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sad ass radio jock

Peter K. O'Connell delivering WDCR Paddy O'Grams circa 1983

Based the tremendous response to yesterday’s post (crickets: chirp, chirp), many of you asked “OK, what DOES a sad ass radio jock look like in 1982?”

Again, I believe now we’ve satisfactorily answered that question too, haven’t we?

This picture may require a bit more explanation.

You see, as a fund raising tool, the University of Dayton’s campus radio station, WDCR, would create seasonal message deliveries with staff dressed up in costumes of the season. We did them for Christmas (Santa), Thanksgiving (Pilgrims) or in this case “St. Patrick’s Day”.

Yes that IS me dressed as a Leprechaun delivering a silly (possibly naughty) message to some campus house while using my famous Irish brogue (which would likely get me thrown out of any pub in Dublin).

On the plus side, many women thought it extremely good luck to smooch a Leprechaun.

So I had that going for me, which was nice.

bad ass radio jock

Peter K. O'Connell, on the air at WDCR in Dayton, OH circa 1982

Many of you have been asking yourselves lately “what DID a bad ass radio jock look like in 1982?”

I think now we’ve satisfactorily answered that question, haven’t we?

Glad I could help.

Tomorrow, I’ll show you what a sad ass radio jock looked like.

because life is about being able to laugh at yourself

WDCR in 1982 FRONT Row Tracy Hurd, Ron Alexander MIDDLE Row Clare Bracken, Gary Sandy, Jim Secunde BACK Row Peter K. O'Connell, Scott Rolle, Mike Savino, Unknown (sorry) and Mark Kraus

My longtime friend Ron Alexander is a fun person for many reasons not the least of which is he likes to collect things. He just doesn’t seem to throw anything out…it’s all very organized, mind you, but he seems to keep everything. Like that photo you see up there.

What you’re looking at (besides an embarrassingly silly mustache on the guy in the upper left corner slurping his Pepsi, again) is probably a group of some of the most creative college radio folks there ever were. I don’t mean that in an egotistical, “hey aren’t we great” way…I mean it in the best possible sense.

I will grant you that my opinion is likely jaded because I was a part of it but really, what the student staff at WDCR (now called Flyer Radio and incredibly higher tech then when I was there) pulled off as regular broadcasters was quite amazing.

BTW, the big deal for the picture was that Gary Sandy (who I want to say was from Dayton) was somehow cajoled to stop by WDCR while I think he was still starring on WKRP in Cincinnati. It was big doings at the time.

Anyway, at UD, it worked this way: if you really wanted to work in radio at the University of Dayton, you started at AM-64 WDCR (which was a carrier current station that only broadcast to the dorms and student union). Then you tried to work your way up to WVUD-FM, the University-owned 50,000 watt station that had a full time professional management team (GM, PD, sales, promotion etc.) and gave a few students regular air shifts.

Having the combination of those two opportunities for a radio ho like me was Nirvana. WVUD was the real deal but the creativity and ingenuity that WDCR offered to all of us was almost magical by comparison.

It helps to have had a real promotional talent like Ron Alexander who was the only person who ever got me to dress up like a leprechaun. I think I delivered leprechaun-o-grams or something to student houses and dorm rooms as a fund raisier….but that was the kind of crazy stuff that got the station attention.

Of that group, I still keep in touch with Ron (who was in my wedding), Clare, Tracy, Mark and just caught up with Scott on Facebook (Ron pointed out to me Scott’s got a new show on the History Channel so congrats on that).

Not in that picture are other great folks like John Luttrell, Bill Slamon, Jeff Wagner, Dan Suffoletto, Ginny Judge, Liz Benz, Lisa Curie, Joe Lombardi and more (who I am unforgivably forgetting) who made WDCR an amazing station during my years at UD.

That one picture absolute takes me back to a simpler time where I thought I knew how good I had it. But I now know you can’t know how really good you have it until you take a moment to look back down the road a spell.

That to me is a really special gift.