Thursday, August 5, 2010


Isn’t it funny? Sometimes, there’s someone in your life you haven’t seen or perhaps spoken to in months- yet you get together and “wham- bam” no time has passed.

Such is the case with radio buddy and friend Heather Thompson. When Heather first came to Orillia almost 14 years ago she stayed with us at our Bed and Breakfast- Pine Tree House, which we no longer operate by the way, so please don’t call for availabilities.

Heather came to work at EZ Rock in Orillia just a few months after I began working at the station. For me it was a return to radio broadcasting after 15 years. For Heather it was a move to another station from a more northerly city. It was to become a move “up the ladder” for her as she eventually became News Director at EZ Rock, Lite FM and eventually JACK FM.

If you’re keeping track the companies were: Tele-Media, Rogers (a short time Standard- like 2 minutes) and Rogers again. We expected great things from Rogers but Mr. Rogers let us down. Penny pinching and an outlandish sales agreement that got the blessing from the CRTC between Rogers and Larche Communications was difficult to work through. Interesting though, Larche bought the station as JACK FM and turned it into Country KICX.
I worked for the same companies as Heather, under the same station name, except I made two side excursions to Barrie Radio namely ENERGY (bleech!) and The New CHAY. The New CHAY is now FM93. That station changes names as often as I change socks but not quite as often as the “Orillia Station” now called KICX. Taking a stroll down memory lane, this Orillia station had been KICX just before it became “Orillia’s Own EZ Rock” but that goes back a few years to just after the CFOR days when CFOR was “Legendary Hits” before switching to FM and new country.
Are you confused- yet?

Anyway, it was the NEW CHAY that ended my terrestrial radio career and the advent of a new owner for JACK FM- Larche, that ended Heather’s run at Radio.

Heather and I haven’t spoken- other than through a few e-mails since spring, yet get us back together and there’s 6 hours of non- stop gab. No wonder we had such fun on EZ ROCK, Lite and JACK- except for the early morning alarm clock that would blast into our ears to get us up and functioning just to be on-air at 0530. That’s Oh- Dark- Hundred! Some mornings we car-pooled as we lived relatively close to each other.

I remember one January morning after an attempt to get Heather’s car through a snowbank at the end of her drive, we gave up. She piled in with me and we made it to the station. We even made it into the parking lot that morning- part of the way in at least. There were mornings out there in the boonies on Progress Drive, where winter snow would only allow an early morning foray to the station driveway entrance- not into the parking lot. Then you had to wade through drifts up to your “ying yang” just to arrive at the front door.

Heather did early mornings on radio more often than I did. I just filled in a few weeks each year on the early morning show. That was enough- fun but enough. It’s difficult and I don’t just mean the getting up part but having to be cheery and say “Good Morning!” on the air and make it sound like you meant it, when truthfully you would rather be back home, snug in bed.
Show Biz!!

Heather and I connected in person yesterday as she was booked in to the massive Swisssh Radio Complex high about the Orillia Skyline, to record some new Heartbeat programmes, promos and Swisssh Liners promoting the “Swisssh Listening Post” feature. After a several hours we completed the recording and had a chance to catch up even more.
You know what I mean- so what’s new with you. Here’s what’s new with me.
Have you heard from so and so and so, how’s old so and so doing.
Have you heard so and so and so and so on the air.
What about that new Terrestrial Station in Orillia.
Here’s what’s happening on Matchedash Street North between Coldwater and Neywash.
Who’s running for Mayor.
Why is so and so (not the same so and so) running in our ward for Council?

We even managed to grab a burger at one of my favourite Burger Shacks- The Roadside Eatery, just opposite the cemetery and next door to Leatherdale Marine on Highway 12, east of Orillia.

It was a breezy six hours but a refreshing one and we didn’t have to get up early to do it.
That was the best part!

Have a great day!