10th Anniversary, April, 1980
New-wave punk rock blasting, groups slam dancing on tables & banisters and breaking everything, as tux-clad Mike (the dinner MC) slays all with his repertoire at “The Bench” in Murphysboro, across street from courthouse. WIDB trades out for beer (20 kegs) & t-shirts. Parties at the “Bungalow” (home of Linton-Levi-Slaga) and Brian Gerval’s “High Frequency House,”
where the floorboards broke from the “pogo.” The music was on reel-to-reel tape. The station was in Wright, billing almost $60,000 in FY 78. The Bench burned to the ground 10 days later, was never rebuilt, remains an empty lot to this day. No one was over 31.
15th Anniversary, April, 1985
Enormous natatorium aglow with dancers and swimmers as Motown baselines echo, after spontaneous “God Bless America” group sing at Elks Club “The WIDBeat goes on!” proclaims Founder Jerry Chabrian, as the mic-hungry flock to Wright, naked mannequin in window, to air music & stuff. T-shirt designed by Brian Colin. Picnic at Evergreen Park. Music on reel-to-reel & cassettes. Mud-wrestling videos in Ramada lot at 4 am. No party at Boskeydell Country Club, even though Vic was PD. But Devil’s Backbone, Grand Tower, watching barges go by? WIDB now has a video department and is producing programs weekly.
20th Anniversary, April, 1990
Video fever infects reunion, as 300 VHS WIDB videos flood the nation, leading to huge reunion turnout, and The Reunion Channel, Mr. Levi’s brainchil, debuts to a sensational response. Events centered at Ramada, especially sauna, hottub, and certain rooms, except Friday Nite bowling. WIDB is now in the Student Center and amid major staff controversy, but coming off billing almost $30,000 in FY89.
Kevin (Tyrant) Lange, incoming GM, sports his Court Jester headgear at dinner and presents an award to Joel Preston. Later, Dr. Dybvig makes an appearance to receive an award. There’s some trouble with new C’dale restrictive alcohol policies, but the pool party lasts until 6am anyway.
Twenty years of WIDB music on cassettes. Trip to Ma Hale’s on Sunday.
No one was over 41.
25th Anniversary, June, 1995
The splendor of Giant City (and alcohol policies) compelled a June date. SIU’s administration-initiated “competing” WIDB alumni organization is manufactured, due to the “threat” we posed to them. Effort goes nowhere & is quickly abandoned. Reunion date competed with “Street Machine Nationals” so motel rooms gone. Some reunioners stay in Thompson Point dorm rooms & have a blast. Shuttle service from Giant City to TP funded, not one person rides. Pool party at Giant City segues into an all-nighter under the stars, which segues into sunrise at the tower. Ma Hales gone but not forgotten. Live acoustic music at Giant City picnic by the Knaves. Chris Wissmann produces “Alumnuts.” The start of things at Giant City.
30th Anniversary, June, 2000
Complete Giant City occupation driven by full reunion committee. Tom designed the logo. Vic designed the refrigerator magnets “WIDB XXX the party that took 30 years to make.” Despite summer, full compliment of WIDB staffers appear, led by GM Slimb Landgraf, who has crowd rolling in aisles with his standup at dinner.
Slimb receives a “Together Radio” framed poster to hang in the station where a spirited WIDB open house attracts so many Vic has to pry them away from the Mic.
Bowling alley bar fully depleted from Fryday nite demand. Reunioners, fully depleted after the pool party and all-night bonfires, recover with Sunday breakfast before tripping to the Cape for cajun seafood and then Misunderstudio in M’boro. No one is over 51, but Gary reserves a cart for 2005.
35th Anniversary June 2005
Giant City again taken over by reunion steamroller. Pineapple surprises supplied at check in station #2. Pinch Penny flooded with reunioners Fryday as Kerry Peace Musicmix pinch hits for live band 2 hours late. Saturday WIDB open House played during softball at picnic where 98 degree heat made ice cold beer in keg (and H2O) taste better than good.
Streamlined dinner presentation featured Gary & Tom’s 6 minute WIDB video, and Freshman incoming WIDB GM John Dillon received framed and famed Brian Colin 1979 WIDB poster to hang in station. Call in show outdoors for first (and last) time. Billed as “The Last Reunion.” But, of course, it wasn’t!
40TH ANNIVERSARY JUNE 2010