5:01 am. Tuesday. Producer Ryan will be back at it this morning so I'll be lazy like always about getting there and getting ready. Yesterday, with Ryan out on a rare mental health day, I arrived early, made some tea, plugged in headset, gathered newspapers, logged in to accounts on the internet, etc. It felt kind of good to be ready to talk a good ten minutes prior to going live... I even played a couple of decent songs to sink in to the whole idea. Including Penny Lane.
Most of the time, though, Ryan does all of that and I just kinda show up and sit down to start talking. A little rushed sometimes, not carrying a real rhythm to the whole thing. It's four hours today. So I'll take my time sliding in to the host chair. By 9:30 a lotta times I'm crawling out of my skin. It's like a flight from Chicago to LA.
5:04pm. Tuesday. It's like the nicest day of the year so far. 76 degrees right now and sunny and not humid and little wind. Make you wanna live in the Calumet Region year-round for just one day.
It's Tuesday, so Verlie Suggs joined me for the show. And what timing on this one. Yesterday, president Obama used the N word in illustrating continued racism in America, and South Carolina governor Nikke Haley called for the confederate flag to come down in the wake of the nine killed in the historic black church in Charleston. Check out Verlie's comments in my notes and in a podcast above.
"There is nothing that sends a chill down my spine like a Confederate flag... It is the ultimate sign of hatred. The flag says we hate you."
You'd think these three topics - the racial hate killings, Obama's N word, and the Confederate flag - would be enough. But what really got it going is that Griffith police chief Greg Mance is starting an initiative to hire more black, women and Hispanic cops. Caller Jim took Verlie to task on that being discriminatory towards white men. Lots of wrestling and that means pretty good radio.
One thing that Verlie said resonates with me - It is difficult to talk about race. Yes. You can very easily say something that doesn't sound right and comes off extremely offensive if not racist or sexist. The best thing you can do is just talk honestly and openly and hope that what's inside you is pure. Also, don't forget that Verlie spanked me for using the word "chick" in a couple of instances referring to a woman.
It's sexist and wrong and you shouldn't use the word.
What's wrong is to continue to use a word when someone is offended by it. Is the word wrong in and of itself? I don't know. I talk in Regionese and that means the word "chick" will pop up from time to time. I'll think about it.
After Verlie, VJ Damasius the pharmacist came in. A caller wanted to know if the proliferation of prescription drugs - and disposing of them - is hurting Lake Michigan. Evidently it is. I didn't know that. VJ says hormones especially effect the Lake and the water we drink.
We cannot be putting our medications down the drain any longer.
Craig Harrell of Hospice came in and we played a little game in which let's pretend that I've just gotten the news that I'm going to die within six months. He handed 12 pieces of paper. On the first three he told me to write down three things that I own that I'm proud of I.
Radio station. GoPo camera. Waffle iron.
Then on three of the pieces of paper he had me write three things I like to do the most.
Hanging out with family. Doing the radio show. JEDgolffing.
Then Harrell had me write down three things about me that I'm proud of.
Superior athlete. I'm open to others. Kind.
Then Harrell had me write the three people who mean the most to me.
Alexis, Jeanie, Jackie.
Then Harrell did this thing where I had to choose to three to rip up, and then another three, and then he tried to get me down to two pieces of paper... and then he'd tell me this with only three (I wouldn't tear up wife and two daughters) pieces of paper left:
There, you just died.
We did this live on the air. I was caught off guard. You just never hear anyone tell you that you just died, or you barely ever hear anyone even tell you the obvious - that you're gonna die someday and you have no idea how or when. And speaking of getting caught off guard. When Craig got to his office in Munster, he parked his car and went inside. A couple hours later when he readied to go for lunch, he noticed that some very nice people had jacked up his car and stolen all of his tires. Why are they very nice people? They put the car on cinder blocks. See photo above.
Then Missions came in. They travel around the country doing good work at places. Eric Lohe and three teenagers came in the studio and told about their experiences working in Hammond this week with Hammers for Hearts. 160 people in town fixing up houses for old people, low income, etc.
Then, after four hours and 20 minutes of live radio, Vic Barks dropped by the studio. I waved him in and we were talking about him growing up in south Hammond and playing in semi state baseball finals... and then the fire alarm went off. We all had to leave the building... meaning dead air until we could turn on the satellite at the transmitter. That only took a couple of minutes but it just reminds you that anything can happen in live radio at any time. That's a real loud blaring alarm.
So I took the opportunity for a good photo. The guys from the Manufacturing Excellence Center were hanging around in the parking lot as the firetrucks arrived and they all gathered around me and there's the photo above. What set off the fire alarm? Still not sure. The alarm is brand new and obviously has kinks.
Then it was up Indianapolis Boulevard to Whiting for a press conference to send a message to the world that Indiana welcomes all. A few weeks ago, amidst the uproar over Indiana passing what many see as anti-gay legislation, Tom Dabertin and I came up with this sticker you could put in the window of your business. You can see a picture in one of the windows above.
Everyone is welcome in this Establishment.
Bob Heisse of The Times and Chuck Hughes of the Gary Chamber of Commerce have their own program going that starts with three C's... Something about civility. So there was Heisse from the Times, Hughes from the Gary chamber. Dabertin from the Whiting/Robertsdale Chamber, Sen. Lonnie Randolph, NTownship truster Frank Mrvan, EC mayor Anthony Copeland.... and no Chicago media. All the outlets sent their people to the tornados in northern Illinois. We were there to tell the world that northwest Indiana is civil and welcomes all to the Pierogifest (now deemed the friendliest festival on the planet)... and there was no one there to tell it to except for our own media. Oh well. This will catch on.
So here I am laying in bed writing this to you. Alexis is set to meet me at 6pm to walk around Wicker Park. It's 2.5 miles of walking trail around picnic grounds, a dog park, a war memorial, tennis courts, and a golf course. It's one of my favorite places on the planet. I just hope the bathrooms are open so I can take a piss halfway around. Why?
Because after the press conference I stopped at Center Lounge w Mr. Mrvan (who it just so happens runs Wicker Park) for Taco Tuesday... and of course one of my favorites - ice cold Bud Light in a frozen mug. That's why I hope the bathrooms aren't locked.