Somebody once said, “You can never go back home again.” Seeing how that never applied to me, I left the comforts of my mountain lifestyle and all the close people that I had made good friends with for the dream of pursuing my former life back in my hometown of St. Petersburg, Florida. It was always some kind of pissy little goal of mine to go back home and make my way there – instead of the stranger-in-a-strange-land success I was having.
Two years ago, I was accosted by three major hurricanes that ripped through Florida. I was the first time in my life that I was actually worried for my own well-being. I then looked around me and realized that the entire place – these wonderful little beaches and small communities that I had been primarily raised up in – are nothing more than a massly over-produced area of condominiums. This is like some mini Miami being built upward and over.
It killed me to see that small community I had been raised in going condo, but as many old folks have told me, “Well, that’s progress. And until you’re my age who has seen nothing other than progress in his life-time, you will never understand.”
The March of The Blue-Hairs!
I have, therefore, turned in my small beach community citizenship. I am leaving for the one place I had never learned to appreciate in the first place – the mountains.
I was excited to come back home where I would see family, friends, places and things I have known the better part of my life. But now, after three years of being here, I have come to know this community as horrid and will never be the home I always dreamed it would be.
LATER ON JULY 15, 2006:
I had a dream not too long ago. This was a dream, unlike my one Shirley Jones dream, that actually made me think about my future. It made me think about where I want to go in life. You know, where do I want to be and who I want to be, as well.
I dreamt of this 1970′s rock radio station in some small town that was popular and was one of those places you had always heard about and wished it could be like. The fun rock station with the zany disc jockey and the sound effects – you know, like WKRP [the TV show] and Dr. Johnny Fever. Those were the days.
This dream gave me a sense of perception over my own radio career that has been reduced to internet radio in order to keep my hands out of the dirty corporate pool. I hate corporate radio and had shown my feelings for them when I had left WQUT in Johnson City, Tennessee. I explained my dissatisfaction over the whole deal and how, quite frankly, corporate radio made me sick.
So this dream I had, it recalled a more loose time of radio entertainment and one that is still, to this day, highly regarded as the best times in many people’s lives. Well, for the first two years of my internet radio station, I ventured in that direction with classic-like comedy from the voices that you ended up loving to hate. The annoyances I had on this station were reminicent of those days of past. And it was fun.
But then I grew tired of the formula and stuck to playing more music and commercials with an over-night thing of old-time radio shows. It was boring. All of it was boring beyond repair and now I’m closing it down out of sheer boredom. I’ve hated the new line-up so much that the entire station was neglected and during the weekends I would play ALL old-time radio from Friday midnight to Monday morning.
So now, Eagle 97 is closed temporarily while I transfer to the mountains. But during this time I will think about what it is I want to do with my internet radio station. I have a 12 hour drive to those mountains so I have plenty of time to listen to my IPod and think about what direction I want to head in.
But I am serious about internet radio. It is a growing industry and the amazing part of it all, is you get to connect to people all over the world – stuff that dreams were made of back in my day as a kid.
Yeah, I’m serious enough to believe that there is a market out there for internet radio. And I imagine it is nothing more than like terrestrial radio where you have to advertise, sell and work for the listeners.
I do promise more of a music variety – I do know of that. And I’m not talking about adding Fats Domino tunes, I’m talking about a variety of radio music that coincides with the old days of AM / FM 70′s where it was nothing to play Led Zeppelin and Cilla Black. Or Deep Purple and Gilbert O’Sullivan.
Yeah, so I guess I’m talking about a nostalgic radio station – complete with the wound-up disc jcokeys and the on-the-air copies read with the most calculated imperfections in order to boost your listeners curiousities and humor value. I’m talking about – somehow – bringing back Dr. Johnny Fever and Venus Flytrap.
EVEN MORE LATER ON JULY 15, 2006:
Jesus! I don’t write practically in months and then, in one day, I can’t keep my mouth shut. Yeah, I hate blogging, but what are you going to do?
Okay, earlier I told you about my dream of catching the olden days of radio – got that! Check! And I told you about my dissatisfaction over my life and home here on the beaches of Tampa Bay, Florida.
Now, I want to finally tell you that I’m sick. I can’t tell you how it all happened but I became very sick lately. Even after a colon cancer scare last year that made me paranoid and lazy, I can’t seem to wrap my mind around this new concept.
Yeah, so here it is. I’m becoming decrepid to the point of not being able to raise my left arm and I cannot stand on my feet for any longer than 10-15 minutes anymore. My back begins to hurt so bad that not only does the pain shoot up my back, but it also takes my right leg and completely shuts it down, causing me imbalance and sharp knife-like pains all up and down my right leg.
This is a condition that I only noticed last year when after lifting and air conditioning unit I was forced to drop it and fall to the ground. Despite the embarrassment of not being a man and lifting something so big, I was reduced to the size of a little child with this pain. I was not able to get up because my leg would wobble and hurt so much it was just better to stay right where I was.
And now, a year later, I once again had to work on an air conditioner and when to lift the old unit onto the bed of my truck, I was stricken with this pain that is, quite frankly, indescribable. And now, that 10-15 minutes of being able to stand is slowly diminishing to 5-10 minutes and I’m afraid the time will get shorter as years go on.
I also noticed a lump on the back of my neck that is growing slowly but surely. Talk about a good scare. I am worried.
So all this talk about a new future with my station coincides with my fear of being handicap. I guess in all fairness, I must say, that I am excited about moving back to the mountains but it just appears that – if this all gets worse – then I may just enjoy it from a wheelchair. And to me, that is scary.