The Spark Remains

Tuesday June 26th, 2012 – Rockford, IL

   One of my very favorite groups from the ‘70s is The Spinners. They have a song called “I’ll Be Around” that has the lyrics “But I know there’s always a chance, a tiny spark remains, yeah. And sparks turn into flames, and love can burn once again.” I think that’s true for more than just love.

This afternoon I felt more than a tiny spark as the radio comedy entity known as ‘The Kidders’ returned to the air on WNTA in Rockford, IL. We used to be ‘Jerry’s Kidders’ when we were on WLS and WGN with my friend Jerry Agar, but he’s working in Toronto now so that ended that.

I’m sure we’d all love to continue what we started, but it’s just not feasible right now. Jerry is busy trying to make a living, and we all understand that very clearly. Still, that doesn’t mean the remaining three of us can’t carry on and have fun and that’s what we did today. It was fantastic.

The other two Kidders are Ken Sevara and Tim Slagle, and we decided to resurrect the concept for a day and see if we could fill a three hour shift. Our regular time with Jerry was usually a half an hour of rapid fire jokes and banter about current events stories of a particular week. Today we slowed it down a bit and stretched out a few stories into talk points, but we also did what we do.

The energy was fast moving and fun as it usually is, and it felt wonderful to get back on the air with the guys no matter where it was. We really do have a chemistry between us, and as much as we’d enjoy having Jerry back with us that’s just not an option now. The Three Stooges started as part of an act with a guy named Ted Healy at first, but they eventually became their own entity.

At least for today, it worked out splendidly. Since I am the host I took Jerry’s role as the dealer of the stories, but also jumped in and tossed in some response lines as well. I don’t think it made that big of a difference, and I can see us doing it again. We covered the three hours no problem.

We hadn’t been on the air together in a long time, but none of us had a problem getting back in a groove. It was like we were never apart, and that’s what it’s like when any team has chemistry. I feel the same energy when I get together with Max and Spike, my former partners on the Loop.

When radio works, it’s hard to beat as far as fun goes. I feel the same thing when we’re on our game with The Mothership Connection on WLIP and I felt it on the Loop, even though it took us a few months of feeling each other out to get any kind of synergy going. When it does come, it’s nothing short of magic and it jumps out of the speakers to a listener. I love being part of that mix.

The whole day today was exactly how I feel all days should be. The three of us shared a ride to Rockford and laughed the entire way there. We had a breakfast before the show and knocked out a battle plan of stories for the air. We laughed through that, and then for three hours on the radio.

We had fun on the ride back too. This is how life should work. Unfortunately, we all knew we don’t have this on a regular basis anymore, and it might be a long time before we’ll get a chance to do it again. But the spark definitely remains, and when that chance does come we’ll be ready.


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