Saturday Radio Diary

Saturday Radio Diary
9:40 am
Sat October 25, 2014

Feline Presence

I lasted about six weeks after my cat died.  Although I still miss her (and will always miss her), I needed another cat in my life.  In my house, on the windowsill, on my lap.  So, before I headed out to the Cherryland Humane Society, I asked a friend who’s a Vet Tech for some tips.  I thought she’d tell me stuff about bright eyes and a shiny coat. 

Instead, she said one word:  Personality.  Thus it was that I picked a calico stray.  There was something about her intelligent face that spoke to me.

When you step back from pet ownership, you notice it’s kind of a strange idea—the way we bring animals who are very different from ourselves into our houses.  The way we want them to be human and admire them for the ways they’re not.

My cat seems to have little interest in being a person and who can blame her?  She can leap onto the refrigerator in a single bound, fall asleep in an instant and wake up just as fast.  In my next life, in fact, I might prefer to be a cat.  Agile, affectionate, independent, inscrutable.  My next nine lives.


Saturday Radio Diary
9:54 am
Sat October 18, 2014

Tom Power

Tom Power started thinking about being a judge when he spent a summer as a volunteer court clerk.  “I came to appreciate the efforts made to help people resolve their disputes,” he says.  Today, Tom is a judge for the Michigan 13th Circuit Court—a job he’s held for 21 years.

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Saturday Radio Diary
9:14 am
Sat October 11, 2014

Comb-Over

While I was in a doctor’s waiting room the other day, a tall man walked in—a handsome man with gray hair and a carefully-tended comb-over.  My first thought was to feel sorry for him, not that he was bald but that he needed to hide his baldness.

But my next thought was that we all have comb overs—every single one of us.  We are all hiding some kind of defect—visible or invisible, real or imagined—that we work very hard every day to disguise.

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Saturday Radio Diary
9:56 am
Sat October 4, 2014

Gregg Smith

“It’s about telling stories,” Gregg Smith says, describing his work as a partner in a communications and marketing firm.  “We raise public awareness of an organization—which is challenging because there are so many forms of media.”   

Media is something Gregg knows well because he grew up in a newspaper family in Boyne City—and managed the business for years.  Even now, he is passionate about newspapers.  

“They are the community watchdog,” he says, “keeping a finger on the pulse of everything that should be of public interest.  Today people have so many sources of information, yet they are less informed.”

Informing and engaging people is still Gregg’s passion and now he and his wife, Dee, run the Lawton Gallagher Group.  “Our goal is to build visibility for the client,” he says, “through communications initiatives, multi-media, advertising, social media, websites—all of it.”

“We select clients who have a cause that resonates with us,” he says.  “Success is measured by statistics and also by feedback from the community.”

“We do things quietly,” he adds, “and try to over-deliver.  My dad said you need to be as accessible to the town vagrant as to the mayor.  If you call me, I’ll answer the phone.”


Saturday Radio Diary
7:58 am
Sat September 27, 2014

Long & Short of Pencils

There’s an old coffee mug on my desk full of pencils.  Long pencils with full erasers, waiting to be selected.  Short pencils with used-up erasers, waiting to be retired.  But the pencils that interest me most are the variants.  The long pencils with worn-out erasers.  The short pencils with un-used erasers.  They remind me of people I know.

People who, like long pencils with worn-out erasers, don’t say much and, even so, are constantly correcting themselves.  Second-guessing and apologizing.  I want to reassure them that their contribution is valuable, that no disclaimers are necessary.

Maybe they grew up with a critical parent or teacher who made them reluctant to speak their minds.  I had a father like that.  Maybe that’s why I’m fascinated by the short pencils with un-used erasers—people who never hesitate to speak up, no matter what the topic.  Who never seem to doubt the rightness of their opinions, even when a review might have been beneficial.  Sometimes I envy people with this much confidence—to go through life without erasing anything! 

I reach for a pencil and select a long one with a full eraser.  Starting over, again.


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