Monday Musings 68

Many thanks to Dominic Chu of CNBC. He tweeted about my blog; he also wrote these kind words to me in a message, “You’re a true wordsmith!”

The first week of May was, frankly, a disappointment in terms of blog views/visitors. In the last 2-3 days, the number of both has increased significantly. So much so that I received this notification from WordPress yesterday:

 

 

Yes, I am “liking” my own posts. I can, so I do. If you don’t “like” posts on a regular basis, please consider doing so.

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Today’s number after Monday Musings, 68, takes me back to my first radio job. Why? The frequency of the station was 680 AM.

I had the title of Associate Producer for a sports talk show where listeners could call in. I screened calls, booked guests, provided facts, etc.

The pay was supposed to be minimum wage, which at the time was $3.35/hour. I told the host of the show that I would not work anywhere for minimum wage. Our “solution” was that I clocked in for three hours a night even though the show only ran for two. Therefore, I was paid, de facto, $5.02/hour. Of course, I loved being at the radio station and was usually there more than three hours a night.

This job was how I wound up being among the first members of the “media” to report the presence of Mayflower moving vans at the Baltimore Colts complex on the night of March 28, 1984. The radio station for which I worked was the Colts’ flagship station and the studios were located not far from the Colts complex.

While at work that night we started receiving calls that moving vans had been spotted heading for the complex. Rumors that the team was going to move had become quite rampant. Colts’ season ticket holders had not yet received their renewal notices for 1984 tickets, which normally would have been sent at least a month before.

In addition, beginning earlier in March–I believe–Colts’ employees paychecks had begun to be drawn against an Indianapolis bank. I think only stubborn denial prevented all Colts fans from accepting the reality of the situation: the team was going to move to Indianapolis.

Anyway, back to that night…the host of the show, a well-known Baltimore sports personality who was actually subbing for the regular host, told me to drive out to the complex to investigate given all the calls we were receiving. Sure enough, I saw Mayflower vans at the complex. I spotted another car and rolled down my windows. The driver of the other car was a reporter for the local ABC affiliate (at the time) named Lisa Champoux. We said almost in unison, “It’s really happening.”

Bob The Red-Faced Owner, I will not dignify the *ssh*le’s existence by using his real name, had so alienated thousands of Colts fans with his antics that many of them, like me, had stopped following the team as closely as before. As a result, I was not that upset at the news that the team was moving. It was only years later that I realized what I, and many others, had lost.

I worked at that job for about a year. Not long after I began that position, I landed a spot hosting my own show once a week (on Sunday) on a small radio station–that was part of the Orioles’ radio network–outside of Baltimore and did both jobs concurrently for a few months. I used an alias while hosting the show for many reasons, not the least of which, unfortunately, was that the studios were located in a less than enlightened part of Maryland and I didn’t want to use my Jewish last name for fear of showing up to work one day and find a cross burning on the lawn in front of the studios.

As I have written, I loved working in radio. I guess I could try to make a podcast, but it’s just not the same to me.

Sorry, no cars today.

 

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6 thoughts on “Monday Musings 68

  1. “March 28, 1984, a day that will live in infamy…”
    I was up studying some subject from medical school which I will say quite frankly probably has had little importance to my practice of medicine. Back in those days I could have a radio or tv on in the background. For some reason-probably because the exam was bearing down on me-I was up studying. And I had WMAR TV 2 on. Back in the day, there were three major channels in Baltimore; I think of myself as a WJZ guy, but I watched them all. Out of the corner of my eye I saw what we call today a Chiron and that cursed yellow and green van. I turned and then turned up the sound. And there it was: the loss of the Colts was real. Back then, Baltimore was not much, at least compared to NY or Boston or Philly, but we at least had the Colts and the O’s. I could walk to Johnny U’s restaurant, The Golden Arm. To this day I could not tell you what test I was studying for or if I passed. But I will NEVER forget that night.

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    1. Thanks for sharing, Doc. I’m sure the vast majority of Baltimoreans who were old enough to understand what was happening remember where they were when they heard the news. Of course, Baltimore football fans have since been blessed with the success of the Ravens.

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  2. I always appreciate these glimpses into your life in sports. Thanks for posting.

    Also, if you had a podcast I would listen to that thing like crazy.

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