I wonder how WJOB jocks handled it in 1929 as stocks went down and down and grown men jumped head first out of buildings.
How did they handle it on December 8, 1941? What about when young men came home in boxes from Vietnam?
I know how WJOB handled the flood of 2008 because I was the on-air talent. I stayed on the air roughly 18 hours a day for six days. In the middle of the night I would drive home for a change of clothes. You could see the water just sitting there… soaking up whole lives… rotting whole futures.
But at least you could see it. You can’t see today's microscopic terror – only its effects.
Today’s radio day started with a whole bunch of coronavirus news, which was really bad. And then the day turned from bad to worse. Midday, governor Eric Holcomb said we had our first death in Indiana. President Trump spoke and that spooked the stock market down 2997 points… its worth point drop in history.
The Cow Guy and I went on the radio and TV in the middle of the afternoon to try to make sense of it all. But even the Cow Guy, who is pissed that we’re devolving into mass hysteria, says we’re in for a pile of hurt for a long time. I feel it. You feel it. I even snapped at my daughter this evening, which I never do. Anxiety rules us all.
Also midday, governor Eric Holcomb closed all bars and restaurants. Done. Kaputz. It was eerie as hell to drive down Indianapolis Boulevard. Theo’s, closed. Miner Dunn, closed. Round the Clock, closed. Beyond anxiety there is sadness and then there's loneliness.
There is no sports on TV. You can’t blow off steam at a bar. You can’t go to a movie. Oh, I forgot – the president said that to combat the spread of the corona virus we shouldn’t meet in groups larger than 10. Leaders in the San Francisco Bay area are telling people to stay in their houses and not come out.
If you’re looking for hope, the three or four of you have come to the wrong place. You know me. I’m the guy with a quick wit and generally positive outlook. It’s not that I’m afraid. Like many of you, I am in shock.
What the fuck just happened?
That’s all I have for you tonight. I tried to go on the air for a half hour tonight… but my heart wasn’t in to it. And, just to rub it in, guess what just popped up on my phone – SPRING BREAK.
Purdue Northwest, where I’m working on my MBA, is off this week. Throngs of college kids are on the beach at Daytona,. They’re involved in drinking contests on Padre Island.
No they’re not. They’re playing video games in their parents’ basements. Cruise lines are closed. Nobody’s flying on a plane. I gave the traffic to the city this morning on the radio and why bother? Nobody’s going to work.
What really hits home is that more than half of America lives paycheck to paycheck, including, for the most part, Alexis and me. We’ll make it through but what about all the single mothers who bartend like Alexis did when I met her? How many people recently invested their life savings in a restaurant and look what happens? No shit. It’s a bad day in America and the world and sometimes you just gotta accept it.
I’m gonna try to get some sleep but you know and I know that it’s a fool’s errand. I’m craving a quick visit to Johhny’s Tap or my brother-in-law’s 313 Tap Room on Ridge Road in Munster.
Nothing doing. It’s just the three or four of you and me and some potsmokers at a small liberal arts college on the East coast 50 years from now. They’ll never understand this. Not in a million years.