Port Orange Jock

One upstate New York man's successful journey through life doing the only jobs he ever loved. Being a Radio personality,(with one long side trip through the Postal Service).

Name:
Location: Port Orange, Florida, United States

Friday, May 20, 2005

It was a nice sunny day in May when I applied for a part-time job at WCGR in Canandaigua. With my meager experience I wasn't sure about my chances. I gave them my audition tape and sat back and waited. Lucky for me it must have been a slow week, because they called back a few days later and said the position was mine. Working full time at the Post Office only allowed me to be a DJ on Sundays. This station was AM and FM, however the AM was only on during daylight hours(this took me back to Madawaska). My shift was from 10 AM to 3 PM, and I would be playing Rock music. To this day, I still consider this job my first Radio experience; for two reasons. The first station you go to is always a learning experience. For that reason it shouldn't be counted. Secondly, I had started in the LA market, one of the toughest in the country. There were times I was plenty scared those first 2 years. But now I was in a much smaller market. I could relax and really learn my craft. When I think back, I really believe I had the most fun at WCGR. Basically because, after six months I talked the station owner into letting me have a 3 hour Big Band show. My Father had raised me on this music and now I finally had my chance to play the kind of music he would have loved. After awhile I got so good at it that the owner told me my new show was the second most popular show on the station. Wonderful people were actually sending me cards and letters. I still have that scrapbook and will treasure it always. The station had no Big Band music, so I brought my own from home every week. I would stay at this lovely job until October of 1980. My reason for leaving was very interesting. All this time I had been paid four dollars per hour. Suddenly, there was another addition to our household; a son named Adam. He would turn out to be our last. So, our expenses had gone up. I asked the owner for a one dollar raise per hour for the following reasons. First, he had just built three new Racketball courts next to the station so I knew he could afford my small raise. Second, according to him, I had the second most popular show on his station. I was sure I would get the raise, but he threw me a giant curve and said no. His reasoning was, if I got a raise, everyone else would find out and want one too. Obviously, his theory was sheer stupidity, but he was the boss. To save face, I had no choice but to quit. He reluctantly accepted, and then asked me not to say anything about my leaving on-the-air. I relented, but almost changed my mind many times on my next and last Sunday program. I always felt bad leaving that job, but to this day I still have my memories and don't regret one bit asking for that raise. I will always look upon it as his loss. It would be almost three years before I had a chance to talk into a microphone again. End of Chapter 10.

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