevard, open the locked doors of the Strack & Van Til studios at Purdue, turn on a bunch of lights and computers, and start talking. It's a beautiful way to start a day. But I miss producer Ryan and all of the Purdue broadcasting students who intern on the morning show. This is no way to live, no way to broadcast. We want to be done with the pandemic. But the crisis deepens. President Trump said yesterday it's so bad you should wear a mask. We hurt... and are ready to heal. But there's no cure. Coronavirus continues.