Monday, November 24, 2008


Any reader of this blog knows I frequently write about people in radio who have touched me or left an impression. Most of those writings have involved people who left those impressions and memories when I was very young. This writing involves someone who I still see on a somewhat regular basis.

One of the most gifted and talented people I've ever met is Chuck Adkins.

Chuck's first love is the broadcast world. Specifically radio. Chuck has a smooth delivery, a quick wit and his listeners have always loved his work. Chuck has hosted oldies, top 40 and big band formats with the air name Chuck Howard.

Chuck is also blind. Like in can't see a thing blind. Two glass eyes blind. Zip, nothing, nada. He will never even see something as bland as blurred images or light.

Yet this gifted man can operate an audio board better than many sighted people. I watched in amazement as I "showed" Chuck the new control room at WOSU recently.

We met on a Friday evening. We went through what each input represented, levels and other control room activities. After an hour Chuck had it mastered. And I do mean mastered.

For whatever reason, Chuck's opportunities in commercial radio have been limited. I can't explain why. Clearly he has no problem navigating the audio console. He has a radio voice and could easily fit in as a host for many formats.

Versatile, friendly, hard working, talented, flexible, keen ear for what's important for today.

Yet the calls do not come.

Maybe someday some professional broadcast group or program director will see this blog and fill an opening with Chuck. Until then, some station some where is missing out on a great talent.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Rationing Paperclips

My friend Mark uses a line to describe companies that are in financial problems: "Things are so tight they are rationing paper clips." Well according to an article in USA Today last Friday, it appears General Motors is doing just that.

On Veterans Day, Diana and I were off on a little day trip. We decided to head up north and cross over into Canada. Why not travel to a foreign country when you're only about three hours away? It's fun crossing the border and using currency different than your own.

We made a stop at the Windsor Casino and played a few pulls on the slots. A little extra blow money that had been saved. Let's say we earned some additional Canadian money while there. In addition, I decided to cross the street and head down to the water front aslong the Detroit River and look across the body of water to review the Detroit skyline.

It's sort of weird standing in one country and looking across the river to see you're just a few hundred feet away from the shores of another. Especially since the country you're standing in is so similar to your own.

It's like looking across the Ohio River into Kentucky or West Virginia, only instead of a state border, it's truly an international border. Somewhere on the surface tension of the water is a line that represents the divide between the United States and Canada. You just can't see it, but it's there.

So what does Windsor, slots and Canada have to do with rationing paperclips?

Well looking directly across the river was the silver skyscraper that serves as world headquarters to General Motors. There was a time when I would have given just about anything to work for the worlds largest automobile manufacturer. At one time you could count on a good salary, generous benefits, lifetime security......or so it seemed. Only these days, few people dream of working for GM. Now there is less retirment security, pay raises for non-union employees have ceased as have matching contributions to employees 401-k vehicles. As noted above, things are so bad, they are essentially rationing paper clips.

Maybe that's the wrong the attitude for me and countless others to take. Maybe the great working people should be looking to work for these very troubled American nameplates and be part of the turnaround team. For at one time, GM, Ford and even Chrysler were looked at as the shining examples of the United States manufacturing might. And maybe they could be once more.

At one time, not only were GM and Ford synonymous with prosperity, but so was Detroit. Yet as you can see by the picture of the office building with no windows, prosperity has long left the motor city. Literally, you can look into a window and see sky on the other side.

Even the neighborhoods of Detroit have seen decay that at one time probably was unthinkable.

I was recently reading an article of how Detroit was trying to transition itself from motor city to a next generation of prosperity city. Yet, I've got to wonder if the Big 3 do go down in the current financial crisis, will it ever recover to continue its climb from the depths of decay.

It was really sad to see a city that was once an icon of America's might and meaning so down on its luck.

Sunday, November 16, 2008


If you live in Columbus, Ohio you readily recognize one of the major features of the region. The Scioto River meanders through the area.

For most people, in their minds it begins at the Columbus Zoo and courses through downtown Columbus. In places, it is deep and wide enough for boating and skiing. Downtown, the Riverfront is being primed to become a focal point for daytime and evening activities.

Yet few people realize that most rivers, whether mighty and wide or simply as large bodies of water begin as a trickle somewhere many miles upstream.

Today we journeyed to the headwaters of the Scioto River on the Hardin/Auglaize County line. We arrived just before sunset on a chilly and blustery November Sunday. The sky was a dull gray. So gray the navy could hide destroyers and battle cruisers in the sky if needed. We experienced the evidence of winter earlier in the trip while driving through the high point in Ohio, Bellefontaine. That area had a thorough dusting of snow. A noticeable chill was in the air.

The river, according to a sing begins as a small drainage ditch in a farm field. Although the sign claims it marks the beginnings of the river, the ditch continues for some distance back into the field. I'm not sure whether the sign marks the official point where the river begins or it's placed there to satisfy those of us who are curious.

There is a farm road that runs parallel with the ditch/river. We attempted to drive the road, but the past few days have been rainy and the road, while appearing solid had a soft and slimy mud covering on the surface. After traveling what seemed to be almost a mile, I decided to turn around.

The ditch/river didn't seem to be getting smaller and the slimy mud coating on the farm road surface began to become deeper and slipperier as we traveled. I had no desire to get stuck in the middle of a farm lane and Diana was getting impatient with the journey. It was a combination of dinner time and fear of getting stuck. Since the journey to the area is not that far, I decided to wait on better conditions to follow the ditch/river to it's initial trickle.

The last official state sign that memorializes the river is on a bridge on State Route 385 about 1/2 mile away from where the marking sign above is located. While this isn't the first time we've been to the area, this is the first time we've seen the sign in the pictures above.

We've been to other river origins. Like the Olentangy, the Great Miami, the Wabash and the Sandusky. Each have there own unique places of beginning. In later entries, we'll try to capture so photos and post what we note.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Ok, So When Was He Here?

As most of the readers of this blog know, I enjoy things that are ironic. Here's another example of one I've found.

Rene Robert Cavelier Sieur de La Salle was a French explorer and was believed to be the first European known to have seen the Ohio River.

Exactly when he was at the River depends on who the person responsible for the Historical Marker Signs in West Virginia is at the time.

According to two signs within 5 feet of each other in Point Pleasant, West Virginia, it could have been twice. But only if La Salle had lived to be over 100 years old. It could have been in 1669 or 1769 depending on which sign you believe is correct.

History books say La Salle's visit to the Ohio River took place in 1669. La Salle was murdered by his followers in 1687 after they mutinied while seaching for the mouth of the Mississipi River. Seems La Salle has mistakenly landed in Texas when he thought he was in what was to become Louisianna. The fellas just weren't too happy that their destination was several hundred miles away.

Which means the sign that says Point Pleasant is in fact correct and the one that says Ohio is not.....unless La Salle made a posthumous return trip in the late 1760's.

Another Beautiful Fall Day

With Indian Summer upon us, Diana and I embarked on a hike along the trails at Chestnut Ridge Metro Park.

We chronicled our trip to the Hocking Hills a few weeks ago, but found something interesting yesterday.

Many people think that beautiful fall colors are only available in Vermont, Upstate New York, the Smokey Mountains or even close by in the Hocking Hills. Yet, the Columbus Metro parks offer some of the most beautiful views in our back yard.

The pictures below are pretty much just randomly placed and won't necessarily follow the story line.

Chestnut Ridge has long been a favorite place for us to get away close by and enjoy nature at it's finest. First, the trails offer some workout as, there is a slow but steady pitch to get to the top of the ridge.

Located at some of the first few bumps that begin the formation of the Applachians and between Carroll and Canal Winchester on the back roads, it's close by yet reminds one of places much further away.

These are just a few of the great photos we got to take as well as enjoying a great walk with Mother Nature and the joy of getting out and getting some excercise.