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West Central, Michigan

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thanksgiving 2014 ...some thoughts.

I don't get to write these blogs very often, much less than I'd like, but it seemed appropriate we all think of the things for which we are THANKFUL. If my three readers enjoy it, the writing is worth the effort.

Yesterday, though I'm far from WION, a call was forwarded  to my cellphone, and it was a call of "Thanks." From a small business in Ionia, who heard us mention them in what we call our "listening business list" of which regular listeners are well aware. What a nice call to have forwarded on the eve of Thanksgiving.

I don't often get away from the studio, and I, am thankful for small breaks now and then, which you, our listeners have allowed me to have a few times this autumn.  
This particular short getaway brings me to the home of some dear friends, "cashing in" a Christmas gift from last year, that gift being the invite to join them for their family/friends' Thanksgiving gathering.  Could there be a better gift? I don't think so.  Even though I'm still working while away, the invite is being very much enjoyed.

Other things for which to be thankful for me this year? For one, how about  WION growing!  It's now 10 years of Ionia County accepting us as your local radio station! Another thing to be thankful for:  This year, we're starting a new effort at Christmas which we call "Treasures for Troops" which is, by no means, new in it's concept, but it is new to us, and with the help of some new and already strong partnerships, we hope to be filling a sponsor's truck a few times over with items that our overseas members of the military would like to receive as "packages from home."   This new project is helping to put our staff and friends into the Christmas Spirit. You can tell in the voices of all our announcers. 

It's very easy for me to add to my "thanks" list. Looking ahead, once again this year WION will be producing "A Christmas Carol" from the original 1939 Campbell Playhouse script, as performed when Lionel Barrymore was Ebeneezer Scrooge, and Orson Welles produced the program. I'm billing this one as performed by the  "Friends of 1430 Players" this year, because each year seems to bring both "new" voices and some old friends (personal and WION-related) to the production.  Last year our show starred our support staff of Engineers, Lawyers, and others. 

This year, the gift of friendships takes center stage. Both the long term ones, like my friends who invited me to visit this Thanksgiving, and the new friends as well.

This Christmas Eve we'll have our new friends from (another) AM 1430 in Durand Wisconsin, Brian and Karla Winnekins of our "adopted" sister station, WRDN starring as Bob and Mr.s Cratchitt. in the radio play I just mentioned, "A Christmas Carol."  I've come to know these new friends as people devoted to small town radio, passionate about their town it's well-being, it's people,  and I'm proud to call them friends. We met twice this year in their town, and you can tell the town respects them. I can't wait to have them in our show.  Some friends of mine, (in fact my hosts in Maryland as i write this)  will play the "young" Scrooge and Belle this year, and our plan is to have longtime WION voice, and good friend to our station, Mr. Harry Boyes return to our microphones this year.  He worked as News Director for WION for many years in the 1960's, and remains supportive of our community efforts.  Harry also played the ghost of Jacob Marley two years ago and allowed us to use his performance again in 2013.  This year he is rehearsing to be our Mr. Scrooge, and we're glad to have him.   So, once again this year, I'm proud to include close friends in the Christmas story which has become my favorite story of all time. The show will debut on the air Christmas Eve morning during our special "Christmas" morning show with friends,  as it has in years past.  I have to say, it's genuine THANKS I give for friends' participation in this show.  A fun gift from WION to you, our listeners.

Then, there's the THANKS to the  "support people" of WION.  Clare Colwell of Mercantile Bank was out  at our studios recently and observed while hearing of our wonderful team of many talented engineers that WION is the "perfect example of good relationships." We try!  Our engineers that maintain our sound, our streaming, and our whole station are remarkable. I'm, again, THANKFUL that many of these relationships have lasted since I was a young announcer in Jackson, MI and are now part of the day to day operations of WION. 

The list goes on and on....of people to be THANKFUL FOR when considering WION's success and growth. The list goes on and on of organizations we've been able to help thanks to our listeners' and advertisers' support.   The list goes on and on of people who show up at our studios at just the "right" time with offers of food for us, coffee, help with events, and just to support us or say on a "bad" day, "you're doing fine!"  THOSE are remarkable people with equally remarkable timing. Then there are the friends with talents to lend in a crisis, who know much better than I how to mend fences (literally) and rebuild antenna tuning units, change generator batteries, and do all the things which come unexpectedly.  I'm THANKFUL for every one of them, every time the station is in need.

I'm THANKFUL for my circle of friends, new and longtime, and how each of them has become part of WION.  They all make radio FUN and they get me, and WION through the tough times, too.  It's even more fun when we all share in the GOOD times.

At the top of my list of things to be thankful for this year are all my "WION People" ...who are the people who make my life worthwhile. My adopted family.

I hope you enjoy Thanksgiving 2014, and that it is a gateway to a wonderful Christmas season for you and yours. 

Jim Carlyle