Remarks at the WOC Radio
Station Dedication Ceremony in
Vickie, first let me say I'm delighted to be back here with all of you. Perhaps
some of you know about a huge favor that I owe a lady from
Montgomery Ward had just moved into
it was a long hitchhike back to
So, now, I'm really upset. And as I'm going out the door I said, ``How does a fellow ever get to be a sports announcer if he can't get a job in radio?'' And I got to the elevator and fortunately it wasn't there, because I heard a thumping down the hall. Pete had arthritis very severely and walked on two canes -- or with two canes. And he kept calling me rather profanely, and finally, I realized what -- he was coming after me. So, I waited, and he asked me, What was that that I said about sports? And I said, ``Well, that's what I'd like to be, is a sports announcer.'' He said, ``What do you know about football?'' And I said, ``I played it 8 years.'' He said, ``Can you tell me about a football game and if I'm listening to it on radio, then I'll be able to see that game?'' And I said, ``I think so.''
He took me into a studio, it was the original studio, stood me up in front of a microphone, pointed to a red bulb up on the wall, and he said, ``I won't be in here with you, you'll be alone. When that red light goes on, you start broadcasting an imaginary football game.'' Well, there I stood, and I was all alone. And I thought, what am I going to do for names? And then I said, wait a minute, one of our games in the previous season when I was playing we won in the last 20 seconds with a 65-yard touchdown run by our quarterback. And I said, well, I know a lot of the other team's names, and I know all of our team's names. I'll start with the fourth quarter. So, when it came on, I said, ``The long blue shadows are settling over the field. There's a chill wind blowing in through the end of the stadium.'' We didn't have a stadium. We only had bleachers. [Laughter] And then I took for as long as I could go, up to the point that there we were and called that play with 20 seconds to go, and the winning touchdown is scored. At which point, I grabbed the microphone and said, ``That's all.'' [Laughter]
Incidentally, I personally take credit for the first instant replay because on that famous play, I was the key blocker of the first man in the secondary, and I missed my man. I don't know to this day how Bud Cole scored that touchdown, but in that broadcast, I delivered a block that was just Earth-shattering. [Laughter]
Pete came back in, and he said, ``Be here Saturday.
We'll give you $5 and bus fare. You're broadcasting the Iowa-Minnesota game.''
So, I was there Saturday, over to
So, after that he told me that they had four more games left in the season for broadcasting, and I was going to get $10 a game and busfare. Then I had to wait a few months after the games were over before there was a vacancy. And then I went on. And you know, I'm proud to have gotten my start in communications here at WOC.
even prouder to have been a part of a tremendous broadcasting tradition, one
that is 65 years old this year. And I think all of you can be proud not just of
this new building but of all that it represents. WOC has been serving the
people of the Quad-Cities for more than six decades. When I first came here, it
was only the Tri-Cities, and we were in the midst of the Depression. And today
we're in the middle of an economic boom, but we must get some help to the
farmers who have been hurt by the drought. But through good times and bad, WOC
has been there for the people of
Things have changed a bit since 1932. But in a funny way, the business stays the same: news, sports, weather, information. It's a good way to make a living and a good way of serving others. So, my congratulations to all of you, and my warmest wishes for your future success.
want to say one more word about farmers that I said earlier today over in
But thank you all, God bless you all.
Note: The President spoke at at the radio station. In his opening remarks, he referred to Vickie Palmer Miller, president and owner of Signal Hill Communications.