“…Aaaaaaand We’re Baaaaaack!!!”

by Rich on December 23, 2015

If there is one thing I have learned in my life, it’s that we, as a species, hate change. Oh sure, there are a few outliers who “claim” to love it, but we all know the truth. Deep down we hate change. Fear it. Loath it. Despise it. We get comfortable and in a rhythm and we like that. The amount of effort we have to exert decreases the longer we stay in the same place. We learn how to minimize work, streamline processes. In short, we create shortcuts and get lazy. And that’s not always a bad thing. It’s how we are wired and there is a reason for that. Deep in our genetic code, we are programed to conserve energy for when it’s needed the most. But lets face it… none of us are out there every day hunting down a sabre toothed tiger to bring back to the cave to feed the clan. So our instinctive fear of change leads most of us into a life of sameness and stagnation.  Thankfully, we have a great deal of control over that. And if we take advantage of situations placed before us, we can take on new challenges and make changes and grow as people. Doesn’t that sound good? Of course it does.

Except for the whole “change” part…

I got a new job.

Ok, not really a new job. I mean, I didn’t get fired or quit or change companies, but my job responsibilities at work are changing drastically. So, in essence, I got a new job.

And it scares the *&%*@ out of me. (Fun Fact: that symbol, or group of symbols, is called a “grawlix”. Look it up)

Almost 5 years ago I got a call from a good friend with whom I used to work. There was an opportunity at his network to start a brand new sports call in show. Was I interested? My experience to that point had been what most people think of when they think of a radio DJ. Playing songs, doing little bits, reading the weather, playing requests…you know… “WKRP in Cincinnati” kind of stuff. So it was a major change to jump into a 2 hour sports talk format, and it was frightening. But I took a shot and, due in no small part to the incredible amount of help I had, and some wonderful co-hosts, the show took off and has become something of a success. So much so, that the leadership at my network of stations would like for me to create something new on one of our sister stations. A brand new, 3 hour, entertaining morning show.

Ok, then.

So, beginning January of the coming year, I will be the co-host of a brand new morning show, The Wings Weekday Wake-up with Rich and Jeremy. And I am totally pumped.

This new show is something I have never tried. It is in a music format that I have never really been in, and I will have a full time cohort. All of those things frighten me. But the possibilities are truly exciting! No longer confined to the world of spots (which I love, by the way), Jeremy and I will be able to stretch our legs and talk about what interests us and our listeners. Everything from food, to sleep, to movies and TV and music and food. We will probably talk about food as well. I like food. A lot.

A little about my co-host. Jeremy Henderson is brilliant. One of those brilliant people that bursts at the seems with smarts and creativity. He is a gifted writer, a perceptive historian and one of the single most hysterical human beings I have ever met. There has never been a time that Jeremy and I have talked, either on the air or in private, when I haven’t found myself doubled over in laughter at some point in the conversation. He is not a “radio guy” and I mean that as a high complement. He’s just dang smart and dang funny and that combination is priceless.

If you want to get a little picture into the mind of Jeremy, do yourself a favor and check out his web page

I am so grateful to the people who are allowing this to happen. The ownership and management here at the station, along with my coworkers and sales staff, the advertisers who signed on to sponsor something they had never heard before, and the guys on my current show. All of these people are making this a positive and exciting move.

I will still “cover” Auburn sports for our network and will still be involved with that side of things, but the day to day operation of a sports call in show will now be handed over full time to some great people who will continue to grow the show. Bill Cameron and Zac Blackerby know more about sports than I ever will and our listeners are in for a treat with Bill at the helm and Zac there beside him.

It’s quite a Christmas gift to me personally, and a great way to start off a new year. Change.

Now I just need a new alarm clock…



Diver Down

by Rich on July 14, 2015

Diver Down

Long before YouTube and Google, in a time without The Discovery Channel and Animal Planet, there was National Geographic.

Growing up in the 1970s, I was fortunate to live in a home full of National Geographic magazines. My grandmother Jean, a lovely, cultured southern woman, gave my family an annual Christmas gift of a yearly subscription to the magazine and I loved seeing it arrive each month. National GeographicOld issues were boxed in my grandparents attic on Norman Dr. in Mountain Brooke and I would spend hours combing through the dusty black and white pages. One of my earliest memories is sitting in the giant lap of my soon-to-be stepfather as he patiently flipped through every page with me. This was our window to the world beyond Dolly Brooke Lane. And I was fascinated by it.

Memory is a funny thing, but looking back, it seems now as if there were basically only 3 subjects covered by National Geographic in those days: Space (it was in the heyday of moon landings), half-naked tribes of sub-Saharan Africa (I’ll just leave that right there…) and….the ocean.

Sharks, turtles, sunken warships…Jacques Cousteau! Remember Jacques Cousteau? He was everywhere! The man who invented Scuba diving. Well, he invented the regulator which then allowed for the development of the self-contained underwater breathing apparatus. He was so cool. Smallish, wiry, grizzled. He and his team were always in some exotic location, diving to incredible depths seeing things never before seen by human eyes. As a child I was awe-struck. The submarines, the tanks and masks and wetsuits. Knives, cameras, spear guns…THIS was adventure! The divers were all tanned with wind-blown hair, speaking in foreign languages and deftly handling all this cool, complicated gear like it was as normal as my mom driving our ’68 Beetle to the A&P. I was hooked.

My toys as a child reflected this fascination. Adventure People. Remember those? Google them. The old school G.I Joe. These were my favorites Adventure Peoplebecause they let my small child’s mind escape into those wonderful worlds I saw in the magazines and the weekly TV shows. I just loved the idea of being underwater!

As I grew, my interests turned to the things a boys mind turns to (girls). But planted deep down was that Scuba seed. Later, while on my honeymoon, I had the opportunity to actually do it. Granted, it was a resort course, only good for a couple of days, but still… I was diving! And it was incredible. It was everything I had hoped it would be. I swore that as soon as I got back home I would get certified. But, life happens, and that dream fell by the wayside like so many dreams in life do. But still the dream remained, hidden.

And now, it has become a reality. While looking for an activity that I could share with my teenage son, it struck me that diving could be the perfect shared experience for us. Neither are huge hunters. Neither have the patience for fishing to do it more than maybe once every couple of years. He doesn’t particularly care for golf. But diving? Diving is different. It is exotic. It is dangerous. There is something…just cool about it! And so we did it. We signed up with our local dive shop (yes, there is a dive shop in Auburn, AL., Adventure Sports) took the course, bought a bunch of gear, trained in the pool, and then… went diving!Diving

What an experience. I wont go into the nuances of every dive we took our first weekend, but we dove in fresh water springs and open sea wrecks and reefs… it was amazing. And really, what made it so amazing is that I was doing something that I had wanted to do for years, and I was doing it with my son. And he loved it. That’s a pretty major accomplishment for a dad these days.

Scuba involves teamwork and trust. You always have a “dive buddy” and my son and I were each others. That time spent together was invaluable. And I am excited about future trips.

Look, diving isn’t cheap. Unless you live on the coast, it isn’t something most people can just go do one afternoon. It takes forethought and planning. But it’s been worth it. The last 2 months have been an exercise in memory making that will last a life-time. And I can’t wait for the 2 of us to go on our next adventure.

I just wish those wet suits were a little more flattering….


Throw Like A Girl

May 11, 2015

You will have to forgive me, but what follows is social commentary. I know, we get preached at enough from all corners, but in this you will have to indulge me. Auburn University (my alma mater) has a softball team. It’s had one for almost 20 years. And to be perfectly frank, I have not […]

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It’s A Long Story

December 22, 2014

It was almost 11:30 at night when the man overboard alarm sounded. I remember that because I was just signing off on the final fuel readings and waiting for Lessard to relieve me as Oil King of the Watch. The alarm was loud and insistent. It demanded your attention. The sound dove into my spine […]

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Getting A Read On It

October 7, 2014

I was having a conversation with an intern this week, about books. I asked if she ever read nonfiction and she indicated that she had not, outside of required reading for school. Like many readers (myself included) she prefers the escape of a good novel. She did relate to me, however, that she wanted to […]

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The Silent Cheer

October 2, 2014

I am an Auburn Fan. If you have read any of my previous pieces (articles? blogs? posts? What do you call these things, anyway? “Pieces” makes them sound like works of art. Which, of course, they are. I am way too humble to point out this obvious fact, yet there it is. But I digress…), […]

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Shed a Tear With Me

December 6, 2013

Confession time… I’m a guy and I cry. Not all the time, mind you, and not loud bawling. It’s not like I make a scene or anything. Usually my tears are mine alone, shed in the private solitude of my Jeep or home, sometimes office. But I do. I cry. Calling it getting misty. Call […]

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Damn You, Auburn…

November 27, 2013

Damn you, Auburn. Damn you for making me care. Damn you for being irresistible. Damn you for making me fall in love with you. Not your football team, but you. All of you. Your campus, your city, your academics, your history, your townspeople and your culture. Damn you for being as close to perfect as […]

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Order Up!

September 22, 2013

After taking the summer off, I’m back. It’s perfect jeep weather, so let’s go for a ride…   Frequent passengers here in the jeep know that I enjoy cooking. Now, I’m not especially talented or professionally trained in this area, but I do enjoy it. I enjoy the process, and I really enjoy presenting the […]

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A Hole In The Wall

May 29, 2013

I’m trying to get my head around the fact that I have a 13 yr old son. A teenager. It’s really throwing me for a loop. The realities and ravages of time are certainly no stranger to me. I get it. I am older than I was and younger than I will be (hopefully). But […]

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