Watch This Space

I had a cup of coffee this afternoon with a friend of mine – a very nice man who just got back from Los Angeles and a visit with Jayne Meadows. He knows a lot of grateful, gracious, formerly famous people who are invariably thrilled to have someone a) remember them, b) pay attention and c) ask questions.

Why yes, I’d be delighted to tell you more about me. Pull up a chair.

Later today I’ll head down to St. Olaf with another good friend to talk to some of the students who work at the campus station, KSTO, about creating radio. Another walk around the block for a couple of old dogs. I’m looking forward to it, though I’m not sure my style of radio has much appeal to the online generation. So much of everything (music, humor, companionship) is available through the Internet, it’s hard to talk about a sound-only medium without seeming, well, quaint. In fact, our little presentation and Q & A will be streamed live on video here.

Go figure.

I plan to encourage the group to make full use of the possibilities of the medium by embracing its limitations. Take the absence of a visual as a challenge to activate the imaginations of listeners. How? I can only go over some of the things that worked for me, but who cares about that? The next generation will have to take a fresh approach if radio is to survive this latest assassination attempt by a brassier, flashier, but inferior technology.

Jayne Meadows was a star but not a legend. More “B” list than “A”. What does that mean? She once won the Susan B. Anthony Award for portraying women in positive roles. You can’t get to be a big star doing principled stuff like that. But it does leave you with a set of memories you can always enjoy talking about.

A local college invites you to be a visiting expert.

What are you going to talk about?

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89 thoughts on “Watch This Space”

  1. there is no real tom keith. he is a radio voice creation of famed special effects master, jim ed poole. as such he is like the characters created by bob and ray or steve buchanan. to promote the joke, jim ed poole sometimes appears on prairie home companion under the name of tom keith.

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      1. Actually this blog is not real, an extension of the dream I had last night about ten times about running out of Gabapentin. Maybe we’re having crossed dreams like in Northern Exposure. If you have a shoe fetish, we’ll soon know.

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  2. i’m hoping that stream will be archived (one thing i do love about current technology) but i fear if i listen i would dissolve in tears. but have fun, Dale and T-uh-J-uh “good friend!” we miss your quirky music and banter terribly.

    to answer Dale’s question – i was asked to talk about goats at UMD in a class on women and food – twice over the past few years. was lots of fun. i’m no expert, but i had lots of cute pictures of goats, so that went over well. :-) and they liked the cheese.
    so, Dale – cute pictures and food work well with college kids.

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    1. u i was in whole foods the orther day, a great store and the big deal was goat soap. they had a huge display and 47 different kinds of goat soap.

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      1. i hope it was goats’ MILK soap, tim – although one could render the fat and make soap with that and the milk, i suppose. ish. :-)
        i’m kidding. we have goats’ milk soap here at MeadowWild Farm also and another Goat Lady/friend started her goats’ milk soap business this summer. i’m a hobbyist – she wants to do this for a living. good soap from that good milk.

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      2. and was that goat soap made in the shape of a goat? and i would like to know what part of the goat it was made from.

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  3. i hope this leads to a live streaming tradition here on the trail. i wish i could be there tonight but i have a commitment i can not ditch. if it is archived i will catch it. i’ll bet dale and jim ed will be great back together again but will you both function after the sun goes down instead of before it comes up. the brain works differently at that time of day.
    is there an award for portraying baboons in a positive light? i think we ought to get dale on the lst of candidates for that.

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  4. Good morning to all,

    It will be nice to see Dale on video with that other guy, Tom or Jim Ed or some other name. May be his real name is Captain Billy. If you check out the staff of the student radio station at St. Olaf you will find that one of the managers is someone that many us know whose first name is Gus.

    Dale points out, giving Janye Meadows as an example, that when you choose to do something good you might not become a famous star, but you will have good memories. I wonder if this is part of Dale’s message to the radio people at St. Olaf including Gus. I’m sure Gus is already very well acquainted with a person that has very many good memories of his efforts to do good work over the radio.

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    1. Do you think Gus knows Tom Keith too? I remember that Jim Ed sometimes drove Tom to the theatre and waited for him in the car.

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      1. Do any of these people know each other? At least two of them are cleaver people who like to keep us guessing. I’m sure they all know each other very, very, well.

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    2. I might be the only one to remember that highlight in Jim Ed Poole’s career: his acting appearance in a TV commercial. All I remember is that it involved a frustrated driver who then eats his steering wheel. I seem to remember that Jim Ed got weary of all the re-shoots when he had to eat the steering wheel.

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      1. As a long time Morning Show follower, I know many things about Jim Ed, but I didn’t know about that commercial. Jim Ed was one of a kind and that’s an under statement. I don’t think that he would fit into the world of TV commercial acting very well. I’m sure he had some choice comments to make about that effort to get involved to making a TV commercial.

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  5. I grew up on the limitations of radio. TV has never touched the creativity of great radio, Bob n Ray, Stan F., Jack Benny Show, Inner Sanctum, and on and on.
    One of the biggest achievements of GK is that he made his movie work by very careful selection of what not to include, by wise augmentation of some things and by adding some whole new elements.

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    1. There were some great shows. Radio’s great popularity swept the nation and left performers confused about what sort of material would work in the new medium. It seems so obvious now: use sound effects, good writing and the power of the imagination to create great radio drama. But our early radio was an often lame recycling of what worked in vaudeville. It took time to see what radio was best at.

      I grew up loving early radio. Great Gildersleeve. Fibber McGee & Molly. Burns & Allen. Gunsmoke. Lone Ranger. Sergeant Preston. Green Hornet. Hopalong Cassidy. Fred Allen. And (yes) Amos ‘n Andy.

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  6. I have spoken in college classes on 1. teaching English, 2. assessing kids doing and not just knowing 3. rubrics (guides for assessing doing and not know and a teaching tool itself) 4. teaching creativity means making kids work within forms and limitations (yes, Dale, I did teach that once, but not to great applause) 5. carving and separation of church and state (on a panel)..

    I would like to lecture them on bike riders have rights too.

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    1. i love doing and not just knowing, and teaching teachers to be aware of it would be huge. is it still there or did leave no child behind bury it?
      what happens if forms and limitations are not addressed with regards to creativity? would you just get too creative if that was your natural direction. i can see teachers making the forms so important they squash the creative mode.
      bike riders… god bless you all. you should have full priority on all roads at all times. you are the thing the world needs most today. a realization that we can get to where we want to go with our own means with primitive tools and that it may take a bit longer but it is bullet proof and the reward is good health a feeling of satisfaction and leaving a positive footprint on the planet.

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  7. I was never invited to a college to talk about the subject that I am most qualified to address, sustainable farming. In sustainable farming my goal, and that of some others, was to get farmers invloved in education and combine their knowledge with that of “expert” professional educators because we thought what the farmers were also “experts” in their own way. The role of farmers in advancing sustainable agriculture is what I would probably talk about if asked to speak at a college. The Sustainable Farming Association of Minnesota often holds it’s annual meetings at colleges and some of the students at the colleges come to these meetings where both farmers and professional educators speak. the next SFA annual meeting will be at St. Benedict’s in St. Joseph on Feb 18, 2012

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    1. is it open to anyone who wants to go? are you speaking? what in a nutshell is sustainable farming? rotating crops so you don’t wear out the soil and using seeds that are made for the region rather than a mexican version of corn that doesn\’t handle winter? i am interested.i would think there would be a huge market for thin i third world countries where fertilizer and irrigation systems are dreams rather than the norm

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      1. Any one can go to the SFA annual meeting if they pay to get in. Sustainable farming includes all kinds of farming that are alternatives to conventional farming. The idea is that the direction most our agriculture is taking is not sustainable and there are some farmers who are trying to find better ways of farming. This includes both organic farmers and farmers who are looking for better ways to farm who are not organic.

        Conventional farming is seen as factory styled farming that includes farms with large field where only corn soybeans are raised, and livestock farms that raise large numbers of animals in confindment. Also, conventional fruit and vegetable production is seen as the production of these items on very large farms with their productions shipped long distance to fill super market shelves all over the country.. Any farmer can join SFA and we do not exclude farmers who are more or less completely conventional and are just interested in learning about sustainable farming.

        Sustainable farmimng is international in scope and practiced by various people around the world. Small farms in many parts of the world have always been more or less sustainable and some people are trying to keep big businesses from pushing out these small farms.

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  8. if a local college invites me to speak as an expert it would have to be on reinventing ones self. i have always been amazed at how looking back at my progression through life i have been able to slide from one place to another without much more than a ripple on the water surface. the next logical step always seemed to be apparent. a plan for going forward and a big picture plan of 10 years form now 20 years form now etc. i was listening on the radio the other day to a person who discussing living in a community ( i didn’t catch where exactly it was) where the people always knew what direction was north. it came naturally and one day she was trying to figure out which direction was which and magically a little map from the ariel view appeared and she was looking at her surroundings from a different perspective when she commented to the villagers that this had happened they looked at her oddly and said of course you have that, you need to have that to know where you are. they had understood this for so long they didn’t even think to express it. . i have always had that when trying to figure out a geographic path from point a to point b but it dawns on me that i have that when it comes to a lifes path view also and it surprises me when folks are not tuned in to this part of the equation. i could talk on that . or the import export business and how trading with different cultures requires you to adjust your head a bit to try to become part of the new world you are entering. the ugly american is one way to fdo it. there are others and i could talk on that a while too. or beer… i could talk on beer, or hippy days in the old vw bus … yeah thats the ticket…

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    1. i was thinking about something similar. How the biggest shock in my life is the discovery that I am always changing, always learning, always becoming someone new. I used to think people didn’t change much after reaching adulthood. Now I know that isn’t even a significant landmark in the continual evolution of self.

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  9. Speaking of radio and TV, I was watching the Michale Pallin in the Himalayas Tuesday night and at the end of it was a commercial, an actual commercial, for a movie. It was a commercial prepared by the movie makers and not a typical promo announcement. I guess this is what is to come.

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  10. I have been asked by our local college to speak on a several occasions, but never about anything fun. They always want me to talk about serious and somewhat depressing topics like how to maintain personal boundaries with dorm residents if you are a resident assistant, or how to deal with aging parents. I would rather talk about fun things like ethnic cooking or gardening.

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    1. your assigned topics seem to be in the “necessary or good to know but not wildly exciting” category. i agree that your choice of fun topics sound a lot more fun.

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  11. I could talk about a lot of things, but for only about 5 minutes. (The only thing I’ve done for a college audience is teach some Folk Dance at a women’s college in Winona.)

    Actually, anyone who has done a guest blog here has made a little speech, just in a different forum, the written word. And not at a college. And not necessarily as an expert. Guess there’s really not much similarity there!

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  12. Morning all.

    I’m in the final throes of my annual coat project, so I’m in a very “what can I do for others” place this week. I’d love to give a talk about what you can do for others, especially hitting on how you do this without just opening your pocketbook. In fact, I think my speech would be titled “Keep Your Wallet Closed – How to Assist in a Cash-Strapped World” or something like that.

    Next week, I’ll probably be in a different place… then I’d love to talk about de-stressing the holiday season by making your own gifts and cards and generally not getting carried away with shopping.

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  13. Just got done with CPR/First Aid training over the last couple of days. I’m done talking for the next day or two.

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  14. We would be remiss if we didn’t mention a trail-blazing radio show that had great fun with the limitations of radio: the Goon Show. It is usually said that the Goon Show made Monty Python possible. Monty Python had a strong visual element, but the Goon Show was radio all the way.

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  15. I could talk about what foods work well in food fights, but that may not be something the campus foodservice would want me to talk about (though there are useful tips about what not to throw as it gets sticky and stinky pretty quickly – like whipped cream….Dream Whip is a better option for your faux cream pies if you must have something edible – and popovers toss nicely over long distances). Beyond that we get into oddball stuff like “Designing and Building a Stage Set for under $200″ or “Semicolons: The Underused Punctuation Mark”…

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  16. I could probably do a short piece on “Using WordPress Emoticons” or “Creating Common Accent Marks on the Macintosh”; it would look good on my resumé. :lol:

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    1. I can’t quite decide if Mr. LOL looks more like he is laughing or trying not to sneeze.

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      1. i noticed that earlier but couldn’t quite put it into words. i think a utube video of your fingers then to the screen of the expert presentation could make you a utube star.400,000 hits

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  17. tim, you failed to mention you are credentialed to present the seminar on the Fine Art of Sprinkler System Blowing Out. Suggested sessions might include: “Frequently Asked Questions: What, You Don’t Just Pour Antifreeze Into It?”, “Compressor Selection: Does Size Really Matter?” and “Nozzle Ratings For Dummies.”

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  18. It’s hard to believe that any college would ask me to speak, much less that I would accept the invitation, but I can think of a couple things I could maybe speak on (if I didn’t faint from fright):

    The Proper Use of Apostrophes
    Choosing Good Books to Read to Your Child

    In the future, I hope to become more expert on Herb Growing in Minnesota and Culinary Uses of Herbs You Can Grow in Your Backyard.

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  19. I’ve spoken at college classes multiple times. My talk is usually along the lines of Your subject matter here and genetics. A few weeks ago I did Genetics for Orthotic and Prosthetic Practitioners (It’s a stretch to figure out why guys who make arms, legs, and braces need to know about genetics). Previous incarnations have included genetics for prison nurses and information about families of children with disabilities for school bus drivers.

    I’m usually an interesting enuff speaker that I get invited back. Once I did a big seminar in the auditorium at St Kate’s. The thank you note read, “Thank you for sharing your good humor and jokes about cancer and genetics.”….I tried to take it as a compliment.

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    1. B-A – I’ll bet you could find the humor in anything. Do you write an annual Christmas letter?

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  20. Here are a couple of PAIRS of things I could give 5-minute talks on:

    1. How to move your aging parent from one home to a smaller one.
    2. Getting motivated for downsizing your possessions.

    1. More than you wanted to know about how most supermarket food is processed.
    2. How to get motivated to grow your own food.

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    1. That second part of the first one is something I could use some training in. You would probably need more than 5 minutes to get me moving, though.

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      1. Find someone (preferably a person with whom your relationship can survive) who needs to move to a smaller place, and then help them… :)

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      2. Could be counter-productive. I think I would just end up taking their stuff home with me.

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    2. my mother isn’t planning to move, but everytime i visit her, i get very, very motivated to downsize my possessions. so being in the apartment of a hoarder is also a motivator. she says she’s sorting through things, but i’m afraid at her age, and with the amount of stuff she has, she will still have tons o’stuff for us kids to sort through when she dies.

      and anytime she offers me anything, i take it – just to get it out of her apartment. some of the things i’ve hauled all the way down here just to throw in my own garbage.

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  21. I wouldn’t trust any college or institution that invited me to be a visiting expert on anything. Expert? Moi?

    You guys are all too funny.

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  22. What’s up with the KSTO thing? I tried to get the stream but nothing would play. Now it says it’s over. Have I missed my chance to hear Dale and Jim Ed’s (or whoever he is) voices together again? Oh no.

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    1. Same here! Perhaps Dale and Jim Ed really don’t exist! Either that or the stream was waylaid by goats from outer space.

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    2. Hi everyone! So sorry the live streaming didn’t work tonight! As far as we can tell, the event was successfully recorded, and when the tech-savvy folks show up tomorrow morning, it should be archived to the St. Olaf website. The goats didn’t completely foil us! :)

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  23. A baseball game is simply a nervous breakdown divided into nine innings.
    – Earl Wilson

    Or in some cases, eleven innings…or maybe more…

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  24. I will definitely watch this show and treasure that it was recorded for me to enjoy two men together who have brought me more listening pleasure than any other duo in the universe, past or future. Someone should do a documentary about The Morning Show – it was a wonderful phenomenon that I wish had never ended. If such a documentary exists, please point me to it!

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