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Well, I WAS done with Twitter.
But thanks to one Mr. Ricky LaBlue, I have temporarily reactivated the account. Allow me to explain why.
I think Ricky is a very good young writer, and he and I have had several conversations over the last two years about the art of writing. I have become a fan of his not only because he writes well, but also because you can tell him that one of his stories could have been worded a little differently and he doesn’t get offended. He views writing as a craft, much as I do, so it’s not surprising that despite our 118-year age difference, we get along well.
A few weeks ago he invited me to be on the Hokie Hangover podcast that he, Andrew Alix and Mike McDaniel do as part of the Sports Illustrated Allhokies.Com website. Twice the date he wanted to do the podcasts occurred at the same time it was 70 and sunny outside, so I was on the golf course. A third time, he actually had a big-time athlete agree to come on (Virginia Tech men’s basketball signee Joe Bamisile).
But Wednesday of this week, there was the perfect storm. It was raining outside, so my regular golf outing got postponed. And as it turned out, Ricky was down to the “has a pulse and can speak for at least 45 minutes” portion of his potential podcast guest list. So Wednesday night, I called in and we had a great conversation.
I will admit, I wasn’t sure how it was going to go. If you added up the ages of the other three, they were pretty close to equaling mine alone. If Earnest Hemingway was still alive and writing, he’d have called it “The Old Man and the Three.” And sure enough, half my answers took everyone back to the 70s, 80s and 90s to provide some perspective for other eventual comments.
But it was fun and I will admit, I learned several things. I was impressed with Andrew, Ricky and Mike because they represent what you need to be these days to be successful in sports media. It used to be in the 70s that you were either a writer, or you had a great voice and were in broadcasting. Overlap was rare. But these three not only can write, but have the voices and disposition to think on their feet and make a podcast quite entertaining.
The advances in technology also really intrigued me. A number of years ago I used to call in to the morning show on WAGE in Leesburg when it was still operating, and the station put a device in my home that connected to a computer with a soundboard, which then connected to an amp, a mixer and eventually a microphone. None of those devices were cheap, but they provided decent sound and allowed you to participate without driving to the studio.
Wednesday I called in on a cordless phone and the sound I heard on the podcast was better than all the equipment we used at WAGE. It was a cloud-based program that allowed everyone to join in from all over the state (I was in Ashburn, Ricky was in Virginia Beach and the other two were in the New River Valley) and it was FREE. I’m amazed at anything FREE, but this was particularly impressive.
No wonder, I thought, everyone in the world except me has a podcast.
After one hour, three minutes and 17 seconds (most of their podcasts are around 40 minutes) they finally told the long-winded old man to be quiet and we called it a day. It was posted today, and since they were gracious enough to invite me, I felt a need to at least help promote it a little. Thus I reactivated my account earlier today so I could retweet it out to a few more people who might listen to it.
I don’t know if I’ll stay. But as I mentioned on the podcast, in the last two weeks I’ve almost had too much free time and have read 8 books and walked Maggie 27 times. Maybe I can find a balance somewhere between all or nothing.
But in the meantime, if you’d like to listen to the podcast, you can click here. You can listen to it on a number of platforms, including Spotify and Apple, or just listen to it through a browser by clicking here.
I hope you enjoy it.
And If not, well, blame it on Ricky LaBlue 😊