What Happened At The Last Reunion

Fryday

After attending the Sunset concert the night before, committee members scurried about, readying all of the Giant City Cabins for the approaching hordes. 3pm was the deadline to be ready to start registration. At 3pm, the frenzied activity peaked. An anonymous committee member uttered over the radio “It’s 3 o’clock, and all’s hell.”

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Somehow, registration began at 3pm at Cabin 13.

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Enter with a full head of steam from travel. Stage one (this was registration) confirm ID & payment. Stage 2 receive credentials, t-shirt, cabin key. Stage 3, receive pineapple surprise and propaganda. Exit with drink in hand, sporting credentials and a smile. Gatherings in front of cabin 13 to observe this process.

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8pm we arrive at Pinch Penny, which now has a large outdoor beer garden. We are allowed to program music until the live band starts at 10 pm. Committee member John Dillon prepared 247 songs from the 40 years of WIDB, mixed perfectly, and everyone is satisfied. Everyone meets & greets, and some retire early to be ready for Saturday.

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Saturday

Starts at 5am when Committee member Randy Lynch rises to deposit himself to reserve the picnic site. At 7am reunioners trickle into Mary Lou’s. By 8am there are several reunioners on the first tee at Midland Hills. At 8:30 am many others are at the Student Center, waiting to go on the air at WIDB. Some are able to make it to Mary Lou’s, golf and WIDB before 11. By then, things are winding sown at Midland Hills and WIDB.

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Now to Giant City, where the picnic starts, just 500 yards from the cabins. It is a hot summer day, but the beer and soft drinks are ice cold. There are burgers, hot dogs, barbeque, many salads. There are horseshoes, volleyball, and a spirited softball game despite the heat. Not because we are older, at 2:30 or so, we seem tired and want to rest. Must be the heat.

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“Nap time” is scheduled for 3-5 pm. It seems welcome. A few oversleep cocktail hour at GC. The bar is completely packed, and runs out of everything. Dinner starts. Fried chicken, roast beef, pasta, and fish are all featured, along with the usual veggies and cobbler. This is the only time all weekend everyone is together and wearing clothes.

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Speeches, awards, videos and lauch everyone to the pool party.

Pool party begins as the sun sets and the full moon rises. Beer kegs and wine, along with cookies, fruit and sandwiches. Hard to believe that after the massive food consumption at picnic and dinner, more food is needed, but everything at the pool flows & goes. In the “wee hours,” party focus moves away from pool to cabin area “sub-parties” and reunioners wander from one to the other until sunrise.

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SUNDAY

9am, breakfast starts. Gary is the only one there. But soon everyone trickles in for the breakfast buffet at GC. This is welcome for recovery and replenishment purposes. Eggs, ham, sausage, oatmeal, toast, coffee, fruit. Check out by noon. Group photos in the parking lot—everyone is smiling.

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For some, off to Lambert Airport or Chicago, or elsewhere home… For the rest, on to the Cape, where Broussard’s features the finest Cajun seafood this side of New Orleans, according to Chris Wissmann (and he should know). Musunderstudio (recording resort of WIDB’er Mike Lescelius), is on the way back from the Cape and a perfect place to relax, listen to live music and come down from the weekend.

That’s what happened last time—and that was our SEVENTH REUNION.
The next one will be the EIGHTH.
There is a proven track record here.

Why I Go to the Reunion

By Maria E. Bernardi

Oh, The WIDB years……a time when we were conquering the world, evolving from
kids to adults.  For some of us, it was 30 years ago. Or more!  Much has happened since then. But in my wise “old age” I have come to appreciate the IDB experience as more than just a bunch of obsessed kids having fun.  (Which we were and we did!)

I now appreciate that WIDB, more than most any other experience in my early adulthood, formed the person I am today. Sure, we had our parents to show us the proper path. (We never listened to them anyway)  And we had ethics classes, civics,  and professors who illuminated the future with the do’s and don’ts of life.  But, I have come to understand the REAL learning at SIU came from my fellow WIDB comrades as we navigated our uncharted  paths together.  We were a rag-tag group of enthusiastic morons who came together for a common cause.  And, like it or not, we learned FROM EACH  OTHER.  About radio.  About business.  About life.

During our treasured WIDB years, we were all passing from kids to (mostly) adults. Much of what we learned via our experiences at WIDB formed the people we are today. I do the reunions to pay respect to a time and people that molded my business persona for the rest of my life. At WIDB, I learned four important lessons:

WallJust because people are different from you doesn’t mean you can’t learn from them.

There was a guy called the Rock and Roll Troll.   Looked like Cousin It..  Never saw anything like it.  About 4 feet tall and long black hair down to everywhere.   Weird!!
Yet I learned much from him. (we all did!) He taught me lessons on loyalty, on laughter, and on how to just keep keeping on.

Then there was Slaga.  Didn’t have a first name.    He was always in the corner, quietly staring out from the hallucinations in his head.  (“Don’t talk to Slaga, he’s creating!”)  Strange creature, our PD.   But put him onstage, and he would whip the room into a frenzy.  The best Jagger Swagger I’ve seen to this day. And I learned from Slaga its ok to break the rules sometimes.

And lets not forget Amy Elvart, the Dancer.  She was always in her Danskin tights when she came to WIDB. Show-off!  But I found her to be an extraordinary worker with great ideas and follow through.   Amy developed into one of the finest radio sales and promotion people in Chicago!

And what can we say about John J. Martin.  Mr. “If you want to be somebody, look like you already are somebody”.  This man wore a 3 piece suit everywhere. EVERYWHERE.
In C’dale!! Did I mention is was the SAME suit? He wanted to be a radio executive
when he grew up and…you know the end of the story.  Ask to see his summary vita.

Pool #128
Be passionate about your work, but stop to smell the roses, too.…

and the mushrooms, etc. We ALWAYS got the job DONE at WIDB,
but we sure figured out how to have fun while doing it…….

 

You must embrace the changes in Technology

1980-2

 

 

There was Al Linton lugging around those 4 ton boxes of computer cards… nobody understood the system….why can’t we just do the damn logs by hand ???…

 

 

 

No matter what, don’t ever go to a sales meeting high.

The one time my friend Sales Manager Patty Reilly wanted to be
uber-serious I got narc’ed on and yelled at publicly.

Reunion '95 #8

And so I return to WIDB and Giant City every 5 years to pay respect
(such as it is) to a time that molded me and old friend who helped shape me. 

The good and bad me. The productive and sneaky me. The optimistic and the realistic me. And if YOU think about it, I bet you received a life lesson or two from your WIDB cohorts.

Todd #107

Hope to see you next year…
And maybe we can also learn something from each other in the Summer of 2015.