Jim Bartlett's Blog

Jim’s Blog: My Favorite Band

Through the middle of the 1970s, Steely Dan was merely a band I heard on the radio, although I liked whatever I heard. Under the right conditions, “Do It Again” can still transport me back to the winter I turned 13 and how I tried to figure out just what
Posted  on September 10, 2017
Jim Bartlett's Blog

Jim’s Blog: What I Saw at the Total Eclipse

“I feel weird,” Madea said. “Me too,” I said. It was three minutes until the total eclipse in Princeton, Kentucky. The sky was turning dark, and a 360-degree orange sunset was descending. The sun through our eclipse glasses was reduced to a tiny, shrinking sliver. But what was most notable
Posted  on August 21, 2017
Jim Bartlett's Blog

Jim’s Blog: New Favorite Hangout

A couple of Saturdays ago, Ann and I visited a spot that zoomed up our list of favorite Madison hangouts after a single visit. The Biergarten at Olbrich Park opened at the end of June. Milwaukee has had public beer gardens in parks for the last several summers, but Olbrich
Posted  on July 29, 2017
Jim Bartlett's Blog

Jim’s Blog: Farewell to Brennan’s

The announcement this morning that Brennan’s Markets are closing at the end of September is a shock to everybody—especially to those of us from Monroe. Brennan’s was established in Monroe in 1942, so almost none of us can remember when they weren’t part of our town. If my memory is
Posted  on July 12, 2017
Jim Bartlett's Blog

Jim’s Blog: Kid Vacations

Every summer, from the time I was six or seven until I was 16, I got to spend a few days with my cousin Rob in Brodhead (and later in Madison), and he would spend a few days on the farm with us. These vacations became the kind of thing
Posted  on June 16, 2017
Jim Bartlett's Blog

Jim’s Blog: The Panama Playlist

You may have heard on the news this week that Manuel Noriega, former president of Panama, died. In December 1989, the U.S. military launched Operation Just Cause, an invasion of Panama intended to safeguard Americans living in Panama, curtail drug trafficking there, and ultimately throw Noreiga out of office. After
Posted  on June 1, 2017
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Jim Bartlett's Blog

Jim’s Blog: Nine Years and Counting

Sometime, either this month or next, is my ninth anniversary working for Magic 98. Compared to Pat, Kathryn, Sara, and Lanette, I haven’t been here all that long, but it feels like a long time to me. When I started working in 2008, I was already on another Mid-West Family
Posted  on May 20, 2017
Jim Bartlett's Blog

Jim’s Blog: One Fine Day in 1971

It’s the spring of 1971. I am 11 years old, and a student in Mrs. Barribeau’s fifth-grade class. Although I outwardly hold fast to the cultural conventions of the time regarding the general ickiness of girls, I do not really believe it. I have already pledged something like undying affection
Posted  on May 6, 2017
Jim Bartlett's Blog

Jim’s Blog: Tornado Awareness Week

When I was five, the Palm Sunday Tornado went through my hometown of Monroe. It made a big impression on me—and one of the biggest was the way my parents would forever after turn on the radio whenever the skies got dark. When I started working in radio as a
Posted  on April 16, 2017
Jim Bartlett's Blog

Jim’s Blog: An Exclusive Look Inside My Creative Process

On one of the very first American Top 40 shows, dating back to 1970, Casey Kasem is baffled by the title of Chicago‘s song “25 or 6 to 4.” “We’ll figure it out as the weeks go by,” he says. Lots of people are still baffled by that title, but
Posted  on April 6, 2017