After 30 Years, It’s Time to Say Goodbye; Thank You, Acadiana
As many of you are already aware, today is my last day with 99.9 KTDY, and I am both saddened and excited about the change.
I started my radio career right out of the Army back in 1992, on a very foggy Tuesday evening. It was so foggy that night that I was over 20 minutes late for my first shift, but my boss was understanding, and I was allowed into the building.
That was in Abbeville, at KROF. My show was from midnight to 6am, but not for long. After less than a year on the air, I was promoted to the evening show and then, a few years later, the morning show.
That's when our former coworker Debbie Ray noticed me and, when KTDY was looking for a new afternoon host, she recommended that management take a listen to my show.
A few weeks later, I began my new job as the afternoon host here at KTDY. That was in the fall of 1998 and, let me tell you, it has been one heck of a ride since.
I still have great memories from the banquets we've hosted. And the Polyester Power Hour parties. And the bus rides to concerts. And the Freeze Parties. And the Icegator games, and the Ragin' Cajun games, and Mardi Gras and Christmas parades.
Being a member of the Townsquare Media family has afforded me many great opportunities and experiences that I just would not have had in most other jobs.
How many people (who aren't pilots) can say that they flew in an F-16? I still beam when I recall that experience.
Witnessing a space shuttle launch in person? Yup, I got to do that, too.
I've met so many great people through this job, including business owners here in Acadiana and, hopefully, helped their businesses thrive.
I've met great people who work in this building and have built lasting friendships, even with those who have moved on.
And the greatest thing to come out of a radio job ever: I met Shannon.
Shannon is the reason that today is my last day.
We have been living apart for the past 10 years, and we had enough. Or we didn't have enough - whichever way you want to look at it, it was time for us to be together.
My new adventures have taken me to Pittsburgh, where Shannon has been living for the past 8 years or so.
KTDY was unique as a radio station when it came to our staff - we believe that we had the longest continuous lineup of any radio station in the area. CJ, Debbie Ray, Steve Wiley, and I were consistently on your radio for over 20 years. That should be a testament to how much of a family we are, and to the leadership in the building.
Mike Grimsley, Chuck Wood, Frank Malambri, Pam Begnaud, Bruce Mikels, Bernadette Lee, Dana Baker, Dawn Richard Stout, Kyle Vidrine, Matt Gholston, Jay Walker, Scott Perrin, Scott Prather, Brandon Journet, Dave Steel, Nina Thibodeaux, Kelly Sonnier, Joan Broussard, Kevin LeBlanc, Jenn Nelson, Josh Boulanger, Alexa Thibodeaux, Janet Theriot, Kevin Wiltz, the late, great Ray Sutley, Paul Sonnier, Jessica Ponthie, Tammy Thompson, Tammy Hebert, Camey Doucet, Chris Meaux, Danielle Darby, Sandra Mitchell, Britney Friedman, Scott Daniels (does anyone even like him??), Paul Farnham, the late Shirley Johnson, Doc Stepanick, Darrel Gobert, Leslie Burnam, Rob Kirkpatrick, Jen Mestayer, Laurie Foreman, Liz Griffin, Brandon Comeaux, Jude Walker, James P. Bitterman, Screamin' Freddie Martin, Stephanie Crist - there's no way I can list them all, but they have all made a huge impact on my life.
I am hoping that I was able to give all of these people (and the ones I failed to mention) as much in return as they have given me.
And, of course, it's not just my coworkers who I need to thank.
I will be forever grateful to you as a listener. Without you, I would have had no reason to be on the radio. Without you, I wouldn't have been able to help raise millions of dollars for non-profit organizations. Without you, I would have had no reason to go on the air during hurricanes and other weather and traffic events to help you navigate the streets or find the help you need.
I am proud of my work on the radio in Acadiana, and am thankful that you were a part of it. I am thankful for all who helped support the Annual 'jeep jaunt' to raise money for the American Lung Association. I am thankful for the smiling faces at the parades. I am thankful for the fans at the Icegator games. I am thankful for the listeners who have become true friends.
I am thankful for you because, as I've said before, you are the reason I did what I did.
Well, this is it.
Do me a favor: do something good for our troops, like donate to one of the servicemen's organizations. And tell someone you love them, today, before it's too late - it will make the world a much better place to live.
I love you, Acadiana.