Rural Brooklyn Township, Lee County, Illinois (The sticks, the flatland).
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED IN NEWS REPORTING?
I conducted a phone interview for my first-ever reporting assignment from the roof peak of three-story house, using a sawed-off scrap of wooded 2-by-4 and a carpenter’s pencil as to take notes. At the time, I worked as a roofing foreman, but I covered high school football part-time for a local newspaper.
I was an English Literature major in college, so I’ve always loved to read anything: News, non-fiction, fiction, poetry, restroom graffiti; whatever I see, I read.
I also have collected music on vinyl since I was 19 years old. It’s gotten a lot more expensive, but I’ve got some cool, cool records that I play on an old, German-built turntable.
FAVORITE “CELEBRITY” ENCOUNTER:
I remember waiting for Chicago Cubs All-Star outfielder and slugger Andre Dawson to walk out of the Cubs’ locker room and into the fenced, player parking lot outside Wrigley Field. That was where kids used to be able to go to get autographs from the players after a ball game. I was about 9, and it was about 1988. Dawson was tall, soft-spoken, and had a really fancy, powder-blue Chevrolet Caprice Classic sedan. He signed a baseball and a poster that I’d handmade to hold up out in the bleachers that day, and he asked me what I liked most about baseball. I wasn’t able to give Mr. Dawson a coherent answer. Too scared and nervous. The guy was one of my heroes. He shook my hand with his pinkie through the parking lot fence, and that was that. A real gentleman.
WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING IF YOU WEREN’T IN RADIO/NEWS?
I’d probably be on a rooftop, writing things down on a piece of scrap wood and wishing badly that I was working in the news.
“It’s all in the reflexes.” — Kurt Russell as Jack Burton in the 1986 film “Big Trouble in Little China.”