In May 2020, during the initial COVID-19 pandemic, America went on lockdown to avoid spreading (and catching) the coronavirus. And during that time, I received a message from my college. Although Hamilton College was on a full-blast “remote learning” mode, there might be a way to use that remote learning technology to continue operating.
That was the college’s on-campus radio station, WHCL-FM. And a call went out to ask if any alumni were interested in broadcasting remotely over the summer of 2020.
I said yes in a heartbeat. I figured, what the hell, let’s go back in time for the summer and bring back my old “Nightowl Radio Show” for a few weeks until the pandemic ends and the students return.
In September 2020, the alumni broadcasters were asked if they would be interested in continuing on with the station, having shows alongside undergraduates. Some of us stayed on. I was one of them.
A few days ago, I received news that the station will allow me to keep the Nightowl Radio Show on WHCL for another semester. And barring any unscheduled days off or broadcast interruptions …
When I broadcast my show on April 29, 2022, it will be my 100th alumni episode.
Wow. Just wow.
Allow me to gush for a moment. During my time at Hamilton (1981-1985), WHCL was one of my “happy spots,” a place where I could feel like I actually belonged on college. Trust me. I still have memories of being a complete outsider on campus. I wasn’t a rich kid. I wasn’t a good-looking kid. I didn’t have the private school educations. And I didn’t have the home family support.
But at WHCL, I felt like I was actually part of something fun and enjoyable. And I was totally good with that. Totally.
And in this second run of the Nightowl Radio Show, I’ve had a blast. Between regular broadcasts and themed episodes (like last week’s “Banned on the Radio” episode, and tonight’s “Sum is greater than its parts” broadcast), it’s just been tons of fun. And I’m good with that.
Trust me. COVID-19 has not only ruined our physical well-being, it’s done tremendous damage to our emotional well-being. To be able to return to my “happy place” once again is nothing short of exhilarating.
Yesterday, I filled out my payment and reservation for my 35th college reunion. Well, technically it’s my 37th college reunion, but COVID-19 postponed that for a couple of years. And crazy as it sounds … I could technically be on campus in June, while my show is broadcasting on WHCL one more time.
Back in my happy place. Yes indeed.