For the past ten years I have been making an effort to visit all 50 states. As my personal quest nears its completion, I decided to write down recollections of the 46 I’ve seen so far, listed roughly in chronological order of my first visit. This multi-part series began on July 1.
My wife and I made a day trip to West Virginia when the kids were young. Several of her family members went to the apple butter festival in Berkeley Springs and we tagged along. I haven’t done much else in West Virginia except for stopping at the Walmart along I-81 on the way to New England in 2009.
Business brought me to Dallas, Texas. I was assistant promotion director at WAVA when we took a plane full of listeners to see the Redskins play the Cowboys. I was impressed that the bar in the hotel lobby offered Dr Pepper from the bartender’s soda gun. On the morning of the game, we marched through the deserted streets of Dallas and got videotaped for the NFL Today. It was so long ago that the NFC was on CBS and that Irv Cross introduced the segment.
My first trip to Tennessee was to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the death of Elvis. Don & Mike broadcast from the strip mall across from Graceland alongside deejays from all over the country. We saw Jim Bohanan at a 7-Eleven on our way to the site. We were positioned near Reitman & Miller from WKTI and shared some celebrity guests with them like Barbara Eden and Major Bill Smith, who believed Elvis had faked his death. 15 years later, I would move to the other end of the state and embrace all the good things about Knoxville and the Smoky Mountains.
Another unusual Don & Mike broadcast brought me to Tulsa, Oklahoma. We were there on the day that Oral Roberts was supposed to be called home. The plans for the broadcast fell apart and I ended up doing a call-in from a pay phone at a Waffle House. It was my first time visiting one of the restaurants.
The mayor of Indianapolis, Indiana, invited us to broadcast from his city. Bill Hudnut would often pop-in on the Don & Mike show at WAVA when he was in DC. When we went to visit him, he gave us each the key to the city. More recently, on my son’s college search, we visited a school in Terre Haute on the day the Colts were arriving for training camp.
More states tomorrow!