How Did I Get Here, Anyway?

When I was in fourth grade they took us on a field trip to New York where we toured NBC at Rockefeller Center.

It was awesome. We peered into the news studio, created frying bacon sound effects by crinkling cellophane, and saw where Johnny Carson presided over the  Tonight Show. We also got to watch DJ Big Wilson doing his shift on WNBC-AM. That did it. From that day forward I wanted to work in radio or TV.

The rest of fourth grade was all about broadcasting. I made several shoebox dioramas showing TV studios with cables of string and clay figures standing behind cameras. My teacher, Mrs. Rice, did not approve . Years later I got to read her notes about me and it turns out she made a big point of the time wasted on these projects. What could be worse than a fourth grader wasting time?

At home I would huddle in my room spinning records and recording myself playing DJ on a reel-to-reel recorder. I’d read stories from the paper in a serious tone like the newscasters on the radio. Little did I know that they swiped many of their stories from the same place.

It was inevitable, really: a straight shot that landed me at the radio station and TV studios of SUNY Plattsburgh. The internship, the job, the second job and 24 years doing what I wanted since I was eight-years-old.

But sometimes I wonder what would have happened if we’d visited a doctor’s office or law practice instead of NBC.

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