Most teenage kids have jobs in high school working fast food, some do grunt work, and some mow yards. I certainly mowed many yards, but I also was an on-air radio announcer at the age of 16. That’s right….I was a radio announcer for WCIC Radio at 91.5fm. I did not even bother to tell kids at school because I knew that they would not believe me. And besides, I was very shy and did not talk much in high school. (I know that is hard to believe…more about that in another post.) I started working on air when when we were playing what were called “carts”. They looked a lot like 8 track tapes. There was a wall full of them and a stack of players that we would put them in. We also still “cut tape” in those days. We did not have a computer program to edit with, we actually spliced tape. I worked a variety of shifts working the morning show, days, the afternoon drive, and even overnights.
I co-hosted a radio show on Sunday nights called “The House of Faith”. This was a radio show designed for young kids to college age. This show ran for two hours and was full of great music, talk, call ins, funny stories, and even some on air games. It was a little crazy at times, but we had an absolute blast!
When I first started, we had a news broadcast that came in on Satellite at the top of every hour. We had to “backtime” our song selection and figure out the timing just right so that we would have just enough time to read an underwriting announcement and then go into the news. Well…I was brand new, not very sure of myself, and miscalculated the song. That meant I had a full 60 seconds that I had to fill. The announcer who was training me, said “Looks like you are going to have to wing in kid”. Wing it? As the song came to an end, I had only been on the air a couple of times and I am going to wing it? Sweat was rolling down my forehead as I put my headphones on, hit the program (live) button and raised the slider. The song came to an end and it was my time to “wing it”. I announced the song, artist, name of the record, the year it came out, what I thought about the picture on the front of the album, gave the station identifier, and still had 45 seconds! The announcer training me gave me the cue to keep talking. I began talking about my dog named princess. “Princess was a good dog, she loved to go outside, she loves treats. I love treats and I love to go outside.” What in the world am I saying? “My dog Princess loves her green toy, but I heard that dogs are color blind……ummmmm…….I have a mom and dad….I have a brother and sister…..ohhhh time for the news!” And I’m out! That was the most embarrassing moment of my life and I have no idea what just came out of my mouth. Well…I learned to speak a little better as I went along.
I worked for WCIC for many years as an announcer. I worked full time for a couple years, and stayed on as a part time announcer. I really enjoyed the experiences I had in radio. I loved it and honestly still miss it some days! I will always be grateful to Station Manager Dave Brooks for giving a 16 year old kid a chance and believing in me!
I am now 40, and I am running for Sheriff of Tazewell County. I hope that you will give me a chance to be your Sheriff and lead this Office in a direction that you will be proud of. I will represent Tazewell County with Leadership, Unity, and Transparency. Thank you for believing in me.