There are so many unsung heroes at The Bay 88.7FM and it never ceases to amaze me how many volunteers at Hunters Bay Radio selflessly devote their time and services to make this radio station run smoothly. Especially, in these days of isolation, when so many of us feel shut in and closed off from the rest of the world, it is comforting to hear the voice of a fellow volunteer on the radio. It makes me feel a little more connected. Indeed, as this pandemic continues to lock all of us out of our "normal" lives, it is often those small connections that might make that small difference to keep us from losing our minds. Of course, there is the skeleton crew of overworked and underpaid staff who keep the lights on, led by our inimitable and vastly under-compensated Managing Director, Jeff Carter. As well, there are about 60 unpaid volunteers who do everything from answer phones on Bingo night to host talk and music shows to designing and posting Facebook graphics throughout the week, etc. Shauna calls it our "88.7FMily". This week, I'd like to show my appreciation for one of our more under-recognized and hardest working volunteer journalists / broadcasters.
Every weekday morning, after the 10 O'clock news, Hunters Bay Radio features a segment called TECH 5, hosted by my octogenarian friend Ben Harrison. The segment typically runs 5ish minutes and covers a wide spectrum of interesting subjects, from space exploration to the latest development in artificial intelligence, or even the origins of a holiday tradition. No matter whether the subject is the puzzling migration of the "polar vortex", or the science of flatulence, Ben always has something informative and interesting to impart. Shauna and I have been listening to Ben's daily musings for 5 years now, and in this household, everything stops when TECH 5 is on-air. The last guy who so regularly captured my attention was Andy Rooney on his "60 Minutes" segments, and Andy was only on once per week. Because I have the attention span of a 3-month-old puppy (shout out Leni, the recent addition to the Nickalls family), it is notable that I follow any show that consistently.
Perhaps the thing I appreciate most about TECH 5 is the amount of preparation it takes to put a segment like that together. I write this 1-page report weekly, and if I am discussing something that requires research, I might spend hours looking for what I need. Then, I might spend another hour trying to condense and communicate that information clearly in my report. When I produce a LYRICAL WORKERS show, especially one dealing with a new songwriter, I often spend hours reading up on the subject, simply to talk about it for 30 seconds. Ben does that every weekday, often referencing the many sources of his research, and then delivers his condensed, 5ish-minutes segment with the professionalism of a seasoned anchorman. I appreciate the amount of effort it takes to produce one of those shows. By the way, Ben also regularly announces the afternoon news and his voice can be heard in various radio commercials advertising our local sponsors.
This morning on TECH 5, Ben was discussing the factors which affect our memory. Well into the third trimester of my life, memory is a sore subject with me. I have grown to respect those of my elders who exercise their brains and exhibit a healthy thirst for knowledge. I see the results of that love for learning in the intelligence of my wife Shauna's 96 year-old mom "E.T." and I hear it every weekday morning in the broadcast of TECH 5 by Ben Harrison. Thanks Ben, for being one of the unsung heroes here at Hunters Bay Radio, The Bay 88.7FM. Keep entertaining the masses! Know that you are appreciated.
Written by Jamie Oppenheimer ©2021 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED