The evite popped into my inbox, and what followed were countless memories.
Industry friends from my Mid-Columbia radio and television days — many I hadn’t seen in years — were being asked to gather for the inaugural Veteran’s Broadcast Luncheon. It was an event I had to tune into — even if the record of guests who’d be coming sounded a bit retro. That was the spin on this get-together.
The announcement explained it was for colleagues who were — or are — in local electronic media. But it was one line that really had me thinking about "happy talk" when I saw what was coming up: “ you’re invited to join us for a buffet lunch and all the tall tales you can handle.”
We’d get to eat AND tell stories? Why, I had an archive that could entertain for hours. But as any good program producer knows, I’d have to narrow them down.
Mentally, I went over my inventory as I approached the restaurant.
Let’s see . . . there was the time in radio when I confused a heavy equipment company with a french fry producer; or the interview guest that reminded me as she exited the station that her name was Nancy, not Linda.
Oh, then there was the video production where I’d sat in a cold, windy duck blind for hours and understood why men drink beer. And what about the video research incident when I’d been locked in a police restraining device only to discover no one had the key?
The host of “tall tales” — and these were only a few — was as diverse as the choices on television nowadays.
I held my breath as the master of ceremonies opened the meeting. Butterflies tickled my tummy in anticipation of what was ahead, my anecdotes carefully scripted in my mind.
“We’ll start with introductions,” he commented while pointing at my table, “and a little of what you’ve been doing.”
I stood, gave a 30-second overview of my work history and then sat down. Evidently stories would come later.
But with no stopwatch in sight, or a floor director to signal “Wrap it up!” I soon realized, as table after table spoke without hesitation, I’d missed my “guest appearance.”
Nevertheless, good stories such as good memories should be recorded for others to enjoy. Some may make you laugh and some make me want to cry with embarrassment, but I’d like you to hear them all the same. So, stay tuned.