In my transition from high school to college and then to law school, my tastes in music and radio changed. I always will be a child of the 70’s and 80’s and I will always love the music from my days as a young boy and young adult. I still sometimes break out Wild Cherry playing that funky music (a band from my hometown area and still remember meeting one of the band members who I think had a son or nephew or other young relative in the other 1st grade classroom when I was at Stark School), and I have all of the 80’s 1-hit wonders in my collection.
But in my early 20’s I began a transition away from those genres. I didn’t STOP listening to 70’s and 80’s, but I broadened my listening horizons to include acoustic guitar and contemporary piano. Some of my favorites quickly became Phil Keaggy, Will Ackerman, and Michael Hedges on the guitar end; and pianists Michael Jones, George Winston, and probably most of all: Jim Brickman.
In that same time frame — during law school and the years that followed, I made the major transition in my radio listening habits. Probably because I had no cable T.V. subscription and very poor reception on my 13″ rabbit ear television, I turned to the radio as my primary source for news and entertainment. I switched from being an almost exclusive FM music radio listener to predominantly following talk radio.
Over the past 15 years — 98% of the time — my radio dial has been tuned into one of four places: AM talk radio, NPR radio shows (one of my early favorites was Echoes which played my new-found favorite acoustic piano and guitar), sports talk radio, or Catholic radio. In my estimation, about 2% of my radio time is tuned in to local or regional FM radio where current pop music or classic rock rules the airways. I sometimes give it a listen when the mood strikes me, or more often — when control over the radio dial is in the hands of someone else.
When I started dating my wife, (one month after having seen Jim preform live at the Sandusky State Theatre) I influenced her to listen to a few of my Brickman CD’s and we soon fell in love together while listening to him. Our first dance together as husband and wife at our wedding reception was to Jim’s song Love of My Life.
More than six years later, our lives feel more hectic and stressed with the demands of a five year old at home and the typical stresses and struggles of a 20 year old newly out on her own, but still very much a part of our lives. The difficulties in scheduling a regular date night far outnumber the opportunities. But when we took our five year old trick-or-treating in her local surrogate grandparents’ neighborhood a few weeks ago, they cheerfully asked when they would again be able to keep her overnight for a visit. I put that comment into my “brain pocket” but didn’t expect to have any plans in the near future to make use of that offer.
Two weeks ago Wednesday, I was at my office going about my regular day. In the front office reception area, we have a radio tuned in to the local FM music station. I was only out there for 15 seconds to pull something off of the front printer before scurrying back to my office. While out there, I heard the final 10 seconds of an advertisement for a show on November 19 in a Tiffin, Ohio theater.
Jim Brickman was coming to town for a Saturday evening show in Tiffin — about 45 minutes away from Sandusky. I never listen to this particular radio station other than during my occasional exposure at the office or when it is played in other local establishments.
A quick communication and call back confirmed an overnight baby-sitter and a recent small bundle of money saved from online survey earnings paid for two tickets without denting the tightly stretched budget.
I hadn’t heard the radio ad before or since that one occasion. Had my random trip to the front office printer been 30 seconds sooner OR later — I would have missed the advertisement completely. And because the theater is not IN town and I rarely go to Jim Brickman’s site to view his tour schedule, my chances of hearing about this concert some other way were quite limited — virtually non-existent. That GodIncidence of hitting the front office at just the right time to hear that Jim was playing nearby allowed me to enjoy Jim’s music LIVE with my wife for the very first time.
It was a fabulous show and a very nice way to spend an evening with the Love of My Life. The audience got to sing “Happy Birthday” to Jim (who turned the big 5-0 today). We were also entertained by Jim’s long time friend and vocalist Anne Cochran and newcomer, former NFL tight end Ben Utecht. The big guy with the sparkly SuperBowl ring can sing!