Jim Bartlett's Blog

What Do You Remember?

On a Friday morning not long ago I was filling in for Pat, and I asked the following question on the air: What’s the first big historical event you can remember while it was happening? For the next two hours, I played back phone calls and read Facebook posts and
Posted  on July 14, 2016
Jim Bartlett's Blog

The Bicentennial

Forty years ago this weekend, July 4, 1976, was the celebration of the American Bicentennial. The national blowout for America’s 200th birthday had been brewing for a couple of years. A government commission began planning for it in 1973. The U.S. Mint issued commemorative quarters, half-dollars, and dollar coins starting in
Posted  on June 29, 2016
Jim Bartlett's Blog

Nights in Freeport

In 1980, I spent the summer as a nighttime rock ‘n’ roll DJ in Freeport, Illinois. It was a pretty sweet gig for a 20-year-old college kid. I was on the air Sunday through Friday nights from six to midnight, so I had Saturday nights to party with my friends at home. I
Posted  on June 16, 2016
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Jim Bartlett's Blog

We Went to the Vet . . . Again

This is Maizie. If she looks a little upset, it’s because this photo was taken at the vet a couple of weeks ago, as she hunkered down and tried to make herself invisible before the vet came in to see us. I know her well enough to recognize that she’s
Posted  on June 2, 2016
Jim Bartlett's Blog

Shy People on the Radio

In my last blog post, I mentioned the phenomenon of shy people who go into radio anyway. It happens more often than you think. (There’s a difference between shyness and being afraid to go on the air. None of us is especially nervous about the latter, at least not after
Posted  on May 18, 2016
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Jim Bartlett's Blog

The Job I Didn’t Get

Forty years ago this month, I came close to achieving a real-life radio job. It started when a group at my high school had a fund-raising auction. One of the items up for bid was a 15-minute show on WEKZ in Monroe. I paid $6.25 for it, and within a
Posted  on May 3, 2016
Jim Bartlett's Blog

The Rhythm of the Day

The rhythm of our days is defined more by television than we realize, I think. For many Midwesterners, the 10:00 local news marks the end of the evening and time to go to bed, so you get in your eight hours before rising at 6 for another day. Do East
Posted  on April 19, 2016
Jim Bartlett's Blog

Concerts on the Calendar

(Pictured: Aretha Franklin onstage; credit: Joseph Sohm, Shutterstock.com) My wife and I have no children and few expensive vices, and we don’t live extravagantly. Nevertheless, we try to keep the fun budget in balance. We don’t go to every concert or every show we’d like to attend, because tickets cost
Posted  on April 5, 2016
Jim Bartlett's Blog

Keith Emerson and Me

(Pictured: musician Keith Emerson was a wizard of the analog synthesizer, which required a player not only to work the keys but to plug and unplug cords and twist knobs.) You may have heard that Keith Emerson, keyboard player in 70s rock band Emerson Lake and Palmer, died earlier this
Posted  on March 21, 2016
Jim Bartlett's Blog

Unwanted Visitors

Earlier this week, our two cats were acting strangely, fascinated with spots in the kitchen and dining room that don’t usually fascinate them, even during those times of the day and night when they’re usually asleep. After 24 hours of this, I finally saw the reason why, when a mouse
Posted  on March 10, 2016