Jim Bartlett’s Blog

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It was the summer that Mount St. Helens blew its top, CNN went on the air, Richard Pryor set fire to himself, draft registration was reinstated, Ronald Reagan flirted with naming Gerald Ford as his running mate, the United States skipped the Moscow Olympics, and the shipyard workers struck in Poland. We counted the days […]

I have written before that my wife and I are beer tourists. We’ll take off on a weekend day and visit breweries, new ones and familiar ones, in Madison and elsewhere. Recently we’ve visited two that made a big impression on us. The first one is in Madison: Working Draft Beer Company, which opened in […]

You may not have heard about the recent death of Don Bustany. You may not recognize his name at all—even though he’s mentioned on Magic 98 every weekend. Don Bustany was the co-creator of American Top 40 with Casey Kasem. Back in 1970, he and Casey dreamed up the idea of a weekly countdown show […]

Thirty-five years ago this month, Ann and I honeymooned in Chicago, back when we were young and broke. For our anniversary, no longer young and no longer broke, we decided we’d go back for a weekend. We started on Saturday afternoon with lunch at Giordano’s with a big ol’ Chicago-style pizza. From there, we walked […]

I have written a few times over the years about another job I have, which is to teach classes for high school kids getting ready to take their ACTs and SATs. I spent most of March doing that, mostly in Illinois and Minnesota, including 14 straight nights away from home at the end of the […]

Forty years ago this week, Journey, then an up-and-coming rock band, was set to play the Orpheum Theater. Also on the bill was the band Montrose, and a new band from Los Angeles called Van Halen. One month after releasing their first album, Van Halen was already generating a buzz, and a dedicated knot of […]

Last weekend, the American Top 40 show on Sunday at the 80s was from February 1984. It gave me flashbacks to a time when I was a far younger man, a time that was pretty awful for a while but eventually turned out OK. In the fall of 1983, married six months, I had dragged […]

So the other day I walked into the Magic bullpen, the office we share, looking for some tape to seal up an envelope. I said to Ginger and Jillene, “Do either of you have any sticky tape?” They both looked at me like I had two heads, so I decided I’d better explain. “Sticky tape, […]

Ann and I don’t usually take long vacations. We started 2018, however, with a nine-day trip, the longest one we’ve been on together in something like eight years. Our first stop was to visit Ann‘s sister and her family, who live in the Virginia suburbs of Washington, DC. We decided to drive it this time, […]

When I was a kid, I was quite a nerd. (Cue people who know me personally: “What do you mean, ‘was’?”) I used to watch baseball games on TV and keep statistics in my own little scorebook. And for a lot of years before I was old enough to do anything else on New Year’s […]

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