Monday, February 12, 2007

tonight's the night

The problem with anniversaries is that they make you think about the passage of time. I don't feel 15 years older than I did the night WAVA died, but I am. And so are you. During a long period of unemployment, I had the time to build a simple website for my former co-workers to reconnect on the 10th anniversary of WAVA's demise. Even though the site's not all that fancy, it does have a link from Wikipedia.

In 2002, I wrote that I hadn't communicated with Don & Mike since 1996. In 2005, that changed. I had gotten fired from an oldies station and was looking for a new job. When my phone number was listed in one of the radio trade magazines, Don & Mike saw it and called me on the air. We talked about the reasons I chose not to follow them to WJFK and reminisced about the good old days.

A couple of months later, after I had started working part time at Star 102.1, I went to Northern Virginia for my niece's First Communion. Don had suggested I contact him the next time I was in town. I did and he invited me to stop by that Saturday morning. We had a good long chat about radio. He especially enjoyed the story about my involvement in an on-air feud between Kevin & Bean and Rick Dees.

That summer, Don's wife Freda died in a tragic auto accident on the same day that David Haines died. I bought an airline ticket and went to David's funeral and Freda's wake. While there, I talked with Don, Mike O'Meara and Loo Katz. Later that weekend, I met up with some other former WAVA-ers, Janet Elliott and Paula Kidwell at O'Meara's Restaurant.

I still think fondly of my time at WAVA.
One of my favorite stories from those days explains how Don Geronimo got an audio clip of David Letterman saying hi to Washington. The almost eight years I spent there may have left me unprepared for all the job changes that were to come but I wouldn't trade my WAVA experience for anything.

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Anonymous bean said...

i share your fond memories of WAVA, frank. i don't think we realized it at the time we were living in the last years of the golden age of radio.

it wasn't long after we left that station that the nightmare of broadcast consolidation began and individual stations lost more and more of their personality (and personalities for that matter).

i wouldn't trade my experience there for much either and wish i had ever further appreciated back then what a good time was had by all.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah the memories. WAVA... 7-11... Thanks for the little stroll down memory lane.


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