I Only Need Two Words to Express My Feelings…’Thank You’
And so it has finally come to this. Today is the day that I walk away from what has always been the love of my life…”Radio”. I believe I was 5 year old when I saw this little box with no attachment on it.
Coming from that box was a voice and I was in disbelief. How can that be? I don’t recall what was being said, but it just might have been a New York Yankee broadcast. From that point on, I wanted to either play for the Yankees or do the play-by-play on the radio. I was fortunate to be able to accomplish both (although not with the Yankees).
As a teenager, I practiced in my parent’s basement daily in hopes I could find an opening and then it happened. My father’s co-worker by the name of Arnie Wilson retired and by chance told my Dad that he was planning on building a radio station in the Kansas City Metro area. Once I heard that I contacted Mr. Wilson to see if he needed any help. He didn’t, but I did let him know I was interested in working for him.
I pestered him until he finally said “Ok kid, I’ll give you a try”. So July 21, 1974 my broadcast career began at KIEE-FM in Harrisonville, Missouri (a suburb of Kansas City) and the rest is history. I had no idea my passion would take me for almost 48 years.
I remember that first day behind the microphone and I was scared to death. Somehow I took a deep breath and away I went. You probably won’t believe this, but to this day I still get anxious when that microphone is turned on.
My coming to Quincy after 4 years at KIEE was really a fluke. Then WTAD General Manager Gary Schmedding was in the KC area and happened to hear me on the radio and asked if I would like to host a radio show and do play-by-play as well for WTAD. I accepted and stayed for 12 years before moving over to WGEM for the next 4 years.
When the General Manager position opened at WTAD under different management I returned to WTAD. I remained there for 5 years until WTAD was sold and my position was eliminated. As luck would have it, Dennis Oliver called me to say his co-host at the time was leaving and thus began the Y101 experience until today.
I have met some fabulous people in my career from Jack Buck, Harry Carry and Mike Shannon to Presidents Carter, Clinton and Obama. I even met, of all people, Tiny Tim and got to interview my childhood hero in Captain Kangaroo. I have made wonderful friends here in the Hannibal-Quincy and Keokuk areas and when it comes right down it that is what this radio business is all about.
I will miss my interactions with many of you, but I will never forget you! Thanks to all who helped me along the way as I am well aware that I did not get here by myself. For those who did help me, I am forever indebted to you. Thank you for listening and God’s speed…