A Heart the Size of a Football Field

In February, 1988, a dear friend of mine passed away unexpectedly while undergoing surgery. Jim Watt was the General Manager at KSTT radio in Davenport, Iowa. Jim gave me my first program director job, when I was at the ripe young age of 23. Jim was well known as the Voice of the Iowa Hawkeyes, doing the play-by-play of Iowa football games on KSTT, and a network of other stations. I left KSTT in 1969 and moved to Madison, Wisconsin toRead more

My Earliest Childhood Memory

During the first few years of my life, we always spent Christmas at grandma’s house, on a farm near Bradford, Illinois. Each Christmas eve, we’d drive the gravel roads some eighteen miles from my home town, Kewanee, and always made it. Some years the snow drifts were taller than our car. It was always cold in the upstairs bedroom where Grandma put us. One particular Christmas, when I was two years old, I remember vividly coming down the open stairwayRead more

A Song for the Rescue Dogs

We put together this short music video as a public service and posted it on YouTube in late November. After three weeks, it had been viewed more than 2,200 times. After viewing it, consider this from the Humane Society: “Thinking about getting a pet? Millions of companion animals in shelters across America are just waiting for a special home like yours. One is waiting to get to know you. Navigating the adoption process isn’t as hard as you think. The HumaneRead more

Memorable Ride from the Temple

The Masonic Temple in Davenport, Iowa has been the venue for many concerts over the years. It’s an ominous building, looks like a government structure, concrete top to bottom. Some claim that today it is haunted. A lot of the concerts back in the 1960s were promoted by the owner of KSTT, the radio station where I worked as program director, so I emceed many of the shows, introducing people like Johnny Mathis, Steve and Eydie, Andy Williams, The Mamas and TheRead more

What the Cubs Gave Us

Finally, the Cubs got their World Series Championship – and none too soon. Somehow American History owed them that. It was hard-earned and well deserved. However, just as important as what the team received, is what the Cubs gave to America. That group of talented guys rekindled an interest in baseball among many who were previously just casual observers of the game. The Cubs showed talent, teamwork, and a lot of sincere emotion. On the field they made some unbelievableRead more

Friends ’til the Record Runs Out

In mid-1968 I left my job as program director of KSTT radio in Davenport, Iowa to take a similar job at a station in Washington, D.C. It didn’t take long for me to know that I did not want to live there. I returned to Davenport and took a job selling mutual funds. That didn’t work out, mainly because of my selling technique. “You don’t want to buy any mutual funds do you?” just wasn’t a good approach. So, afterRead more

Man’s 18-Millionth Greatest Invention

On the list of man’s twenty-million greatest inventions, this ranked number 18,004,600. It’s called clam shell packaging. You know the kind. Hard plastic, pressure-wrapped around almost anything from thumb tacks to hair dryers. Without proper tools, it is virtually impossible to open within a reasonable amount of time without hurting yourself, or breaking into an uncontrollable sweat. Great minds have tried to figure out why such packaging is necessary. If it is to prevent theft, wouldn’t someone just steal theRead more

Is It a Bird? Is It a Badger?

In late September, the colorful, capricious species known as snowbirds begin returning to their winter habitat, flying and driving to Arizona to escape from the winter chills of Minnesota, Illinois, Wisconsin, Canada, and other cold places. There are those who divide their time fifty-fifty between their northern haunts and the warmer climes. There are others who come south for just two or three months. They are spotted most often in November and December. By January they tend to take on more ofRead more

From Lucy to Sheldon and Beyond.

It is hard to believe that well over half a century has passed since Ozzie and Harriet and I Love Lucy were on TV every week. That was in the ’50s. I watched them, as a young child of course. Today, one can be of any age and be familiar with shows of any era, thanks to cable re-runs, DVDs, and old people talking about them. Let’s move up a decade. There was The Andy Griffith Show,Read more

Purple Sky, Lightning, and Lou

Since she was a little one, I recognized that my daughter, Tori Lou, whom I call “Lou” and most others call “Tori” was a creative soul. As she grew older she became accomplished at drawing, painting, and graphic arts. In addition she developed into a very good photographer. Until recently, upon reading some of her posts on social media, I had not noticed that somehow she has acquired some writing skills. I welcome her to Brainshowers as our second “GuestRead more

Getting Pasted at the Pharmacy

Aquafresh, Gleem, Colgate, Crest, Aim, Pepsodent, and. . .there are so many more. Endless rows, shelf after shelf, box after box, lining the drug store and supermarket aisles. How many different kinds of toothpaste can there possibly be? And, how many different variations? Whitening, decay preventing, sensitive, gel, mint, mint gel, striped, fluoride, and so on. Toothpaste has been around for more than a hundred years, yet somehow the different brands keep coming out as “new and improved.” How many timesRead more

Keeping Up With the Karaokians

When you’re on the radio, playing hits and spouting time, temp, and song titles. . and an occasional bit of concealed wisdom, you can’t see the listener. (Notice I said, “listener.” It is a known fact that people seldom listen in groups sitting in bleachers.) So, what happens when a disc jockey is in front of a live audience? Ideally, he or she will speak to one person, perhaps someone toward the back of the bar, preferably one who’s awake.Read more

Career Detour: Through a Scary House

In 1968 there was a brief interruption in my radio career. I left my job at KSTT to sell mutual funds for a company called Investors Diversified Services (IDS). After a few months of trying to sell funds, I found the training boring, the job generally uninteresting. As a result, I didn’t get many people to invest. It didn’t take long to realize I should have stayed in radio. However, there was one shining moment in as a mutual fund salesman thatRead more

Play That “New” Jingle Again

My neighbor had been complaining for weeks that his golf game kept getting worse. Shank to the left, shank to the right. Chip from the rough. Putt, putt, putt. Then one morning, when I stopped over for coffee, he announced “I had a great game yesterday, with my new clubs. . .” His old clubs were perfectly good. And, the set before that as well. But, sometimes golf clubs just stop working. The whole set. No good. Enter the new andRead more