Free and Easy (Down the Road I Go)

Tonight is a “me” night. Mostly.

My wife and I are home, early for us, mainly because she has started a college class and she needs to do a bunch of stuff tonight.

As for me, I’m using this time to catch back up with all of you. And assist with the technical computer stuff for my wife’s on-line class.

This winter has been interesting. We’ve had a bunch of snow, and even with the temperatures up into the low 50’s this past weekend, there is still over a foot of snow in the back yard.

a flock of turkeys
a flock of turkeys
We are also surrounded by lots of wildlife here. Usually I see a couple of deer every day or so, and this past weekend I had to wait for a flock of turkeys to cross the road.

Meanwhile, work is fun, but many days are longer than I’d like them to be. A couple of days a week on WYKX I get regulars who are either in the studio or on the phone with me, and I get to have some fun with them. Other times, folks will drop by and we chat about their latest project, and despite the fact that they get to see me being about as weird in person as I am on the radio, many of them come back again and again.

But then, morning radio is allowed to be a little crazy, as long as the listeners also know that when things get serious, crazy goes away for a while.

Being in charge (of the music and the programming and the operations), I’ve had to learn some things on-the-fly (new to me software, for example). I have also had to learn to not loose my cool when things go completely wrong (and most, but not all, of the time I am successful at that).

One of my latest projects has been an overhaul of our AM station, WDBC. For years that station had been programmed from away and fed music from a satellite. The service we were using decided to pull the plug on the satellite feed, so I’m programming it now, here in-house, as an Adult Contemporary station. In fact, once we have the web stream up, it will sound very familiar to many of you who listened to the Wave. I’ve got more work to do, but it’s starting to get and sound very close.

We also have new studios being built, and once they are ready we’ll be moving. I think it will go very similar to my move out here almost a year ago. I went from a house to an apartment, and the stations will be moving from their own building into an office suite. I have no idea where some of the stuff we have here is going to go.

Oh well, when the time comes, we’ll just have to hire some folks with much stronger backs than me to get things moved a quickly as possible.

And I will take pictures of them crossing the road.

Small Town

This past weekend, I had the chance to get out into the community.

Friday afternoon, I was at a local motorcycle dealership. Obviously, they wanted to sell some motorcycles and four-wheelers and accessories. But they also set up a small track to let kids go out and ride kid-sized motorbikes. They even had one that had training wheels mounted to it.

The kids had a blast! Some were very proficient bike riders already, but many were first time riders and most of them had a great time on the bikes.

Then on Saturday, folks got together to help clean up the community. Some went up and down the main street in town, while others went to the park to help start the process of cleaning up what the snows of winter hid from sight for so long.

Parents showed up, bringing along their kids and even grandkids to help clean up and give back to their city. After the cleanup, everyone got back together for hamburgers and hot dogs and prizes donated by community stores.

This is what small town America is all about. Getting together to help out while passing on to the next generation the character building of taking care of and giving back to their communities.

And it continues into this week. Wednesday, an Honor Flight will take over 70 World War II, Korean and Vietnam Veterans to Washington, DC to see the various Memorials, along with a trip to Arlington National Cemetery.

This is small town America at it’s finest. Taking care. Giving back. Honoring those who did what they had to do.

While I was not born here in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, I grew up in a small town. I learned very young to respect, and to take care, and to do whatever you could to help.

I tip my hat to everyone, everywhere, who help out whenever they can. Even those who didn’t come from a small town.