Back in the mid to late 80s, I would sit and listen to the radio for hours upon end. I was listening for certain songs that I had neither the money to buy the cassette of or any other way to obtain it. Yes kids, there was a time before “on demand” this and “instant” that. Somewhere in my parent’s attic, you’ll find mountains of audio cassette tapes of songs that were recorded off the radio with the DJ talking over the start of each song. As time went by, I began to become more fascinated with that voice than I did with whatever song he/she was introducing. “Who is that”? “I wonder what they look like?” “Sounds like they are having fun” and I ultimately came to the conclusion…
I want to do that.
I wanted to be that voice that people asked the same questions about when they listened. That seminal moment was the start of an amazing career that is coming to its conclusion today. When I was hired on at 103GBF in June of 1997, I made a promise to myself. One that I never shared with anyone. I told myself that I didn’t want to be on-air after the age of 35. Why? I have no clue. It seemed like a nice age to “retire” and let the younger set take over. That was my internal plan when I was hired and what is coming to be. My goal was to transition into the managerial side of the business. Back in the late 90′s, the business was such that you could have a Program Director that wasn’t on the air. In 2012? No way. That played a part in my decision. The other, and more importantly, is I never wanted to say ‘what if’. If I am lucky enough to make it to old age, I want to be able to look back and know that I was able to take on new challenges and make a difference. Life is too damn short not to put yourself out there and, cheesy alert here, go for it. I have found a new endeavor that I am as equally excited about now as that kid was back in the 80′s listening to his sister’s stereo.
As cliche’ as it sounds…I have no regrets. The amazing, good, sometimes bad and everything in between has made me into the man that I am today. I got to do things (and see things…yikes) that seemed impossible for that sheepish kid from small town Indiana. I have grown as a person via the experiences in this profession and have gained lifelong friends. So…long story short, it’s been a great ride. I can’t thank you, the 103GBF listener, enough for allowing this kid to live out a dream and to grow up in front of an audience of thousands every time I pressed the ‘ON’ button for my microphone.
I can honestly say that the 12 year old version of myself along with the current 35 year old is mighty happy with how things turned out. I’ll be with you for one last hurrah later today…recording it on audio cassette is completely optional.
P.S. Here were my initial thoughts one week ago.