My friend Karen used to say that — So and So has X’s for eyes. She saw it once in a cartoon. It meant they were dead. I need to hang up the headphones so that kind of applies to me now. The funny part is that I started my career at 95.9 Kiss FM and now I am ending it at 95.9 the River. There were some other frequencies as well…..105.7, 91.5, 106.7, 102.7 & a Guest Appearance on Star 98. I did some TV back in the day, too. How fun.
After September 11th, 2001 I started to volunteer in a nursing home and that is when I discovered my 2nd career. I really love working with the elderly. Especially residents that have “Brain Failure”. I know I could not work with children. I do not have the patience. My sister is a teacher and I am sure I would not last a semester. When you are working with kids you have to constantly mold them and teach them right from wrong. Working with adults is the opposite. They know right from wrong and you just do what they want to do. They teach you and you adapt to them.
There are some sad times associated with working in a nursing home or assisted living community. I was at a ManorCare for over 10 years. I loved that job -but with all the fun activities came some heartbreaking reality. We held quarterly Memorial Services and in total we read over 1,385 names. I became really close to so many residents. I attended hundreds of funerals. It was an honor to make part of their lives or death meaningful, purposeful and pleasant. It must be hard for families to place a loved one in someone else’s care, so I always try to make sure they feel like they are getting their money’s worth. It can be emotionally taxing….yet so rewarding.
Luckily I haven’t had to deal with that kind of loss in radio. People are gone from getting fired all the time-but eventually you will see them again and maybe even work together at a new station. I have had some great times working in radio – met a lot of people – there are some laugh lines that I know are from Rick and John, Rev and Ned, Mark and Walt, and my first co-host Robin. Its like that Indigo Girls song about the lines on your face. (With Every Lesson Learned a Line Upon Your Beautiful Face – Get Out the Map) I got a HydraFacial the other day but I wouldn’t want to erase any of the memories I have from working at any of these stations.
So I am not getting fired, I am just leaving for a while to hang out with some old people. When I drive to work I will still tune in to Scott and Danielle and maybe even try to win a contest or two. That would be nice. In my spare time I need to get together with my original co-host and try to recreate that photo of her and I flying in our dorm room. She was always the wind beneath my wings!
After 6 years here at the River it is time to move on, but I am leaving you in good hands…I listen to Tim Thomas and the rest of the Weekend River when I’m off 🙂 – JB