Whereas yesterday I had no guests - except for my childhood chump Bill Baker- today I have a ton of guests.
Verlie Suggs joins me for the first hour, although it could certainly be argued that she's not a guest at all. Like Baker, she serves as a surrogate co-host. I say "surrogate" because I think I'm the greatest, like Ali, and I don't need any stinking "co-host." But make no mistake, when Baker or Suggs come in, I got a temporary co-host.
Michelle Quinn, longtime writer for the Post-Tribune, joins us around 7am. Then at 8am the Community Programming Initiative starts with Dan Repay, the executive director of the Little Calumet River Basin Development Commission. Then at 8:30am it's Dave Nellans and Joe Simonetto of the town of Munster. And at 9:05 it's Harvey Jackson and Richard Knipp of the Teamsters Local 142 union.
It's the exact opposite of yesterday, when Baker and I - and then just I - took calls from listeners for three hours. That kind of show has its merits in that I get to make a connection directly to each caller, and by extension with the listeners that the caller represents. Today it will be a lot more conversation in the studio. Think of it this way: for the listener, yesterday was more participation. I let listeners direct the show. Today, for the listener, it will be more observation. The guests - and temporary co-host - and I will do a lot of the talking and every once in a while we'll take a call.
Both kind of show works, if you do it right. You can't just sit there and wait for callers to direct the show. That only works for spurts. If you just sit back and wait for local callers to tell you where to go, eventually they'll do just that - tell you where to go. Like straight to hell. Or like straight to some narrow topic like global trade that they're into, or government corruption, or the Pittsburgh Steelers, or NFL fantasy football, or rocks. Yes, rocks. I used to have a woman who would call in and say that we don't respect rocks enough. I'm not sure now and I wasn't sure then where you go from there.
"Today we're talking about rocks. Your take? 219-845-1100.
Nope. It's all a balance. I can say that I let the callers control the show on Monday, but that's only partially true. I control the show through rhythm. When I feel a call stalling... or have simply run its course, all of the sudden I report that it's time to pay a bill and go to a commercial. That's controlling the duration and rhythm of the show. And yesterday I did introduce topics through an informal newscast coming out of breaks. That gives tips to lead.
In the end, though, I did have a lot of calls yesterday, and many were from longtime callers. Even Walt called. He hasn't called my show in months. He's been with me since Dave Kusiak and I started doing "Jimmy D and the Kooz" in 2004. He's some sort of college professor in Chicago and he's extremely insightful and difficult. Most of the time he's extremely conservative, almost to the point of a racial sensitivity. Like when then-senator Barack Obama came to Wicker Park to speak in 2008 and Walt said there was gonna be riots. Oh well.
Gloria, MX, Deb, Granola Bob, Sue, Uncle Joe, Big Rich, Charlie, Sandra Zacharias, Mad Mac, Dan the Bartender, Lefty, Dennis, Vinny - it was like a all-star cast of longtime WJOB callers. And I loved it. I remember looking up and seeing that it was 7:23 and it felt like I just started.
Today, with a lot of people coming in to the studio, will be different. And as yesterday I allowed callers to direct the flow of the WJOB river, today I'll allow Verlie and the rest of the cast direct the flow of the river. Today may be even better than yesterday, or it may drag on. You can't tell. All that you know is
All radio is good, just some is better than others.
... And by the way, last night I started watching the Cubs in the fifth inning when they were up 5-3 over the Reds. By the time I moped up to bed, they were down 13-5. Oh well. Sunday night Jake Arieta pitches a no-hitter in Los Angeles at Chavez Ravine. Monday night, Stalin Castro makes three errors - two in the ninth - and they look like the Cubs of old.
And also by the way, you know when you listen or watch to national pundits scratching their collective head over why Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Bernie Sanders are all overtaking the run for president... know that they do not listen to "JED in the Region" on WJOB in Hammond, Indiana. Our callers have for the past couple years have been exhibiting this extreme frustration with the "establishment." They don't call it the "establishment," but when the cry with anguish about the federal government, the corruption here in Lake County, the deaf ear from Indianapolis, it's a not-so-sweet recurring song of someone about to punch someone in the face. It's manifesting itself in the emergence of a demagogue in a funny mustache... I mean hairdo.
Just kidding. I don't know myself where I stand on Trump. Part of me likes the rhetoric that the elite runs this country and you as the little guy don't mean shit. I get that. But then the cloaked racism is just that - cloaked racism. You tell me. Today the Dow Jones is already down 350 points overnight. That would put it somewhere around 16,200. A couple weeks ago it was 18,200. That's a decent drop, even to a jaded trader journalist, whatever that is.