Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The best friends I've never met

Having a regular schedule for most of my adult life has meant hours, years spent commuting in my car.

Which has meant hours, years spent listening to radio in the car.

Radio is the most personal of media. For the most part, it is one to one. And the personalities on local radio stations become a comfort and a familiar voice.

There are so many voices that became my friends. I looked forward to hearing from them. And they gave first and kept giving as good friends do.

Jeff Winter and that silky voice on 96 rock. The soundtrack of morning drives to summer warehouse jobs. The guy that introduced me to rock and roll.

Gary McKee from WQXI, Quixie in Dixie. The station that was the basis for WKRP in Cincinatti. Gary, thanks for introducing me to Willis the Guard. To "The Shortest Song in the World." For making me laugh so hard I literally had to pull off the highway more than once.

Norm Hitzges. A face made for radio. A voice made for newspapers. But now, has spent 34 years on the air in Dallas, the longest run for any radio personality in the country. I have learned more sports trivia, more ways to analyze a game, more insight into athletes and coaches by listening to you. And, I have been encouraged by your constant positive attitude and your moral stance on issues in and out of sports.

The Musers. Three knuckleheads that were college friends at the University of North Texas and managed to convince a radio station to put their nonsense on the air as a radio show. Your friendship is contagious, and you allowing your listeners in on the fun is so such a joy to be part of.

Brad Barton. North Texas is home to wild and unpredictable weather that often becomes a serious danger. For 31 years, folks in these parts turned to KRLD when weather got strange and Brad told us what to do and what to expect. When you are huddled under stairs or in a storm cellar, your internet and TV don't do much for you. Your radio does. This week, Brad Barton got laid off. Thank you my friend. You have guided me and my family thru many a storm.

For the younger generation, I regret that you will most likely not have these types of relationships. Satellite radio, iPods connected to your car stereo, Pandora, etc. allows you great music all the time.

But you will miss making some wonderful friends because technology is making people expendable.

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