Geo’s Media Blog (Whose Caddy Is That?)

When I worked in Toronto for Rogers, my deal at CFTR came with a brand new fully loaded Pontiac Grand Prix. Unfortunately, when I accepted the National PD’s job in Indianapolis, I had to give them the car back which put me back in my old Thunderbird.

Damn! I mean, what kind of an image does that portray when you pull up in front of the two-story brick on North Illinois, in a beat-up old T-Bird? When I drove from Toronto to Indy, I had to go alone because Lana, had to stay behind to sell the house and I was just praying that the car would make it.

The plan was for me to stay at the Hilliard’s until our new house was ready and then Lana and the kids would join me. At the moment though, I was spending my first weekend in America. Wow, how exciting! Except, I had no idea just how exciting it was going to get.
First of all, I U was in the final four and Bobby Knight had the whole town stirred up and on fire. Next, when Jim who is not only my boss but also my best friend decided to take me car shopping, things really started to heat up. He was Jonesing for a new Cadilac so it was off to the Cadillac store we go. However, the guy who drove out of the dealership in a wine-colored Cadillac Eldorado with white leather and a killer stereo system, looked an awful lot like me.

Talk about becoming Americanized right from the git-go. Hey, what the hell’s a guy to do? I’m driving a junker and my boss is saying that not only did I deserve a new Caddy but that it also looked good on me. He even claimed that the Feds were gonna help me pay for it, because as he said, “You can deduct the interest.”

How could I resist, but as good as all that sounded, the only way I could justify it, even to myself, was to think of it as a work-related purchase. Hey, Fairbanks owned FMs, I needed a car with a stereo radio in it, right?

I loved that car, but as I drove around Indianapolis in it listening to WNAP, what kept bothering me was, “What the hell am I gonna tell my wife?” Fortunately, I had another three weeks before I was heading back to Toronto, surely I could come up with something by then?

However, three weeks later when I hit the Canadian border, I still had nothing. Then when I finally arrived in Toronto and Lana’s first words to me were, “Whose car is that?” The best I could come up with was, “It’s yours honey, Happy Mother’s Day.” I never drove that Caddy again


Brent Farris: How old does a tune need to be before it becomes a “Classic”? Is it when you’re reaching for the car radio in your to turn up a song just as your kid is also reaching to turn it down? (I’m For Men.)

Reid Reker: If I feared your retaliation at your roast, what makes you think I would feel any differently now? 🙂  First, I’m honored to even be mentioned in this circle of people. Second, thank you for putting me on the Streetcar Named Desire 35 years ago; otherwise, I might be broke and destitute today. Wait a minute… I am broke and destitute today:) Third, seriously, what an incredible ride we have been on together and Fourth, it ain’t over yet!! Thank you! I love you like a brother! (Thank You)
Geo: I guess I forgot to teach you the being brave part. 🙂 Love you too man! (Thank You)

Warren Cosford:  As George knows, I ‘sing the praises’ of WMOM in Ludington Michigan. Small Town Radio, intensely Local, owned by a guy who has among The Best Ears for Music of any I know and a Passion which inspires The Kids he has working for him. They’re not ‘Slick’ and often sound ‘Hokey’ but there’s a real Charm to the station.  They ‘cleaned up’ at the recent Michigan Broadcaster’s Convention yet there are 9 people working there.

Yesterday Elizabeth and I spent the evening with Colin Kennedy, once an Op at The Big 8 CKLW when Paul Drew was PD.  Colin claims to have invented The Layover.  All I know for sure is…..the first time I heard one was when I arrived in Toronto from Winnipeg to work at CHUM and saw Colin working with Big Tom Rivers.  From a Production standpoint, it was like nothing I had ever heard.  The two of them were creating Radio to an Extreme.  Was that Radio as An Art Form?  Could anyone in Today’s Radio do that today? Would anyone listen?

On the Other Side of that was Progressive Radio.  My Fav was WLIR New York. As with Pat Martin, PD Denis McNamara had ‘Great Ears’ for Music and inspired a Creative Quirkiness between the Records. Showtime just aired a Documentary about them.

But really….perhaps it was the role that Music played in Pop Culture at the time. It seems that Music simply isn’t as important in the lives of My Kids as it was to me…..and now that they’re Adults, the only Radio they listen to is in The Car and it’s mostly News/Talk. They can get the music on The Web where The Playlist is a couple of thousand. (Writing The Wrongs)

Tom Cochrun: George, I really enjoyed hearing the air check with Bob Richards. He was a real trooper and loved radio right up to his last day. The composite brought back a lot of fond memories of that era. (WNAP Indianapolis 1974)

Bob Hill: Would love to contact Craig Walker after all these years. I started listening to him when he followed Uncle Don Wright in the early ’70s. He may or not recall but in 1979, he and Jon Erickson were given autographed balls by me with several baseball Hall of Famer signatures. At the time, I was the mascot of the Portland Beavers.
I always enjoyed Craig’s show and of course remember him, often playing his favorite song by Lenny Welch, “Since I Fell For You.”
Like myself, I’m sure Craig wakes up some mornings wondering, “How did I get this old?” (K103 Craig Walker)
Steve Smith: George,
Interesting. I look forward to additional chapters in your life and career. My cousin, Bob Zens, was CKOM news director from 1988 until he retired about ten years later. He is a Saskatchewan native and still lives in Saskatoon. (Guitars & Radio & Wild Wild Women Chapter XV)

Hugh Whaley: Regarding East Coast Amtrak service, Geo…I used to take Amtrak from Raleigh to Washington, DC soon after I relocated here from St. Louis to spend time in the home office of the organization for whom I worked. The first couple of times worked fairly smoothly both going and returning.  However, about the fourth time I did this trip, the return trip departed DC on time but arrived in Raleigh two hours beyond its stated arrival time.  The fifth time I made the trip, my return leg was scheduled to arrive in Raleigh at 7:55 pm, but we eventually arrived at 12:55 the next morning. Needless to say, I drove from Raleigh to DC every time afterward. We sat on one stretch of track for over an hour with no explanatory announcement or updates. It is my understanding that Amtrak leases the track time from the freight train companies who own the track. Thus, freight trains always have track priority.  Not sure if that is the case on the western US tracks that Amtrak uses. (Train Wreck)

David Wolfe: George – I vote for this thought and I think it’s very relevant – “As a Canadian/American I have no interest in any policy that allows someone easier access to America than I had.”
Geo: I second that emotion, David. (Canada Lied To Me)

Dennis Linsin: Just for the record, George, I believe the only way federal employees can receive a raise is if the entire Congress approves it…..not just one man.  (I’m sure I’ll be corrected if that’s not the case.) (Is Obama Racist?)

Alan Sterger: On a recent visit to our marriage counselor, the counselor asked me to apologize to my wife for something. I started out sincere and then added in my defense with a But… The counselor said it was a good apology, up to the But part. (Bad Cops)

Geo’s Media Blog is an inside look at Radio, Music, Movies, and Life. For a sneak peek at some upcoming Blogs or to see some that you may have missed, go to On Twitter @GeoOfTheRadio. Sharing and commenting is appreciated.

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