Thursday, December 09, 2010

How Did I Get Here?

When I was a kid, St. Louis was the big city. It is where my cousins have lived their entire lives. My mother and father honeymooned here at Sportman's park. There was shooting that night in the ballpark. Yikes.When we would drive here from Ava or East Moline, my mother would invariably miss the exit on the "freeway" and then panic would ensue. Especially if my grandmother was in the car with us. "We're going to get killed on this highway, sis." That's when I would lean over into the front seat and casually explain to go to the next exit, turn left, then left again, and we'd be heading the opposite way. One time that happened and when my mom got to the next exit, then followed my instructions on getting back on the highway, she would turn left instead of right, not thinking that we were coming from the...opposite...way. My love affair with KSHE began in 1973 on one of my first road trips alone. I stayed with my cousins and they had a station that played "Cowgirl in the Sand" by Neil Young. Touchdown! I started getting serious about my love for radio at 16. My sister in law at the time introduced me to someone who taught at The Academy of Radio and Television in Bettendorf Iowa. I walked in with her, got an audition, passed it and then realized after two months I couldn't afford it on my meager restaurant salary. 3 years after that I was enrolled and on a fast track to getting in the business six months later at KFMH in Muscatine Iowa, a station that had no playlist. Fast forward to me taking the afternoon job at KSHE in 1985. Now, I'm in the newspaper business and still residing in Kirkwood (11 miles southwest of downtown). I have thought many times that life evens itself out. I have been truly blessed with a career that lasted 33 years and not one day was spent working. And I have lived in a city that used to fill me with awe when I was a kid. I am also sad that many of my relatives have departed this Earth early in my life. I lost my dad at 21, my mother at 32 and my dear brother at 37. God has provided me a great life but, I haven't had many of the previous generation around long enough to enjoy it. That's OK. I think that's the way it sometimes works out, and looking back on all of this wonderful (and sometimes tragic) roller coaster of a ride, I still wonder...how the hell did I get here?




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