The End of a (Radio) Era: Another Reason to Go

Posted on: Wednesday, December 10th, 2008
Posted in: Sabbatical Shuffle, Blog | Leave a comment

A loon was calling its unmistakable cry this morning.  What the!?!  Poor creature needs to get out of town; the windchill is -10 this morning.  Has the bird (have we all) gone loonie?  Yes, I say.  Move on.  Yet that cry is right-on, as today marks the heartbreaking swan song of my favorite radio show.  Period.  

I believe in radio. Love it with all my heart—more than TV, more than this silly, cold computer screen.

Just one more time, while I’m doing my morning rituals, I get to start my day with Minnesota Public Radio’s The Morning Show.  They sign off tomorrow, with a raucous and live (and thus uncharacteristic) performance.  Not sure I can get out of bed without this show’s homey charm, humor, and eclectic music mix.  

Jim Ed Poole and Dale Connelly (whose real name is Tom Keith) have been up long before sunrise for decades.  But Jim Ed wants to retire.  Hey, ain’t nothing wrong with that!  As Michelle Shocked (the kind of artist this program will play that you won’t hear anywhere else) sings:

“The secret to a long life is knowing when it’s time to go…” 

Yes, even people with (what would appear to be) one of the funnest jobs in the world need to retire now and then.  Jim Ed is ready for perma-Sabbatical.  Good on ya, mate.  

The show was started by a guy named Garrison Keillor who promoted Jim Ed from board operator to co-star, and then moved on to become a superstar himself.

Having met Dale, I can safely say that with these gentlemen, what you hear is what you get.  I’ve known Tom too. Used to play softball with him—often scheming the right to sit next to him at the Chalktalk (bar) after the game. I was a bit star-struck of course. But above all, he was and is just a complete sweetheart of a guy. He can make people laugh with the most subtle, natural move or comment.    

We all need more laughter!

Their retirement will leave a void for many of us. But nothing lasts forever. Not even radio (which, someday, will BURY television). Be well, boys. Thanks for the memories, the music, and making it such a pleasure to get up, stand up, and face a new day.

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