Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Triple Overtime, Passings/Buddy Holly and Jim Wishner

After officiating about 50 basketball games so far this season, from youth through High School, both boys and girls, I had not had an overtime game that I can recall...last night, I traveled to my wife's school at St. Henry, and managed to make up for the lack of OTs. In the first game of a Junior High Girls double header between Mercer County rivals Fort Recovery and the home standing Redskins, my officiating partner Bob Post and I managed to get a 3 overtime game in, and it was almost a quadruple...a shot by St Henry rimmed out as the final horn sounded, with a Fort win. The Redskins won the 8th grade game, and I survived the extended evening, even with the bronchitis still hanging on.

After a much needed night off tonight, I finish the week with a flurry, double headers on Thursday and Saturday, wrapped around a single JV game at Allen East on Friday Night....hopefully the rest will knock out the final stages of the bronchitis....hopefully!

Passings_____Buddy Holly 51 years ago

On a frigid February 3rd in 1959, rockers Buddy Holly, The Big Bopper(JP Richardson), and Richie Valens, took off from Mason City, Iowa, after playing at nearby Clear Lake...the plane crashed shortly after, and all 3 up and coming artists were the luck of the draw, country singer Waylan Jennings, had given up his seat to Richardson, and he survived...Jennings went on to a long career in Country Music. Writer/singer Don McClean in 1972 wrote a song about Buddy Holly and "The Day the Music Died" which became a monster hit on it's own:

Buddy Holly, while only 22 when he died, left behind a string of hits and an eternal legend, and is probably best remembered for his Peggy Sue:

February 3, 1959, The Day the Music Died.

Jim Wishner_____

Doubtless few, if any of you, have heard of Jim Wishner. But he was instrumental in my early career in Radio New some 30 years ago. I first heard of Jim when he called me one spring day in 1979, when I was an afternoon DJ at Radio Station WJMT in the small Northwoods berg of Merrill, Wisconsin. I had graduated from Broadcasting School the previous year, and had worked at both WJMT and WRIG in Wausau, Wisconsin.....I had always thought that my voice and personality were suited for News, rather than entertainment, so I sent out a tape on occasion to various stations that were looking for a News Reporter or of those stations was WIOU in Kokomo, Indiana. The station News Director was Wishner, and it's Program Director was a veteran Jock named T. J. Byers. A few weeks after sending out a tape of me reading the news and some writing samples, Jim Wishner called me and asked if I would be willing to come to Central Indiana and work as the Morning Anchor on WIOU and the sister FM Station WZWZ. WIOU was a Top 40 station with a solid commitment to local news, WZWZ was a Rocker that used news as a conversation piece for it's Jocks. The pay was about double what I was receiving in Wisconsin, so I jumped at the chance.

Booth Broadcasting would pay for my move, and put me up in a motel, until Patricia, Anissa, and I could find was a step up in the "Business", to say the least.

After settling in Kokomo, and getting to know Wisher, it soon became apparent that he was a good guy, a misguided Liberal to be sure, but a good guy....Jim was a Vegetarian, and a chain smoker, strange combination it seemed to me, but what the Hell did I care? Our relationship was pretty good, Jim helped me along{always sticking me on the Democratic political candidates, because he knew I was a right winger, and would give them the business, if needed, no soft ball questions}, and it was sad indeed for me, when he got a call from a major station in Omaha, WOW Radio, to come out and join that staff...a move up on his part, but left me with a bitter old coot, named McKeller, and a conniving female, who went by Melony, and who would step on anybody to move up, as "partners" in the WIOU newsroom...I wasn't going to stick around long, and didn' was off to Kansas shortly thereafter.

Having become pretty good friends, I helped him pack up and load the UHaul Trailer he rented for the trip west....that was December 1979, that was the last time I saw Wisher, although I talked with Jim on several occasions after I moved on to KGNO in Dodge City as News Director. Always upbeat and professional is how I remember Jim Wishner.

Fast forward some 30 years, I come across a web page about a show on KTNF Radio in Minnesota:

There he was, the little man with the big voice and big heart, Jim Wishner, my old boss. I typed in the contact information, and sent out a e-mail....(this was in December of last year). I never got a response, and really didn't think much of it. Times and people change, who knows maybe Jim had moved on?...after all, that is the way of Radio.

Having pretty much forgot about the e-mail and what had become of Jim, I was doing some research, and I see in front of me..."Minnesota Farm Bureau Awards Jim Wishner". Humm I thought, Jim doing Farm Reporting? Only in a far left socialist state like Minnesota would they award a Public Broadcasting lib their Reporter of the Year award.....then I open the link and see the words....Posthumously:

My old friend and boss Jim Wishner appears to have succumbed to those damn cigarettes...

Jim Wishner the man who got me started in Broadcast News, dead at 61....sometimes, especially in the world of the Internet, it takes death to find those folks you are looking up....Rest in Peace friend.

Will do some research work today, tinker with the look and side content of the blog, and continue to rest up...I think Patricia is taking the afternoon off as well, needless to say she has not had the opportunity to rest from her flu and bronchitis battle...

back later

Photos-The Late Buddy Holly and the late Jim Wishner


The Hermit said...

They were talking about that on the radio. I remember those guys.

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Law and Order Teacher said...

Sorry about your friend.