This was a no brainer for me. For me working at the River has been because of one person… Mitch Michaels. Although Mitch and I were both on the air at various stations in Chicago in the nineties we never actually met. Of course I had heard of him and even listened to him whenever I had the chance but we didn’t meet until my husband put together a museum exhibition at Elmhurst History Museum on Disco Demolition. Well obviously you can’t do an exhibition about Disco Demolition and not include Mitch Michaels. If you aren’t familiar with Mitch’s role in that historic moment in Chicago history then you need to buy his book … Doin’ the Cruise ( https://eckhartzpress.com/shop/doin-cruise-memories-lifetime-radio-rock-roll/ ). So at the opening of the Disco Demolition exhibition I was lucky enough to meet Mitch and Susie and we hit it off instantly. It was shortly after that Mitch encouraged me to apply for a job at the River. Now you have to realize I hadn’t been on the radio for about 15 years. I wasn’t even sure I had it in me to do it again but with Mitch’s encouragement I gave it a shot.
When I was hired Mitch trained me and helped remind me how much I love radio. When I moved to evenings I essentially started off my show every day with 15 minutes of fun, laughter and amazing stories when I sit in the studio with Mitch as he finishes up his show. He kept telling me how good I was doing on the air when I truly did not believe it (and to be honest I was very rusty when I started so I think he was being too kind but his praise gave me the confidence to get better each week.) He always checked on me to see how I was doing and how my husband was doing (side note … he calls my husband pretzel man because he is a crazy picky eater and once ate a pretzel when we were having dinner with Mitch and Susie). He was the first person I told when my husband got a job at a big museum that would mean that we would be moving away. He was happy for my hubby but we were both so sad as we realized our fun together was coming to an end.
Having Mitch in my work life is like having a family member who cares about you waiting for you everyday at work. I continue to be in awe of his radio career, the stories he tells and the experiences he has had are mind blowing. Life hasn’t always been kind to him but he marches on, continuing to bring passion and love to his show everyday. I don’t think I have ever seen anyone rock out in a studio as much as Mitch Michaels does… Just so you know … when you are singing along to the River in your car … Mitch is singing with you in the studio. You are a radio rockstar Mitch Michaels and I will truly miss you!